What to See: Virginia Tech Football at Old Dominion

Pry’s first game, 757 and more

9/2/2022 12:35:00 p.m.

After many months of anticipation, it’s finally time for a new head coach. brent lever and the Hokies to officially kick off their 2022 campaign.

Below are a few stories for the Hokie Nation to watch for during tonight’s game between Virginia Tech and Old Dominion at 7 pm ET on ESPNU.

brent leverfirst game of

The most notable story to emerge from the offseason is the hiring of the head coach. brent lever. Pry takes over Virginia Tech’s football program after spending the last eight years at Penn State with James Franklin. Pry is tasked with taking Virginia Tech Football back to its roots, instilling a culture of winning while staying true to tradition. Pry has already become a fan favorite, is heavily involved in the community, participating in the annual cadet vs. civilian snowball fight, attending other Virginia Tech sporting events, and more. While this first game won’t decide his fate, all eyes are on Pry to see how his era at Virginia Tech begins.


Virginia Tech has seen a carousel of quarterbacks in recent seasons, with a different starter in Week 1 for the past five years. The same applies to the 2022 season, with the transfer of Marshall grant wells. On August 17 it was announced that grant wells won the starting job and will lead Virginia Tech’s offense, led by offensive coordinator Tyler Bowens. The redshirt junior comes to Blacksburg after 5,626 yards and 34 touchdowns with the Thundering Herd. Wells has been one of the most productive passers in college football for the past two years, and he was recognized for that in 2020 when he became the first freshman to be named to the All-Conference USA first team. The gunslinger will be looking to bring stability to the quarterback room and that starts Friday night at Norfolk.

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The return of the lunch box

An iconic symbol in Virginia Tech football returns in 2022. Pry’s goal is to bring Virginia Tech Football back to its core, and he took a step in that direction by bringing back the Lunch Pail. The Lunch Pail was introduced by legendary defensive coordinator Bud Foster in 1995 and has been a staple of the program ever since. Since its introduction, Foster’s defense ranked in the top ten nationally 11 times through 2013.

The Lunch Pail is nothing new to Pry, having been a graduate assistant to Foster from 1995 to 1997. Pry said it left a lasting impression on him and that he always wanted his defensive unit to incorporate the traits of a lunch pail defense from Virginia Tech. The Lunch Pail is a symbol of hard work and toughness, representing not only the defense, but also the people of Southwest Virginia, and will be welcomed with open arms this season. Fifth-year defensive back and team captain jacket conner He was recently given the honor of bringing the Lunch Pail to the field, beginning with tonight’s game.

The ODU-Tech connection

A group of now Hokies will return to Norfolk, a place where they called their turf before transitioning to Blacksburg. That team involves receivers coach Fontel Mines (2021), Senior Director of Strength and Conditioning dwight galt (2019-21) and assistant director of player involvement Joe Joe Headen (2017-21), who actually played in all three Tech-ODU games at cornerback for the Monarchs. ODU head coach Ricky Rahne also has ties to Pry, and the two work together as offensive and defensive coordinators at Penn State. Pry has also worked with other Penn State staff members who also came with Rahne to Norfolk. Lastly, ODU tight ends coach Justin Harper was a standout receiver for the Hokies from 2004-07.

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Another of Pry’s goals as head coach is to focus on recruiting within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Some of the Hokies’ most acclaimed players (Michael Vick, Bruce Smith, Tyrod Taylor) hail from Virginia. Another thing all of these players have in common is that they are all proud natives of 757 (area code for the Hampton Roads metropolitan area). Area 757 has been known to develop high-quality players over the years, and a dominant performance on Friday can certainly help Tech in that regard to attract the area’s best recruits.

History is on your side

Heading into this game, Tech has history on his side, going 89-38-1 in the season opener. While they are 56-64-6 when they open a season away from home, the Hokies are 63-40-5 against opponents Virginia FBS. This will be the first time since 2016 that Tech has started against a team from Virginia, defeating Liberty 36-13 at home. The last time the Hokies started a season on the road at Virginia was in 1982 when they beat Richmond 20-9.

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