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Ricky Thinks It's Doubtful This VT Team Makes NCAA Tournament

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech)
Sean Pedulla (left) and Nahiem Alleyne

I’ve never been very good at easing into tough topics. Ask my editor, the wise and thoughtful Dave, and he will tell you the same thing. Too often, my ledes hit the reader over the head with a giant mallet rather than leading them to the topic I’d like to discuss.

So, the above paragraph is my latest attempt to lead my audience to an uncomfortable truth that I’m writing about today — Virginia Tech men's basketball is probably not going to make the NCAA Tournament this season.

At 10-8 with just two ACC wins, the Hokies are all but dead in the water. Barring a sudden turnaround from multiple players, we have learned exactly who the Hokies are this season — a below-average Power 5 team.

I honestly can’t believe I’m writing this with 13 games left on the schedule, but I’ve seen enough. Virginia Tech does not look like they're going to accomplish their goal of reaching March Madness.

Even in failure, there is opportunity. So, during these final 13 games, here’s what I’m hoping to see from the Hokies.

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Brent Pry Gets It. He Showed That Today On The Drillfield...

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech)

So much of hiring the right college football coach comes down to “fit”.

There’s no concrete definition of what that means, but you know exactly what I mean when I write that. Bostonian Brian Kelly is an awful fit at LSU, but the Tigers’ athletic department hired him anyway. Shane Beamer was a great fit at South Carolina, and the Gamecocks looked competent for the first time in years this season.

In sports, fit matters. It matters more so in college athletics, which is why it was critical for Whit Babcock to find someone who fit in Blacksburg. Not just anybody can be a head football coach at Virginia Tech.

We just finished learning that lesson in earnest.

Enter Brent Pry, who in the span of just a few days seems to have confirmed that he is the right fit at Virginia Tech.

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He's Back! And Ricky Has A Few Resolutions To Share...

First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed your holiday season. Christmas and New Year’s are important holidays on the calendar for my family, and it almost always means a trip west to see Father LaBlue on his Tennessee farm.

After my return, I, like many of you, watched Virginia Tech get demolished on national television. And to make matters worse, the ACC Network replayed the Hokies’ abomination for the few freaks who get off on bad football.

But all that is in the past now. As the calendar turns, so does Brent Pry and Virginia Tech.

I imagine that nothing is going to be the same. Did Justin Fuente ever tweet out a rallying cry to the fanbase after an abysmal performance? Did the Hokies ever walk up to a premier Power 5 program and take one of their best coaching assistants?

I didn’t think so.

So with a new year and a new coaching staff comes new resolutions for the Virginia Tech football program. Here are my recommendations:

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Here's To Fresh Starts As We All Get Ready For 2022...

December has arrived, which means the year that was 2021 is coming to a close.

But before it does, two new eras are beginning.

First and foremost, I have mostly completed the process of moving into a new apartment. Getting ready for and actually moving my belongings into my new place has taken up most of my free time over the last week-plus, which has led to my hiatus from Thankfully, Emperor Scarangella has held down the fort quite nicely with some engaging content.

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech)

And of little concern to anyone reading this, Virginia Tech settled on their next head coach — former Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry.

Pry has spent the last week doing many things, perhaps being even more busy than I have been. He’s attended two Virginia Tech basketball games, met with most of the Virginia Tech athletic department, held a press conference, taken at least one trip back to State College, Pa. and started recruiting players to his new home.

Along with my busy schedule, I also wanted to take a couple of days before I gave my initial reaction to Pry’s hire. I was a bit confused at first — one of Whit Babcock’s biggest criteria for Justin Fuente’s replacement was that the candidate had to have head coaching experience. Pry has none, though his resume is certainly worthy of the job.

As I listened to Pry’s press conference and the other public appearances he’s made, I became convinced that Babcock couldn’t have found a better fit for the position.

It helps that Pry’s background helped to groom him for this moment. Pry worked as a graduate assistant with Frank Beamer, Bud Foster and Co. back in 1995, which just so happened to be the year JC Price and the Hokies earned a landmark Sugar Bowl win. Pry gritted his teeth for the next decade-plus before landing at Penn State with his old boss James Franklin.

