After talking it over, the guys put it in writing. It’s looking pretty good for the Hokies. There is a bit of news before we get to the predictions, though.
The Hokies made the trip by plane from Roanoke-Blacksburg:
Week 1: 757#ThisIsHome | #GroundUp— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) September 1, 2022
: @flyROA pic.twitter.com/5NOETsLxTX
The First #25 of 2022 was Earned by: Ny’Quee Hawkins
. ➡️ Ny'Quee Hawkins (@NyqueeH)#ThisIsHome | #GroundUp— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) September 1, 2022
: https://t.co/VLKejDLSS8 pic.twitter.com/vpekTBDAwW
Now for the Predictions
This year Ricky Rhane has likely fielded the best Old Dominion Monarchs team in the short history of the program. The offense is the most dangerous feature of the team. Led by QB Hayden Wolf, who guided them to a 5-1 record during the last half of their 2021 season, sending them to the Monarch’s second ever bowl game. They return a 1,000-yard rusher in RB, Blake Watson, but their receiving corps is the true strength of the team. 6’8” TE, Zack Kuntz, and WR, Ali Jennings, lead a receiving corps that presents tough matchups for the Hokies. Defensively, the Monarchs have strengths on the DL and the LB corps that the Hokies cannot take lightly, but they aren’t the threat the ODU offense represents. VT’s offense should be able to overcome what ODU brings to the field while the defense should be able to mitigate a decent Monarch offense enough to take control of the game. I will amend the score prediction I provided on the podcast. I think there will be more offense on the field than defense. It could be back and forth for a little while, but the Hokies get their first win in Norfolk.
35-24, Virginia Tech
There is nothing much we can say about the Virginia Tech offense. We just don’t know exactly what Tyler Bowen has in store. If the Hokie Offensive Line struggles to move Monarch defenders, then it’s going to be a long day.
The offense needs to keep Grant Wells on his feet and in the clear for quality high percentage passes for positive yardage. The running backs, Holston, King, and Black will need to get schedule yardage that results in clock-burning first downs and productive scoring drives.
The Tech Defense has an unexpected gift with the suspension of the Monarch’s productive running back, Elijah Davis. It still leaves their leader, Blake Watson. But they have to stop the passes under the zone and pressure the QB hard. Tech is down Brion Murray to a suspension. That’s going to put pressure on the outside coverage depth. Tech’s #LPD needs to be stubborn and disruptive.
I think Tech can get that done. The Hokies open the Pry era with a win in Norfolk.
I have to admit that I am concerned about this game. I want the Brent Pry era to begin with a convincing win. However, the ODU Monarchs could prove to be a worthy adversary on Friday night. What will see from Virginia Tech’s offense? Will the defense be better than it was a year ago? Old Dominion has talent on the offensive side of the ball.
I expect to see a fired-up Virginia Tech team on Friday night. It’s too bad Pry’s first game wasn’t under the lights at Lane Stadium on a Thursday or Friday night. The Hokies will come out and try to establish the run early. They will have success. However, it will be the arm of quarterback Grant Wells who propels Virginia Tech to a season-opening win.
ODU hangs close for a while, but in the end, the Hokies are better.
Virginia Tech 34, Old Dominion 20