Tough challenge awaits Virginia Tech as it preps for Rutgers

‘They’ve always been stingy on defense’

Virginia Tech's Brent Pry speaks to the media during his weekly press conference on September 12, 2023 (WSLS)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech has its first road test of the season as it takes a trip to Rutgers for the first time in 20 years. It will be no easy task as they’re fighting the injury bug and a Big 10 opponent who has yet to allow any first-half points this season.

“I know these guys well and they’ve always been stingy on defense and it’s no different this year,” said Hokies head coach Brent Pry. “They’re a top 20 group right now. Looking forward to the opportunity, we need to get better obviously. Us doing a great job of identifying those things and investing in the right areas is going to be really important the next few weeks.”

The Hokies want to be more assertive and aggressive at the start but that will be tough. Ali Jennings is out this week after an ankle injury that led to an early exit against Purdue. While on the other side of the ball, the Hokies defense showed improvements but it’s still struggling with stopping the rushing attack.

“What I see from Rutgers is the outside zone,” said Hokies linebacker Alan Tisdale. “They have some good backs, they both run hard so we’ll have to stop that. Really both weeks they hit us with the outside zone so I’ll be anticipating that.”

It’s still early in the week, but a handful of guys are questionable for Saturday including wide receiver Jaylin Lane, specialist Cole Beck, and quarterback Grant Wells. With that, the coaching staff is confident in what Kyron Drones can bring should they need him to play a full game. Kickoff at Rutgers is set for 3:30 on Saturday in Piscataway, New Jersey.

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.