In Happy Valley, Pry’s defenses were outstanding. He recruited and developed players, a critical combo when it comes to college football.

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Hokies Showed Heart, But Miami Showed Superior Talent...

Virginia Tech’s 38-26 loss to Miami was disappointing in many ways, as it would have been nice for interim head coach JC Price to earn a win in his debut.

But it wasn’t in the cards.

The Hokies were outmatched on the field Saturday night, and Tech’s loss confirmed what many already suspected — that there is a talent gap between Virginia Tech and some of the better teams in the ACC.

As a disclaimer, I am fully aware the ‘Canes are now 6-5 and have already lost three games to ACC opponents this season. But if you watched Saturday night, you saw the kind of talent Miami still has on the roster.

You saw what sets them apart.

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JC Price Has Waited His Entire Life For These Next 2 Weeks

Momma always said there would be days like these.

As it turns out, so did the owner of this site. Dave insightfully touched on Virginia Tech’s divorce with Justin Fuente on Tuesday, reminding everyone that if you thought the last few months were weird, you’ve seen nothing yet.

As the whirlwinds gain strength and throw the Hokie fanbase into confusion and uncertainty, I’ll be doing my best to appreciate how amazing the next two weeks will be for a special Hokie.

JC Price’s career at Virginia Tech coincided with the program’s ascendance to the pinnacle of college football. Every Hokie fan knows the importance of the 1995 team and how that season catapulted Virginia Tech into the Michael Vick era. JC Price wasn’t just a captain on that 1995 team, but also a third-team All-American.

If anyone understands where Virginia Tech should be as a football program, it’s Price. If anyone understands what it’s going to take to return to that level, it is also Price.

Price now has the opportunity of a lifetime — coach the football team he used to play for at the university he graduated from.

Price is a Hokie to his core. He was made for this moment.

All the legwork he put in to get here has paid off. All those years Price spent at Marshall, gritting his teeth as a Division I assistant coach are coming to fruition. It’s not like Price’s defensive units were struggling there either — Marshall led the nation in scoring defense in 2020 and the Thundering Herd won a Conference USA title in 2014. Price’ defensive front played a crucial part in those accomplishments.

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After Everything That's Transpired, Hokies Deserved It

TyJuan Garbutt said it best as he walked away from the podium.

“I can’t stop smiling, man.”

Virginia Tech’s 48-17 drubbing of Duke was a cathartic experience for everyone involved. It was an excision of frustration and disappointment that has plagued the Hokies for weeks, if not years.

Duke was outmatched from the start and even if starting quarterback Gunnar Holmberg was healthy, it wouldn’t have made a difference. The Blue Devils just weren’t on par with Virginia Tech, a phrase not often used to describe the Hokies’ opponents this season.

On a Senior Day with more than 20 players playing in likely their final game at Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech did what they used to do to lowly opponents. The Hokies’ defense dominated the line of scrimmage and stifled Duke’s few offensive weapons. The offense took advantage of a great matchup, scoring 48 points and racking up 573 yards, both season highs.

Raheem Blackshear exploded for 157 total yards and two touchdowns. Keshawn King emerged from the bottom of the depth chart to add 137 total yards and two scores. Braxton Burmeister battled through injury once again and threw three touchdown passes.

Tech’s performance was a needed one — a deserved reward for the players that have battled through this trying season.

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Senior Day Lineup Suggests Big Changes In 2022 Roster

Virginia Tech’s potential coaching change at the end of the season may end up being just one component of possible turnover facing the program this offseason.

The Athletic’s Andy Bitter revealed the list of players participating in Senior Day ceremonies today and boy, is this roster in for some serious turnover.

Here are the players who are set to be a part of Senior Day ceremonies Saturday — Amare Barno, Cole Blaker, Chamarri Conner, Tae Daley, Drake DeIuliis, Silas Dzansi, Changa Hodge, Brock Hoffman, Keondre Ko, James Mitchell, John Parker Romo, Austin Rosa, Oscar Shadley, Lecitus Smith, Tyrell Smith, Nadir Thompson, Tre Turner, Jermaine Waller, Jordan Williams and Johnny Jordan.

