BLACKSBURG, Va. – Handling adversity has become a necessity for a Virginia Tech football team that’s enduring injuries and now back-to-back losses. With that, head coach Brent Pry says it’s imperative the Hokies pull from the positive tendencies they’re showing, despite the losses.
“For just a small portion we were sustaining drives and getting three and outs on defense,” Pry said as he referenced the Hokies loss at Rutgers. “We actually had just some moments there when we were complimenting each other and it allowed us to get back in the game. We have to do that more often.”
While there remains no timeline for the return of transfer wide receiver Ali Jennings, the team is hopeful Grant Wells will be healthy enough to face his former team the Thundering Herd on Saturday. But Kyron Drones is working hard to right his wrongs from his first career start, in what was a 35-16 loss to the Scarlet Knights.
“I felt like my throwing game was pretty good and I can show more of that for the next game and I’ll just keep building from there to show people I’m not just a running-style quarterback,” Drones said.
On the other side of the ball, there stands another tall task for the defense that will face some talented Marshall skill players.
“They make a lot of plays, the quarterback is very agile and very athletic,” said Hokies cornerback Dorian Strong as he referenced Marshall starting quarterback Cam Fancher. “He’s a lefty and a good out-of-the-pocket quarterback and so we just have to make sure that down the field coverage so us making sure we’re in our coverage when he breaks the pocket or whatever happens.” Fancher has been more effective through the air but has the capability of breaking off a big run.
Saturday’s game has some emotional ties between Marshall and Virginia Tech. The fatal plane crash that took place on November 14, 1970, carried the Marshall football team and staff. Victims who had connections to Virginia Tech included head coach Rick Tolley and defensive backs coach Frank Loria, who both played in the maroon and orange.
Hokies’ current defensive line coach JC Price spent nearly a decade as an assistant for the Thundering Herd. Head coach Brent Pry’s dad is a Marshall alum and was a quarterback for the Thundering Herd during his days.
Kickoff is set for noon from Huntington.