Virginia Tech forced three turnovers and posted a season-high 462 yards of total offense in its 30-13 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday
After a slow start, the Hokies (3-4, 2-1 ACC) scored 17 points in the second quarter and pulled away from the Demon Deacons (3-3, 0-3 ACC) late.
Bhayshul Tuten opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run, and John Love tacked on a 37-yard field goal to give the Hokies a 10-0 lead with over four minutes left in the first half.
Things got crazy, however, when Wake Forest’s Desmond Claiborne had a 96-yard kick return for a touchdown, silencing the sold-out Lane Stadium crowd. It was the first by an opponent in Blacksburg since Jeyson Wilson did so for Syracuse in 1993.
Virginia Tech had a quick response, though. Kyron Drones, who finished with a career-high 321 yards on 20-of-29 passing and 59 rushing yards, had a 75-yard strike on the next offensive play to Jaylin Lane, Tech’s longest play from scrimmage this season. Two sides that struggled before Saturday’s game combined for 17 points in 24 seconds.
Drones is the third Hokies quarterback since 1987 to pass for over 300 yards and rush for 50, joining Jerod Evans — who did it twice in 2016 against Syracuse and Georgia Tech — and Bryan Randall.
Wake Forest placekicker Matthew Dennis converted a 28-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in the first half, giving the Hokies a 17-10 headed into intermission.
The scoring was minimal in the second half — two field goals from Love, his second and third of the day from 26 and 36 yards, respectively, in comparison to Dennis’ second from 34 yards out — but the Hokies dominated. Lane had his second touchdown of the game with just under three minutes remaining when he caught a 12-yard pass from Drones, extending the lead to 30-13.
They forced three punts, two turnover on downs and a fumble on an afternoon they finished with 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Defensive end Antwaun Powell-Ryland posted four sacks, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble, too.
All four sacks came in the second half, three on Wake Forest’s final drive of the game. He’s the third Tech player in school history with four sacks in a game, the first since J.C. Price — his defensive line coach at Tech — in 1995 vs. Miami.
The first fumble, which Powell-Ryland recovered, was early in the second quarter. And Derrick Canteen added an interception, his first with the Hokies, on the series before at the end of the first quarter.
It was an all-around solid performance for the Hokies, who controlled time of possession (33 minutes to 27), outgained the Demon Deacons by 200 yards (462-262) and averaged 7.1 yards per play. They held Wake Forest to just 35 rushing yards on 31 attempts, too. The only red flag was the eight penalties they committed for 79 yards.
Tech has an open week before it hosts Syracuse (4-3, 0-3 ACC) on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Box Score: Virginia Tech 30, Wake Forest 13