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Purdue Football Look Ahead - Week 2 - Virginia Tech

The Boilermakers travel to Blacksburg to face a Virginia Tech team looking to rebound from a 3 win season.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech Hokies - Week 2 Opponent

Schedule Information

Game Day: Saturday, September 9th

Location: Blacksburg, VA - Lane Stadium


Kick Time: 12 PM EST

University Facts

Legal Name: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Location: Blacksburg, VA

Type of School: Land Grant Research University

Founded: 1872

Enrollment: 36,383

Historical Football Facts

Inaugural Season: 1892

Overall Win/Loss/Tie Record: 760-486-46

Conference Affiliations:

SAIAA (South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) - 1912-1921

SoCon (Southern Conference) - 1922-1964

Independent - 1965-1990

Big East - 1991-2003

ACC - 2003 - ?

Conference Championships: 11 (3 SAIAA, 1 SoCon, 3 Big East, 4 ACC)

Bowl Record: 13-21

Seasons Ranked in Final AP Poll: 20

Most Recent Appearance in Final AP Poll: 2017

Notable Former Athletes

Frank Beamer - Football

Dell Curry - Basketball

Mike Vick - Football

Terrell and Tremaine Edmunds - Football

Kendall and Kyle Fuller - Football

Bruce Smith - Football

Angela Tincher - Softball

2022 Season Facts

Head Coach: Brent Pry

Overall Record: 3-8

Conference Record: 1-6

Points Per Game: 19.3

Points Against Per Game: 24.7

Highest Ranking: Lol

Best Win: @ Liberty (23-22)

Worst Loss: @ Old Dominion (17-20)

Post Season: Lol

Brent Pry Information

Head Coaching Experience: 1 Season

Career Record: 3-8

Bowl Record: 0-0

Awards: None

Best Finish: 3-8

2023 Preview

Key Losses From 2022


Keshawn King - RB

King led Virginia Tech in rushing last season, but that was more a function of Tech being awful. It’s not often you see a back with 74 carries, 443 yards and 1 touchdown lead the way but King did just that. He was serviceable but not much more that.

Kaleb Smith - WR

Much like King, Smith led the Hokies in receiving because someone had to lead the Hokies in receiving. He was a solid deep threat, averaging 18.2 yards a reception. At the same time, he only caught 37 passes and found the endzone 3 times. Not exactly Randy Moss.


Dax Hollifield - LB

It seem like Hollifield played college football for 8 seasons. He finished 8th the ACC in career tackles, but that’s a little misleading because he played an entire extra season. All-in-All, the former 4* recruit had a solid, but unspectacular career. Last season he led the Hokies with 82 tackles. He also contributed 6.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks over 11 games. They’ll miss his leadership and experience, but everything else replaceable.

Chamari Conner - S

Like Hollifield, Conner played 5 years in Blacksburg. A solid tackler from the safety position, he is 10th all-time in tackles at Tech (for the same reason Hollifield is 8th in the ACC). He was second in tackles in 2022 with 67 stops, 2 of those were for a loss. He also defended 2 passes. Again, they’ll miss his experience but should be able to replace or improve upon his production.

TyJuan Garbutt - DE

Out of these 3, Garbutt may be the biggest loss. When healthy, he was a disruptive force off the edge, putting up a 29 tackles, and a team leading 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 9 games. On a defense bereft of playmakers, Garbutt brought some juice to the Hokies pass rush. The good news for Va Tech is his 5 season career was plagued with injuries. They’re familiar with him not being on the field.

Key Additions For 2023


Kyron Drones - QB

Drones, a transfer from Baylor, should push incumbent starting quarterback Grant Wells in fall camp. Drones, a 4* recruit and Elite 11 Finalist, redshirted in 2021 and appeared in 5 games for the Bears last season, throwing for 219 yards, completing 14/23 attempts. He threw 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He also ran the ball 8 times for 49 yards and 2 touchdowns.

At 6’2”, 225, brings size, speed and athleticism to Virginia Tech. He has a live arm but struggles to calibrate it. The ball comes out hot, even when it doesn’t need to come out hot. His receivers drop passes, and it’s not their fault sometimes. He reminds me a little of Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton. He doesn’t have the same level of cannon strapped to his right arm (few do) but he can sling it down the field. He still needs to figure out when to throw the fast ball and when to take a little off and throw a catchable ball. If he develops that part of his game, he’s got pro upside.

I think you’ll see Well and Drones both play, which could make for a tricky game plan. Well’s brings experience and passing, Drones brings running ability and a high upside. If you see Drones in the game expect QB runs and play action deep shots.

Ali Jennings - WR

Jennings transferred in from Old Dominion. Yes, the same Old Dominion that upset Tech in the 2022 season opener. In fact, he torched the Hokie secondary, pulling in 5 catches for 122 yards. He battled injuries late in the season, but he’s an immediate improvement over anyone the Hokies had in the wide receiver room last season. When healthy, he was one of the most productive receivers in the nation, pulling down 54 catches for 959 yards and 9 touchdowns. The 6’2”, 200 pound receiver averaged a robust 17.8 yards per receptions. He easily cracks 1000 yards for the second season in a row if he didn’t suffer a season ending injury against Marshall.

Jennings is a fast, physical outside receiver and should eventually play in the NFL. He’ll be a challenge for the Boilermaker secondary.

Xavier Chaplin - LT

After redshirting as a true freshman, the massive 6’5, 330 pound tackle out of Whale Branch High School in Seabrook, South Carolina should give the offensive line an improved punch.

He spent his redshirt season getting in shape and dropping weight after being listed at 355 as a recruit. He’ll be tough to run through, but could struggle with speed off the edge. Either way, if he gets his hands on a defender, it’s all over. I’d suggest Purdue defenders run around him and not try to run through him.


Derrick Canteen - DB

Canteen was an impact player at Georgia Southern last season. He recorded 64 tackles, 1 interception and 12 pass break ups. As a freshman in 2020 he pulled down 6 interceptions, showing his potential as a game changer. The 5’11’, 190 pound corner was considered a 4* transfer.

This is a step up in competition, but he’s more dynamic than anyone in the Hokie secondary last season. Expect to see him line up at the nickel back position when Tech goes to their nickel package.

Antwaun Powell-Ryland - DE

The Florida transfer and Portsmouth, Virginia native returned home after appearing in 13 games and starting 5 for the Gators. The former 4* recruit didn’t quite live up to his advanced billing in Gainesville but finished the season on a tear, picking up 5.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks in his last 5 games of the regular season. He also forced 3 fumbles.

The 6’3”, 255 pound edge should bring a nice combination of speed and power to Virginia Tech defense woefully short on both last season.


When you see Virginia Tech on the schedule, you anticipate a tough game, then you realize Frank Beamer retired in 2015, and after a hot start to his career, his replacement Justin Fuente imploded in a spectacular manner. I’m talking super nova implosion folks. Pry walked into a tough situation in 2022, and didn’t give the Hokie faithful much to feel good about.

The offense was brutal and the defense, a Pry specialty was average at best. Pry needs a bounce back season if the doesn’t want to start year 3 on the hot seat. Tech fans are used to winning football games and won’t tolerate whatever it was that Tech put on the field last season. An early season home game against a rebuilding Big10 team feels like a must win for Pry. I’ll expect that level of intensity and desperation from Virginia Tech.