For Virginia Tech, winning on the road has been a struggle in Brent Pry’s first two seasons at the helm. Through his first ten games away from Lane Stadium since taking over for the Hokies, Pry and Tech were an abysmal 1-9.
With pressure to finally take control away from home, Virginia Tech answered on Saturday, with a dominant 48-22 win over bowl eligible Boston College.
Pry’s second career road victory as a head coach was a big one, and moves the Hokies to 5-5 on the season, with a 4-2 conference record. That puts them one win away from bowl eligibility with games against NC State and Virginia remaining in the regular season.
This afternoon’s blowout was headlined by a culmination of Tech’s offense and defense, in which the Hokies out possessed the Eagles by over ten minutes, got 24 first downs, and totaled 600 total yards - a big chunk of which was accumulated on the ground thanks to the efforts of Kyron Drones, Bhayshul Tuten, Malachi Thomas, and more.
The game started about as well as Tech could have wanted, with Boston College quarterback Thomas Castellanos throwing an interception on the first play from scrimmage. The pick was nabbed by corner Dorian Strong, who totaled two picks on the day - double his season total prior to kickoff.
The opening play set the tone for the first half, in which the Hokies put up 28-straight points to end the first half following Boston College’s rushing touchdown in its second drive, making it a 31-7 game at halftime.
“Beamer Ball” was in full effect throughout the first half, with Tech choosing to kick a shocking onside kick after its first touchdown drive, in addition to a Jaylin Lane punt return that was taken to the house but was called back before Tech put together a long touchdown drive capped off by a Lane touchdown.
On offense, the first half was all about the performance of Drones, who accounted for 219 yards and two touchdowns on 17 attempts through the air, and 135 yards on the ground thanks to 20 carries - many of which were designed runs by OC Tyler Bowen.
Bhayshul Tuten punched the ball into the endzone on several drives, totaling three rushing touchdowns. The transfer running back from North Carolina A&T who initially committed to BC before flipping to VT averaged a tick under five yards a carry, with 16 carries for 78 yards.
The receiving room did its part in Chestnut Hill, as Stephen Gosnell scored his first career touchdown, Da’Quan Felton hauled in all four of his targets for over 100 yards, while Dae’Quan Wright nabbed four balls for 58 yards to help the Hokies move the chains.
The second half saw Tech score 17 points, in comparison to Boston College’s 15. Malachi Thomas had a 35 yard run for six points, and both backup quarterbacks - Grant Wells and Pop Watson saw time, accounting for 60 yards (although Wells fumbled the ball through the endzone on his lone carry) and 39 yards on the ground respectively.
There were plenty of defensive stars throughout this game headlined by Dorian Strong who had a pair of important first quarter interceptions to set the tone in this game. Strong has had a fairly quiet season (which is often a great sign of strong CB play that forces a QB to look elsewhere), but this was a big statement moment for the Maryland native.
Meanwhile, true freshman Caleb Woodson let the Hokies with six tackles and was all over the field when he was in this game. Derrick Canteen added five tackles while Keonta Jenkins had two tackles including one for loss on a day where VT's STAR LBs and nickelbacks played well.
Dante Lovett also stood out in the fourth quarter when the backups got their chance with a pair of pass breakups, showing the bright future that he has with the Hokies.
It was an overall dominant performance against a good Eagles team that had rattled off five wins in a row. This was a statement that the loss to Louisville was an outlier since the turnaround rather than a sign of Tech slowing down.
Tech gets NC State for the final home game of 2023 next weekend with kickoff coming at 3:30pm on the ACC Network.
The Wolfpack recently announced that quarterback MJ Morris will redshirt the remainder of 2023, so the Hokies will be up against a familiar opponent in former UVA QB Brennan Armstrong.