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Kyron Drones, Keli Lawson are the Hokies of the Game Against Pittsburgh

Kyron Drones Lane Schick 1 VT Pitt 2023 From VT
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics
Will Locklin | @locklin_will
Writer/Basketball Analyst

Virginia Tech put together their best performance of the season this past Saturday night on their way to beating Pittsburgh 38-21 to snap their three-game losing streak. There were plenty of standout performances with two Hokies rising above the rest to earn our Hokie of the Game honors.

Offensive Hokie of the Game: Kyron Drones

The choice between Bhayshul Tuten and Kyron Drones was a tough one but ultimately you have to give the mantel to the man who accounted for five touchdowns, tied for the highest mark by an ACC quarterback in a game this season. Drones was magnificent, running with authority between the tackles and extending plays with his legs in the open field.

As a thrower, Drones didn’t have too many passing attempts, going 12-19 as a whole but he connected on the ones that mattered. Particularly impressive was Drones' early deep bomb to Da’Quan Felton. Drones and Felton have found a nice rhythm together and it looks like Felton will be one of Drones top targets moving forward.

Additionally, Drones made a wonderful throw on a key 3rd & 19 play. Pressure arrived in the young QB’s face and he threw a dart to an open receiver to extend the drive late in the fourth quarter. Hokie fans knew what Drones could provide as a runner and while his passing still leaves some to be desired, he took a big step in Tech’s big win against Pittsburgh.

Bhayshul Tuten deserves further mention too though running for 109 yards on 24 carries while catching 4 passes for 37 yards and a touchdown in what was his best game as a Hokie to date. Da'Quan Felton also had a big game with 4 catches for a team-high 81 yards including his 54-yard touchdown that got things going for the Hokies.

Defensive Hokie of the Game: Keli Lawson

Defensively, it was difficult to choose a single player. The entire front seven came to play and shut down the run game of the Pittsburgh offense. Keli Lawson was one of those big time standouts on the Tech defense. Lawson racked up a team-high six solo tackles, and one big tackle for loss to help set the tone in the first quarter.

Lawson has been a tackling machine for the Hokies, with three-straight games of double-digit tackles prior Saturday’s contest. Still, Lawson played a huge role in stopping Pitt RBs C’Bo Flemister and Rodney Hammond Jr. from getting loose into the third level of Tech’s defense.

The defensive line as a whole was rock solid with guys like Mario Kendricks, Antwaun Powell-Ryland, Cole Nelson, and Pheldarius Payne all making contributions. A hat tip must also be given to Chris Marve and the entire defensive coaching staff for a highly well-coached defensive game.

The Hokies were hungry to make a statement and break the three game losing streak and that’s exactly what they did. Lawson led a group of starved dogs defensively that were all chomping at the bit to wound the Panthers in Lane Stadium.

And that's exactly what they did holding then to 14 points and 38 total rushing yards in their best performance of the season so far.

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