Virginia Tech Falls In First Road Test Of 2023 At Rutgers, 35-16

Kyron Drones and Virginia Tech couldn’t find consistency against Rutgers on Saturday. (Ivan Morozov)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — A Virginia Tech fumble on the second play from scrimmage set the tone for Saturday’s game in SHI Stadium, and though the Hokies pulled within a score in the fourth quarter, Rutgers held them off, 35-16.

Tech (1-2) botched an exchange between quarterback Kyron Drones and Running back Bhayshul Tuten just 30 seconds into the game, which the Scarlet Knights (3-0) recovered and immediately turned into points. Running back Kyle Monangai, who finished with 143 yards, scampered around the edge, avoiding a few Hokie tacklers on his 19-yard score.

However, Tech hung around and had chances. Drones, starting for the injured Grant Wells, helped put the offense in field goal range on the third drive, but John Love’s 36-yard attempt sailed wide left. Love had a second chance three minutes later and drilled a 30-yarder, though.

Rutgers extended its lead to 10-3 after three consecutive three-and-outs when quarterback Gavin Wimsatt kept it for a 34-yard score in the second quarter. Along with Monangai’s early rush, it was one of two big plays Tech allowed in the first half.

A few possessions after a Drones interception, where tight end Benji Gosnell and wide receiver Da’Quan Felton ran into each other, punter Peter Moore had a miskick that rolled just 13 yards, setting up a final Rutgers drive at the end of the first half. Wimsatt capped off the drive with a four-yard pass to Christian Dremel, giving the Scarlet Knights a 21-3 lead at intermission.

Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt led the Rutgers offense on the ground, which Virginia Tech struggled to stop. (Ivan Morozov)

Tech came out with some fire in the second half, and Drones hit Felton on a 39-yard strike, the second-longest play of the season from scrimmage, which injected some life into the team with 14:18 remaining. The Hokies scored on their next drive, too, a one-yard rush from Tuten, the Paulsboro, N.J., native. They were stopped on the two-point conversion, leaving the score at 21-16.

Tech wasn’t back in the game for long, though. Monangai scored for the second time on a 55-yard run down the Rutgers sideline, a huge response. And Greg Schiano’s crew put the hammer down a few minutes later when Monangai punched it in from 12 yards, the icing on the cake in a 35-16 game.

Unlike the previous week vs. Purdue, Tech eclipsed 100 yards on the ground, finishing with 129 yards on 39 carries (3.3 average). Drones had a solid first start for the Hokies as well, throwing for 190 yards (19-of-32) and rushing for 74 (on 22 attempts).

Surprisingly, Tech outgained Rutgers by 17 yards, 319 to 302, and won the time of possession battle, 33:47 to 26:13. The defense held the Scarlet Knights to just 46 yards through the air, too. However, Rutgers’ 256 yards on the ground was the second-most allowed in the Brent Pry era, only behind last season’s debacle at Pitt (326 yards).

The Hokies travel to Marshall (2-0) on Saturday, Sept. 23 for a noon ET kickoff on ESPN2. Virginia Tech has won the last nine against the Thundering Herd.

Box Score: Rutgers 35, Virginia Tech 16

42 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I was at the game with my family. How does a coach with experience as a defensive coordinator allow a team to bunch up the way they did at the line of scrimmage thus enabling a long touchdown run off left tackle , and not having a defensive player anywhere in the vicinity of the ball carrier?This is one badly coached football team.

  2. Well, I’m going to have to differ with most of the commenters here. I think Tech showed some improvement, today, and I think Rutgers is a much better team than what we may have been led to believe. After watching the highlights of the Rutgers game with Temple last week, I was really concerned with the Rutgers run game. Other than a couple of big runs, I thought Tech’s run defense played much better than have earlier this year. Rutgers has a very effective blocking scheme for the run game. You can see why they run so well.

    I also thought Kyron Drones showed that he’s going to be a good quarterback in the future. He’s effective throwing the ball, although his long passes are usually a little too long. Considering this was his first start and extensive playing time, he should only get better from here on out. I think Tech’s improvement reflects a coaching staff that’s trying to get better.

    The problem is that the ACC is a much stronger football conference. Clemson is no longer at the top, you now have Duke and Miami in addition to FSU, not to mention North Carolina and now Syracuse and Louisville. Boston College isn’t the cakewalk that it was last year, and there’s still Wake Forest and NC State. I want to give this coaching staff some time and see what kind of improvement they can make. To me, that’s what makes college football so interesting and fun to watch.

    1. I’m disappointed like everyone else with the result of yesterday’s game. But I generally agree with you. I like Pry a lot. We simply have a very big hole to crawl out of, and I’m not sold on the OC. Drones showed some promise; I’d like to see him get more reps.

