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Offensive/Defensive Preview: Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech v Boston College Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Boston College looks to rebound from an excruciating loss. Fortunately/unfortunately, their opponents also are entering the game on a low note. Here are some tidbits to look out for from the 2022 Hokies.


Redshirt sophomore Grant Wells won the starting job, but then went ahead and tossed four interceptions at Old Dominion. He has a strong arm and can move pretty well (ran for 46 yards and a touchdown last week) , but the worry heading in was turnovers, and that bore our in spectacular fashion. One was a massive overthrow, while another route was jumped. The former Marshall man’s third pick was tipped and his final one was a hail-mary with moments to spare.

Keshawn King was the bright spot of the offense with some really powerful runs against the Monarchs. Averaging 5.8 a carry, he tallied 111 on the ground, and added three catches with a touchdown. He maneuvered well and showed great burst and sped. He stepped up and the staff let him ride. After BC’s performance last week though, super senior Jalen Holston should pick up some totes again. He’s shown in the past strength and shiftiness that could trouble the Eagles defense.

The Hokies have a lot to be desired in the passing game. Wells did complete a few pretty passes throughout the game, but ended only 21/36 for 193 yards with a touchdown. Tight end Nick Gallo caught Wells’ attention the most on Saturday. The junior had seven catches, while on one else had more than three. Kaleb Smith and Da’Wain Lofton each went three for 40+ yards. Both had high expectations after their springs, but now Smith might be out with a hamstring injury. Lofton should face off with DeBerry in the slot.

Overall, the Hokies generated 333 total yards of offense. Like BC, they dealt with a lot of penalties, primarily on offense, ending 14-100 yards. Their 5-17 on third down and turnovers just wasn’t going to cut it. They protected Wells well, but there are still questions on the offensive line.


The Hokies defense did hold up really well given their team’s respective offensive performance. Makes sense, given new coach Brent Pry’s calling card. Dax Hollifield had a huge game, one of the best for a linebacker in the country during the first week of the season. He had 10 tackles, 1.5 for loss, 2 PBUs, and recovered two fumbles, forcing one himself.

Safety Nasir Peoples had a great outing as well, with 10 tackles and a 1.5 Tackles for loss. They rest of the secondary though allowed a few big pass plays. ODU’s top receiver had five catches for 122 yards. One can assume they’ll have to really (try and) key on Zay, but the Eagles can do a better job spreading the ball around and making them pay.

The Virginia Tech defense did a solid job getting after the quarterback and held Old Dominion to 3-16 on third down. Four hurries and a well-timed sack-fumble. They held ODU to 2.5 yards per carry, so it might be another tough day for Pat Garwo on the ground. The Eagles should try and get creative in the running game.

Special Teams

The Hokies had a big mishap here to give Old Dominion a 10-7 lead right before the half. While lining up for a field goal, the holder lost the snap and the Monarchs pounds.

Biggest takeaway for BC is going to be along the defensive front. They can’t allow Virginia Tech to dominate in the ground game, and of course that’s going to be a point of emphasis. Clearly baiting the Hokies to throw can be a winning strategy. Need those turnovers.