Ricky Rahne tops Brent Pry in matchup of former James Franklin assistants

·3 min read

It was quite an eventful head coaching debut for former Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry on Friday night. Pry, now the head coach at Virginia Tech, found himself matching wits against his former colleague, Ricky Rahne, as he coached the Hokies on the road against underdog Old Dominion. And after a night on which his assistants were stuck in an elevator long enough to delay the start of the second half and watching his Hokies turn the football over five times, Pry was on the losing end in his head coaching debut. Rahne, on the other hand, celebrated a major win for his program.

Nothing came easily for Pry’s Hokies, but they did own a 17-10 lead going into the fourth quarter. A short field goal by Old Dominion early in the fourth quarter cut the Virginia Tech lead to 17-13 and a one-yard touchdown run with 33 seconds remaining in the game helped deliver Old Dominion to its second biggest win in program history, and both have come against Virginia Tech. The game-winning touchdown was set up by a deep pass two plays prior, putting the Virginia Tech lead in serious jeopardy.

Rahne’s Monarchs were out-gained 340-245 in total offensive yards, but the Hokies turning the football over five times led to 17 Old Dominion points on the scoreboard, including a wild botched field goal snap that was returned for a touchdown by Old Dominion to take a lead in the second quarter.

Old Dominion’s game-winning touchdown also came following a Virginia Tech turnover when Grant Wells was picked off by Ryan Henry on 3rd and 13 at the Old Dominion 41 with 2:58 left to play. Nine plays later, Old Dominion scored the game-winner. A more conservative approach in that situation to keep the ball on the ground and force Old Dominion to burn a timeout before potentially punting the ball away may be armchair quarterbacking a bit, but it will be a decision that will be reviewed by Pry in reviewing the film.

Rahnecontinues to be doing some terrific work for a program that sat out the entire 2020 season in his first year on the job. After starting the 2021 season with a record of 1-6, Old Dominion won five consecutive games to earn bowl eligibility and has now won six of their last seven games going back to last season. And on Friday night, maybe Old Dominion put the rest of the Sun Belt Conference on notice.

Also, obligatory love for Old Dominion’s biggest fan, Hudson. He is a dog that wears crocs!

Rahne replaced Joe Moorhead as Penn State’s offensive coordinator when Moorhead left the Nittany Lions to become the head coach at Mississippi State. Moorhead has since made a stop at Orgeon as the offensive coordinator and is now back to being a head coach again in 2022. Moorhead coached Akron to an overtime victory on Thursday night against Saint Francis, 30-23.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire