Hokies wrap up NYC festivities on eve of Pinstripe Bowl

Even the Empire State Building was lit up in Hokies’ Maroon and Orange.
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 9:57 PM EST
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NEW YORK (WDBJ) - The Hokies’ Tuesday started with brunch in Central Park, followed by the team’s first walkthrough at Yankee Stadium and it ended with a virtual ringing of the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Even the Empire State Building was lit up in Hokies’ Maroon and Orange and Maryland Red and Gold to commemorate the game.

Interim coach J.C. Price said it’s been one of the better bowl game experiences he’s had as a coach and he’s looking to wrap up his final stretch as the Hokies’ head man with a ‘W.’

A Pinstripe Bowl win against Maryland would give Price a 2-1 record as head coach after taking over for Justin Fuente. But win or lose, he says he’s gained a greater appreciation for the job since taking over.

“I definitely will leave this and go back to the D-Line coach with a greater understanding that there’s a difference between making suggestions and decisions,” he said at Tuesday’s press conference. “I mean, from the smallest detail, down to what socks you’re going to wear for the game. All the little intimate details that, as a position coach, I didn’t realize the head coach was really even involved in. I’ll have a greater appreciation for the time and effort the head coach takes in for every aspect of the program.”

With receiver Da’Wain Lofton and defensive back Brion Murray still game-time decisions to play Wednesday, Price admits there will be a number of new faces taking the field against Maryland, particularly on special teams.

“In a lot of ways, this is a preview for next year’s football team,” he said. “Offense and defense, I think it’s been a little bit blown out of proportion. The depth is something you are concerned about, but I think where you are really going to see the young guys play are going to be on special teams.

“The one thing Coach Shibest has always done is he has routinely met with and coached four, five guys deep at times in meetings, and now we’re going to be able to reap the benefits of his foresight doing that because the guys that were fifth on the depth chart in August are going to be out there playing for us tomorrow.”

Connor Blumrick, who will start at quarterback, attempted just 16 passes in five games this season, but Price says the Hokies offense shouldn’t change too drastically without Braxton Burmeister under center.

“I don’t think the offense is going to look any different than it would if Braxton was there,” said Price. “When we had both of those guys, Blumrick was more of the running quarterback, but he can make the throws. The offense will probably be surprised how many times he throws it tomorrow.”

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