Last week was rough for Boston College. But it was also rough for the Eagles’ opponent this week, the Virginia Tech Hokies. We sat down with our sister site Gobbler Country and their editor Bryan Manning to talk about the Hokies.
BCI: So. What exactly happened last week?
Penalties and turnovers. The Hokies turned the ball over five times and committed 15 penalties for 106 yards. Not a great start for the Brent Pry, but fortunately these things can be cleaned up. The bad snap in the first half changed the game. It not only led to a touchdown return, but it gave ODU life when it previously had none.
BCI: Given last week, have your opinions on the season ahead changed?
In all honesty, no. Most reasonable Virginia Tech fans didn’t have massive expectations this season. It’s truly a rebuilding year under Pry and his new staff. There were always going to be bumps and bruises along the way. Sure, no one expected what happened, but things will improve. How soon? We shall see. Heading into the year, I saw a 6-win team. So far, I will stick with that.
BCI: Keshawn King was a bright spot for y’all last week. Are you expecting that kind of production from him moving forward?
Yes, I can absolutely see it. These coaches seem to know how to use King. He’s not a thumper between the tackles. The previous staff would give him a few carries and then you wouldn’t see him again. He is super talented and operates best in space. The Hokies will get Malachi Thomas back at some point, but King will continue to be a part of the game plan.
BCI: Who is someone we should pay attention to?
Sophomore wide receiver Da’Wain Lofton. Lofton didn’t receive a ton of opportunities last week. He is terrific. Lofton runs good routes and has plenty of speed. Quarterback Grant Wells and the coaching staff must find more ways to get Lofton the football. Defensively, linebacker Dax Hollifield was outstanding last week. Hollifield has had a good career, but has fallen short of the massive expectations he had when he arrived. He is a good player and the heart of the defense.
BCI: What does Va. Tech have to do to get back on track?
Gobbler Country: Cut down on the mistakes. Does that equal a win? I don’t know about that, but it gives them a much better chance. Wells must take better care of the football, however, two of those interceptions were not on him. Offensively, the Hokies did plenty of good things last week but couldn’t get out of their own way. They need to follow a similar and balanced game plan against Boston College.
BCI: What does Va. Tech need to do to win? What does BC need to do?
Gobbler Country: The Hokies should establish the running game to keep Wells out of 3rd and long. That doesn’t mean running on every first down. Last week, Wells was consistently facing 3rd and long. Not many quarterbacks can survive facing 3rd and 10 on every series. Defensively, they can’t let Zay Flowers beat them. As for the Eagles, my goal would be to consistently harass Wells, even if it meant blitzing more than normal. Make him make mistakes.
Gobbler Country: Last week didn’t really change my mind about this game. I was going to roll with BC before, and I am this week in a close one. Eagles 27, Hokies 23
We thank Bryan for joining us, and encourage you to visit Gobbler Country for what the other side is saying about this week’s game.