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Pass Rush Shines as Maroon Beats Orange 21-14 in 2024 Virginia Tech Spring Game

Kyron Drones 1 Spring Game 2024 From VT
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

It was a sunny but breezy day inside Lane Stadium with Virginia Tech's quarterback likely feeling fortunate at times that they were wearing white non-contact jerseys and that Tech's pass rushers could only breeze by them.

The Maroon team beat the Orange team as the two teams combined for 13 sacks on the day including three consecutive ones from Keyshawn Burgos at one point along with a pair of sacks for Jason Abbey and Stephon Hicks.

Burgos was the ultimate star of the day as the junior day defensive end had three sacks on consecutive plays at one point, blowing past Parker Clements with ease. He also had a fumble recovery and a pass breakup that turned into an interception for Kemari Copeland in what was a very impressive day for him after showing tons of upside last season but struggles to be consistent.

Meanwhile, Jason Abbey and James Jennette both had encouraging performances as the redshirt freshman Abbey had a pair of sacks while Jennette had three tackles for loss including a sack. Abbey showed that he likely has a bright future while Jennette provided a strong data point in his push to try to see if he can break through the Hokies' DE depth chart.

Kyron Drones only played in the first few series but did well when on the field going 6-10 for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, other Tech stars like Dorian Strong, Bhayshul Tuten, and Antwaun Powell-Ryland all played very limited snaps today.

One guy who did play more snaps was Ali Jennings who looked like the guy who had two touchdowns in his Tech debut last year, finishing this game with three catches for 45 yards. Talented sophomore Ayden Greene also was productive with four catches for 30 yards.

The backup quarterback battle raged on with Pop Watson having a better game than Dylan Wittke as Watson was 13-21 for 130 yards with an interception while Wittke was 5-8 for 44 yards. However, both players struggled with holding onto the ball for too long which played a role in the sacks today.

Malachi Thomas had a 66-yard reception, 14 yards on three carries, and a surprise pass attempt on the opening play of the game in his unsurprisingly limited minutes.

Jeremiah Coney made a strong case that he should be the RB3 with 11 carries for 81 yards showing great speed and good toughness between the tackles. PJ Prioleau may have been the biggest surprise of the day with six carries for 62 yards and a touchdown plus two catches for 29 yards and a touchdown, showing legitimately good speed and burst. His performance showed someone who could provide solid depth in a RB4 or RB5 type role.

Tech's backup slot receivers had solid days as Takye Heath had four catches for 34 yards while Xayvion Turner-Bradshaw had two catches for 36 yards. Heath, in particular, showed great acceleration and agility in this game.

Chance Fitzgerald had three catches for 55 yards while Ja'Ricous Hairston could be a surprise depth name to monitor at tight end getting early snaps in this game while having a three-yard touchdown in the opening quarter.

Joshua Clarke had four tackles plus an interception while Kemari Copeland had two tackles plus an interception and Josh Gholston had two tackles plus a forced fumble he recovered.

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