Virginia Tech played its most complete game of the season on Saturday night in its 38-21 victory over Pitt.
The Hokies (2-3, 1-0 ACC) struck early on a 54-yard pass from Kyron Drones to Da’Quan Felton, their third connection of the season. The Panthers (1-4, 0-1 ACC) bounced back on their second drive when Phil Jurkovec found Bub Means on a 75-yard score, but few of their attacks were successful in Lane Stadium.
Tech wasn’t perfect, but it dominated Pitt in almost every phase of the game. It tallied 427 yards of total offense — 228 through the air, 199 on the ground — while the defense held the Panthers to 273 yards and just nine first downs.
Drones had a great outing, accounting for five touchdowns — the sixth Tech player to do so since 2000, joining the likes of Lee Suggs, Bryan Randall, Logan Thomas, Jerod Evans and Josh Jackson. Three of those touchdowns were passing as he spread it around to Felton, Bhayshul Tuten and Jaylin Lane.
#Hokies players with five TDs accounted for in a game since 2000:
– Lee Suggs: 2000, UCF
– Bryan Randall: 2002, Syracuse (SIX); 2003, Cal
– Logan Thomas: 2011, Miami; 2011, Georgia Tech
– Jerod Evans: 2016, BC
– Josh Jackson: 2017, ECU
– Kyron Drones: Tonight, Pitt
— David Cunningham (@therealdcunna) October 1, 2023
Tech took a 14-7 lead after Drones ran it in from the one-yard line at the start of the second quarter, and a 12-yard screen from Tuten made it a two-score game at the break.
The Hokies extended their lead to 28-7 in the third quarter on a 10-yard keeper from Drones, but it was short-lived. Pitt responded on the next play from scrimmage, a 61-yard pass-and-catch from Jurkovec and C’Bo Flemister.
Things got dicey less than 30 seconds later when Drones fumbled, which Braylan Lovelace returned four yards to the end zone, cutting Tech’s lead to 28-21. But the Hokies were composed and rallied.
Late in the third quarter, Drones found Lane on second-and-11, and the Middle Tennessee transfer burst up the seam and took it 53 yards for a touchdown.
From there, Tech’s defense came up clutch — it forced another punt, Pitt’s sixth of the night — and the offense proceeded to have a nine-minute drive that ate most of the clock in the fourth quarter. That possession culminated in a 32-yard field goal from John Love.
Tech held Pitt to 38 rushing yards, a large improvement after allowing 200-plus at Rutgers and Marshall the last two weeks.
Up next for the Hokies is a meeting with No. 5 Florida State in Tallahassee on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN).
Box Score: Virginia Tech 38, Pitt 21