The Virginia Tech Hokies improved to 2-3 on the season with a 38-21 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday at Lane Stadium.
Things started fast for the Hokies as quarterback Kyron Drones found wide receiver Da’Quan Felton for a 54-yard touchdown to give Virginia Tech an early 7-0 lead. Unfortunately, Pitt answered when quarterback Phil Jurkovec hit wide receiver Bub Means for a 75-yard strike, and we were all nodded up at 7.
The Hokies didn’t fold, as Drones led an impressive drive, which he capped off with a short touchdown run. Tech led 14-7 and never looked back.
Just before halftime, Drones took the Hokies down the field and hit running back Bhayshul Tuten on a screen pass, and Tuten did the rest, scoring from 12 yards out. It was another long drive for Virginia Tech. On Tech’s final two touchdowns of the first half, head coach Brent Pry went for it on fourth down, and the Hokies converted each time.
The Hokies opened the second half with the football and went three-and-out. Not to worry, as defensive tackle Mario Kendricks and defensive end Antwaun Powell-Ryland converged on Jurkovec for a strip sack, and the Hokies were in business again at the Panthers’ 10-yard line.
On a third-and-goal from the 10-yard line, Drones kept the football and somehow scored from 10 yards out, running through and around defenders to give Tech a 28-7 lead.
Pitt answered as running back C’Bo Flemister took a Jurkovec screen pass 61 yards to the house, in which he was hit from behind Powell-Ryland and launched forward.
Things looked like they might unravel from there as Drones dropped back under heavy pressure and fumbled inside his five-yard line. Pittsburgh linebacker Braylan Lovelace picked it up for the easy touchdown, and suddenly, it was a one-score game.
After punts by both teams, Drones calmed everyone down as he found wide receiver Jaylin Lane for a 53-yard touchdown to put the Hokies back up by 14. Drones was under heavy pressure on the play.
Tech forced another punt, and the Hokies would begin their next possession from their eight-yard line. Virginia Tech would possess the ball for the next eight minutes and 57 seconds, ending it with a John Love field goal, which ended the scoring for the night.
Drones would account for all five Virginia Tech touchdowns, with three touchdown passes and two TD runs. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 228 yards to win his first collegiate start. He also rushed for 41 yards. His only mistake was the fumble that led to the Panthers’ touchdown.
Tuten also had a terrific game, rushing for 109 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt. He also had two receptions for 24 yards, including a touchdown.
Tech’s defense was much better against Pitt, holding the Panthers to 273 total yards, 136 of which came on two plays.
While Pitt is down this year, the Hokies won a game they should win — and did it decisively. It’s something to build from.
Next up is the Florida State Seminoles. Yes, that seems impossible for the Hokies, but this was certainly a big win for Tech.
Shoutout to the fans for showing up like they always do.