Excluding walk-ons, Virginia Tech has 17 players participating in Senior Day festivities, and many of these players are starters. While there’s no guarantee that participating in Senior Day means that a player is not coming back, it’s usually a good indicator that the player intends to either attempt to go to the NFL, possibly transfer to another school, or otherwise not be a part of the team next season.

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A Week Ago, Hokies Looked Promising. Now, Not So Much...

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech Athletics)
Nasir Peoples Makes A Stop In 17-3 Loss To Boston College

Following Virginia Tech’s win over Georgia Tech last weekend, I came away thinking the Hokies’ coaches and players hadn’t given up, and were close to playing competitive football for the remainder of the season.

Following last night’s loss to Boston College, I have now come away thinking just the opposite.

I spent the remainder of Friday night and early portions of Saturday morning wondering if I was exaggerating. How can a team go from borderline competence to borderline craziness in the span of six days?

But the more I thought about it, the more I felt convinced the situation in Blacksburg is getting out of hand. Allow me to explain.


An offense shouldn’t be completely beheaded when the starting quarterback goes out with an injury. Nobody was expecting the Hokies’ offense to light up the scoreboard when Braxton Burmeister left in the first quarter with a suspected rib injury, but the Hokies’ offense should have at least looked like a college offense.

It didn’t.

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VT Football Has Its Issues, But Quitting Isn't One Of Them

Virginia Tech football has many issues, but quitting is definitely not among them.

The Hokies’ rebound from their three-game skid Saturday wasn’t pretty — Virginia Tech failed to put Georgia Tech away on several occasions and settled for five field goal attempts, three of which came from the red zone. Regardless, the Hokies prevailed, and for at least a week, the smell of victory wafts through the Merryman Athletic Center.

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech Athletics)
Tre Turner Caught 7 Passes For 187 Yards, TD

I could sit here and poke holes in the Hokies’ 26-17 victory all day long. If Virginia Tech wasn’t 4-4 and worried about bigger problems come seasons’ end, I probably would. But for today, I'm just going to enjoy the win.

Even though the Hokies settled for five field goals, Virginia Tech’s offensive performance was one of the best we’ve seen this year. Braxton Burmeister completed multiple throws downfield to stretch Georgia Tech’s defense to the brink. Tre Turner had a career day, catching seven passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. Malachi Thomas validated his breakout performance against Syracuse, running for 103 yards against the Yellow Jackets.

In total, Tech amassed 491 yards of offense, 237 of which came on the ground. Raheem Blackshear joined the party with 83 rushing yards of his own. Burmeister chipped in 46.

Virginia Tech went 9-19 on third down and dominated the time of possession battle by 11 minutes. By this season’s standard, the Hokies’ performance on Saturday was incredibly productive.

On the other side of the ball, the Hokies’ defense held up their end of the bargain. They pushed Jeff Sims into two turnovers and held Georgia Tech to just 3-12 on third-down attempts. Even better, the Hokies got stops on two of Georgia Tech’s three fourth-down attempts.

One cannot forget John Parker Romo’s performance — four makes with his only miss coming from 53 yards away. After a shaky start, Romo is now 10-13 on field goals and a perfect 22-22 on extra points this year.

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You Know You'll Be Watching, So Here's What To Focus On

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech)
Virginia Tech Running Back Malachi Thomas

Alright, so here’s the deal — nobody could blame you for tuning out tomorrow when Virginia Tech plays Georgia Tech at noon on a Regional Sports Network (MASN for those of you in Loudoun County), which just so happens to create an annoying acronym that rivals the IRS and NSA.

But you know you’re going to watch. As Dave Scarangella has so eloquently explained before, you’re going to keep watching.

Because you’re going continue tuning in to Virginia Tech football, despite their 3-4 record, you might as well have some things to look forward to. Let’s hit on some of them.

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