Virginia Tech Hokies 2023 College Football Preview
July 8, 2023
Record – 3-8
ATS – 4-7
It’s hard to call it a disgrace, because it’s just college football after all, but the Hokies struggled mightily and failed to win four games for the first time since 1992 when they were part of the Big East. At one point they lost seven games in a row but we give them credit for beating a good Liberty team on the road in November to end that skid.
Virginia Tech Hokies 2023 Outlook
The Hokies went nowhere on offense LY and ranked 2nd worst in the ACC in BOTH rushing offense and passing offense. QB Grant Wells was a disappointment (9-9 TD to INT) and he’ll be challenged over the summer by Baylor transfer Kyron Drones who’s an inexperienced dood with some wheels. They’ve gotta reload at RB after losing their top-two and it’s unclear what kind of talent they have in the room. Maybe RB Malachi Thomas can blossom into a dangerous #1 option? The Hokies will be without LY’s only legit threat at WR in Kaleb Smith (674, 18.2, 3 TD) but we love the transfer portal scoops of former Old Dominion WR Ali Jennings and MTSU’s Jaylin Lane. Those two guys are serious playmakers. The offensive line could still be a sore spot due to a lack of depth.
The stop unit was pretty good LY considering the lack of assistance received from the offense (#6 ACC run defense, #8 pass efficiency D). The Hokies retain seven defensive starters but they’ve gotta replace their top-two tacklers including star LB Dax Hollifield (6.5 TFL, 6 PBU LY) as well as #1 sack producer DE TyJuan Garbutt (6.5). Up front, the Hokies are deep at DT but appear to lack PENETRATING ability at DE. FCS transfer Stone Snyder could be just what they need at LB as he was a tackling machine during his time with VMI. Three starters return in the secondary and they’re particularly strong at CB.
PR Tucker Holloway has proven to be a dangerous weapon (21.2, TD LY), William Ross is a reliable PK (8-10 FG LY), and Peter Moore does a fine job in the punting department (41.7, 39.9). It’s also possible that John Love handles the PK duties as he looked good in limited action LY.
Overall – The schedule should definitely lend a helping hand. They’ve got three challenging tests in non-conference action but they’re all winnable (Purdue, at Rutgers, at Marshall). But wait, there’s more good news! The Hokies avoid Clemson and North Carolina in ACC play and get two of their three-toughest ACC games at home (Pitt, NC State).
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Marshall (Sept 23)
The Hokies will likely be a small road favorite in this game and we doubt we’ll be backing them when ACC play is up next (Pitt). Also, be reminded that Marshall is tougher than A NIGHT IN JAIL.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 8
Over 5 -115
Under 5 -115
We’ll be surprised if Virginia Tech can’t find a way to win six games with that schedule. If they only book five wins, you still PUSH IT, PUSH IT REAL GOOD.
All the young SPARKIES out there may not realize that Virginia Tech was once a legit national power. They booked an impossible 11 (!) double-digit winning seasons in a 13-year span from 1999 to 2011.
Count this team as one of many in the murky and mediocre ACC midsection. They don’t look special on offense but they can’t possibly be any worse at QB and on the offensive line than they were in 2022. The defense could surprise to the upside and we love that schedule. Fans should definitely expect a bowl game but it won’t be easy. GOBBLE GOBBLE!