Don’t look now, but the Virginia Tech Hokies are in the mix to represent the ACC in the conference championship game in December after Thursday night’s 38-10 win over the Syracuse Orange in Blacksburg.
With the win, VT improves to 4-4 on the season but is 3-1 in ACC play.
Syracuse was on offense first, and things didn’t go well for the Orange. On their first play from scrimmage, quarterback Garrett Shrader was called for intentional grounding. Syracuse was called for holding on the next play, and the Hokies were off to the races.
The Hokies kicked a field goal on their first possession, and the defense followed with another stop.
On the next drive, Tech quarterback Kyron Drones led a 10-play, 68-yard drive that ended with RB Malachi Thomas throwing a touchdown pass to WR Quan Felton, and it was 10-0.
Tech’s defense kept putting the heat on the Orange, and Drones and the running game continued to move the ball. Kicker John Love kicked two more field goals, giving the Hokies a 16-0 lead.
On the next drive, Drones found Felton on a 62-yard touchdown to give the Hokies a 23-3 lead. It was a six-play, 93-yard drive for Tech.
The Orange finally scored, kicking a field goal. Drones responded, leading another impressive drive, this time six plays for 75 yards, which ended with a Bhayshul Tuten touchdown run. The Hokies entered halftime with a 30-3 lead.
The second half opened with more pressure on Shrader, and Tech ended Syracuse’s first drive with a safety, and it was 32-3. The Orange would finally punch the ball into the end zone, making it 32-10. The Hokies would kick two more field goals, as John Love made all five of his attempts.
Drones finished the game, completing 15 of 24 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 56 yards. Tuten paced the Hokies’ ground attack with 118 yards, with Thomas behind him at 87 yards. Tech rushed for 318 yards as a team and finished with 528 yards of total offense.
VT’s defense was just as dominant, holding the Orange to only 138 total yards, including zero rushing yards, sacking Shrader eight times.
While Florida State sits atop the ACC at 5-0, the Hokies are tied with North Carolina and Louisville for second place at 3-1. The Hokies play Louisville on the road next weekend. The ACC eliminated divisions, so the second-place team will play in the ACC championship.
What a fun night in Blacksburg.