Last year was a rough one for Virginia Tech. The Hokies barely qualified for a bowl game, defeating Marshall on Dec. 1 in a makeup game for a hurricane-related cancellation against East Carolina earlier in the season.

The Hokies lost that bowl game to Cincinnati, finishing the year with a disappointing 6-7 overall record.

This week, Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported that a small group of Hokies actually tried to lose the game against Marshall so they wouldn’t have to go to a bowl game. Per Dellenger, the players didn’t want to undergo more practices before entering the offseason:

Do not catch a touchdown. If you catch a touchdown, I’m going to have to fight you.

Tre Turner’s own Virginia Tech teammates encouraged him and other players to concede the Hokies’ Dec. 1 game against Marshall last year, a game that determined if the season would extend to a bowl trip. As unbelievable as they are, these quotes are real, says Turner and other Tech players.

I really hope we lose.

The comments came from the mouths of a small group of players no longer on the team, guys who meant to cripple their own squad just hours before the regular season finale.

It didn’t work, as the Hokies beat Marshall 41-20, but it says a lot about the state of the Virginia Tech program. The Hokies had 14 players in the transfer portal at one point and in the last 16 months, they’ve lost 22 players total.

Will things be different this fall? The Hokies return some talent and have apparently lost the troublemakers, but it’ll be an important year for Fuente in Blacksburg.