Virginia Tech football finds itself in an unusual position coming off the program’s worst season in 30 years, with Hokies backers at Virginia sportsbooks probably taking their lumps right along with the team.
The Hokies’ streak of 27 consecutive seasons with a bowl appearances ended in 2020 when the team finished 5-6 under former head coach Justin Fuente. Then after a Pinstripe Bowl appearance in 2021, things sank even lower last year under first-year boss Brent Pry.
The 2022 squad went 3-8, with their final game against Virginia cancelled due to the shooting on campus in Charlottesville that killed three Cavalier football players. The last time the Hokies won fewer than three games was 1992 when they finished 2-8-1; last season’s six conference losses were the most since the 1951 team went 1-7 in the Southern Conference (though Virginia Tech played as an independent from 1965 to 1990).
Now that spring ball is over after the April 15 Maroon-White game, BetVirginia.com – the home of the best Virginia sports betting promo codes – examined how things are shaping up for year two of the Pry era in Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech Football Rankings
- Recruiting Ranking (247 Sports): 6th in ACC (27 commits)/38th nationally
- ACC Odds (Caesars Sportsbook Virginia): +8000
- National Title Odds (FanDuel): +30000
Offense Top Priority For Virginia Tech Football
Fixing the offense remains imperative if the Hokies wish to improve in 2023. They finished last season 120th of 131 FBS teams in total offense per game, averaging only 313.5 yards a contest and ranking outside the top 100 in both passing and rushing yards per game.
Starting quarterback Grant Wells returns after completing 59.0 percent of his passes for 2171 yards and nine touchdowns in 2022, but Virginia Tech brought in another signal caller through the transfer portal to compete with him this year. Former 4-star recruit Kyron Drones joined the program after two seasons as a backup at Baylor. Drones only attempted 23 passes with the Bears but he might give the Hokies a higher ceiling option at the position thanks to his athleticism and arm talent.
Just three other offensive starters besides Wells are returning to Blacksburg for this season, two of whom play on the offensive line. Malachi Thomas, the team’s top backup running back in 2021, should also see an expanded role this year after only playing in three games last season because of injuries.
Thomas will be joined in the backfield by North Carolina A&T transfer Bhayshul Tuten, who rushed for 1363 yards as a sophomore with the Aggies in the FCS last fall. Three other transfers – Ali Jennings (Old Dominion). Da’Quan Felton (Norfolk State) and Jaylin Lane (Middle Tennessee State) – figure to serve as the primary receiving options.
Virginia Tech Defense Returning Some Talent
The defense features more returning talent than the offense, with six starters back from last season (two at each level of the field) for Virginia Tech, which sits at +30000 in national championship odds with FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia.
The Hokies defended at a slightly above average level in 2022, ranking 56th in yards allowed per game and 54th in scoring defense. The defense allowed over 30 points only three times, but the offense never scored more than 29 in a game last year.
As of Friday, ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) expects Virginia Tech will win 4.9 games in 2023. The site gives the Hokies a 35.4% chance of getting to six wins and starting a new bowl streak.
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Virginia Tech 2023 Football Schedule
- Sept. 2: Old Dominion (3-9; 2-6 in Sun Belt)
- Sept. 9: Purdue (8-6; 6-3 in Big 10)
- Sept. 16: at Rutgers (4-8; 1-8 in Big 10)
- Sept 23: at Marshall (9-4; 5-3 in Sun Belt)
- Sept. 30: Pittsburgh (9-4; 5-3 in ACC)
- Oct. 7: at Florida State (10-3; 5-3 in ACC)
- Oct. 14: Wake Forest (8-5; 3-5 in ACC)
- Oct. 26: Syracuse (7-6; 4-4 in ACC)
- Nov. 4: at Louisville (8-5; 4-4 in ACC)
- Nov. 11: at Boston College (3-9; 2-6 in ACC)
- Nov. 18: NC State (8-5; 4-4 in ACC)
- Nov. 25: at Virginia (3-7; 1-6 in ACC)
- Total 2022 Record: 80-71 (.530); 42-55 in conference (.433)