It wasn’t Virginia Tech’s best effort, but the #15 Hokies out-talented Austin Peay en route to a 42-7 win in Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Tech is now 2-0 on the season heading into next weekend’s matchup at Pitt.
It was sloppy game offensively for the Hokies. J.C. Coleman fumbled on Tech’s first play from scrimmage. A pair of high shotgun snaps netted -19 rushing yards to open the second half. In between, there were several dropped passes, a high throw from Logan Thomas to an open Marcus Davis, and inconsistent blocking up front.
Marcus Davis led the Hokies in rushing with 48 yards on two carries on reverses. Tech spread the ball out amongst their running backs.
Michael Holmes – 9 carries, 40 yards, 2 TD’s
Martin Scales – 6 carries, 36 yards
J.C. Coleman – 6 carries, 29 yards
Tony Gregory – 5 carries, 28 yards, 1 TD
Demitri Knowles also added 21 yards on two end arounds. The Hokies netted 187 yards on the ground and averaged 4.9 yards per carry, despite the 19 yards lost on bad snaps to open the third quarter.
Logan Thomas was 15-of-23 for 212 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He threw touchdown passes to Corey Fuller and Randall Dunn. Mark Leal didn’t get as much work as anticipated, but he finished 3-of-3 for 20 yards.
Dyrell Robert led the Hokies with five catches for 50 yards, though he also dropped what would have been a big play over the middle. Randall Dunn finished with three receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown. Corey Fuller (two catches, 44 yards, 1 TD) and Marcus Davis (2 catches, 34 yards) also contributed in the passing game.
Joshua Stanford (1 catch, 9 yards) and Kevin Asante (1 catch, 1 yard) each caught their first career pass in their first career game.
The Tech offense put up 419 yards on the day, not good considering Western Kentucky ripped off 596 against Austin Peay last week. However, the Hokies were 7-of-13 on third downs and scored five touchdowns in six redzone opportunities.
Special teams were a big factor, in a positive way. Tony Gregory blocked a punt, and a 46 yard punt return by Kyshoen Jarrett set up the offense with a short field, which enabled the Hokies to score their first touchdown of the game. True freshman A.J. Hughes averaged 44 yards on 5 punts, with a long of 53 yards. Except for one dropped snap against Georgia Tech, he appears to be the consistent punter that Frank Beamer has been searching for.
The Virginia Tech defense held Austin Peay to 221 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jake Ryan was just 8-of-21 for 62 yards, with two interceptions. Kyle Fuller recorded his second interception in as many games, while true freshman Donaldven Manning picked off the first pass of his career.
Jack Tyler paced the defense with eight tackles. Tyrel Wilson added a sack, while r-freshman Dadi Nicolas had 1.5 tackles for loss despite only practicing with the team for a little under a week before the Georgia Tech game.
Virginia Tech returns to action next Saturday when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the struggling Panthers, who have their third head coach in the same number of years. Kickoff is scheduled for noon, and the game will be televised by either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.