    1. Yep, amazes me how these coaches who have been around football their whole lives do not understand that you should not chase points at the beginning of the 4th Qtr. Didn’t matter in the end but maybe it did? Sure seemed to kill the momentum we had.

        1. Not sure the thought process, going for 2 (90% of the time) is chasing points to tie the game. This says to me the coaches felt that 21 was all we were going to get so better get within a FG? It was still 3rd quarter.

        2. 43% probability vs 95%. You take the guaranteed point because there is still a lot game to be played and point combinations where not having that 1 point can hurt you more than having 1 pt extra. Understand now?

  3. Pry needs to stop punting on 4th and 1. You’re gonna be an underdog a lot this year and need to be aggressive all the time if you want to steal some wins.

  4. It’s actually funny that Chris, Andy, et. al where talking on the Thursday podcast about how critical this game was, if the Hokies hoped to make a bowl game this year….

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!! REALLY!?!!!

    1. I’m more crying than laughing but I feel you. At this point, the only winnable game remaining is against the ‘Hoos.

  5. I made a small contribution to the ladies basketball program and softball program. I have 0 interest in our football program. The more money they spend the worse the program gets. Following in the steps of our federal government in DC it seems.

    1. Happy to see this will be your last post on the forum. We will see you back during basketball and softball season. Go Hokies!

  6. There’s no such thing as a “time of possession battle”, no one cares, especially not the coaches. Score points and keep the other team from scoring. So we didn’t win jack shit.

  7. I hope we have some better D-line talent in the pipeline. We have no pass rush at all and these guys are all upper classmen.

  8. The title of the article should read “FAILS” not “FALLS”- what an embarrassment. We looked like a high school team against a very average Rutgers’ team by the end of the game. Sad times for HOKIE NATION.

  9. At least VT doesn’t have to play Miami, Clemson, UNC, and Notre Dame. FSU will be ugly.

    Surely there are some victories in the middle and lower tier conference matches. Aha, UVA should be close. Two wins!

  10. I stopped watching the games live a few years back. I only watch the replays if we win. I get no joy from watching us lose and play like poorly coached crap. I’d rather watch other teams play. The level of football we play doesn’t resemble anything other teams play. I like to fondly remember what it was like to have a competitive team that wasn’t a complete embarrassment. I’m 53. I hope I live long enough for that to occur.

    1. Ha! I do the same thing. Record and watch if we win. It’s just painful but still not gonna bad mouth 19 and 20 year old kids playing their tails off. These knobs on blogs, message boards and yes – HERE – trashing players should keep their traps shut.

      1. Amen. Bandwagoners! Betting that the I’m-through-with-Hokie-football crowd contributes little but their disapproval.

    2. Tape and Trash – I went to the ODU game and might go to another. But, in general it is not enjoyable for me to watch the Hokies live anymore. So, like you, I tape – watch a win, trash a loss. More enjoyable way to live for me.

      Over under on wins is 3. Who thinks we can win 4? Discouraging.

      “Rutgers extended its lead to 10-3 after three consecutive three-and-outs when quarterback Gavin Wimsatt kept it for a 34-yard score” Typo?

  11. For long periods of time during both the Purdue and Rutgers games, it seriously looks like the players haven’t even practiced together as offensive and defensive units. It’s like groundhog day and 2023 is a replica of 2022. There’s just too much to fix right now, so getting the next win might come in late October or early November. Always a Hokie, even though the excitement for 2023 quickly diminished….

  12. Didn’t watch the game, knew what the eventual outcome would be. A golf buddy, a Rutgers grad, wanted to bet. Told him he had to give me 17, he wouldn’t take it. Most people don’t realize how far we have fallen. It’s sad, but I don’t see any hope. You can’t convince me our player talent is this much worse than duke.

    1. Our coaching talent is much worse than Duke’s. Our OL talent is much worse than Duke’s
      Our D-Line talent is much worse than Duke’s
      A really good creative coaching staff could get more out of the talent. We don’t have that.

      1. Don’t know about the O line. They’re young but the veterans seem to have regressed. I think we have better talent than the teams we’ve played so far, so to me it the coaching, or lack there of. That said, today’s loss is on Marve. The O actually showed some life today and I’m not a Bowen fan. Our run defense was and has been horrendous.

    2. general player talent not worse imo (QB is however). experience is in many areas but the biggest difference (imo) is Duke has 2 experienced coordinators while we paid a ton for 2 guys who had never been a coordinator.

      i hope Pry turns this around but I will always be stunned that Whit allowed Pry to hire 2 guys with zero experience ( and pay them quite a lot ). that should have been a strongly worded suggestion, condition for hire. “Go get ya some experienced co-ordinators with all this $$ we are handing you for your staff (and support team)”

  13. Let’s see… never lead, never tied, down by as many as 19 (the final margin)… to Rutsgers.

    Is it Basketball season yet?

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