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Game Recap: Pittsburgh

By Dominic Boltz | October 09
Screen Shot 2022 10 09 at 10 09 57 AM
Justin K Aller/ Getty Images

Another week of football complete and another disappointing loss for the Hokie fanbase.

The Hokies (2-4, 1-2) battled early and even led Pittsburgh (4-2, 1-1) for a portion of the game with a score of 16-7. The Hokies defense looked formidable with the absence of Tyjuan Garbutt, however the Offense could not keep the defense off the field for long enough as they started to gas out and let up many points late in the game. The Pitt run game wore down Brent Pry’s defense, eventually allowing 28 points in the second half. After a comeback in the second half the Panther beat the Hokies 45-29.

Unlike the game against UNC last week, there were a few positives to takeaway from the meeting at Pittsburgh. However the positives could not outweigh the negatives, as the mediocre performance leaves Hokie fans questioning the future for Coach Pry and the Football staff.

Grant Wells looks to have made improvements in his discipline from last week. Wells did account for an interception this week, however it was on a last second Hail Mary so the interception could be written off. The Hokies scored the most points in any game this season with 29. The run offense for the Hokies improved from last week with the insertion of Malachi Thomas.

A few Tech receivers showed their skills against Pitt with Kaleb Smith and Da'Wain Lofton both making impressive plays. Kaleb Smith had his highest receiving game of the season with 9 catches for 152 yards, which is the most by a Hokie receiver this season. However, Kaleb fumbled the ball late in the game giving Pitt the momentum for the duration of the half. Da'Wain Lofton showed his big play ability that Hokies hoped for on a 43 yard touchdown to make it a one score game late in the third quarter.

Peter Moore had a surprisingly rough game against Pittsburgh. Fans could chalk up his performance to the cold weather, however it seemed impossible for the Hokies to flip the field position when Moore was averaging 33.4 yards a punt. The Poor punting game allowed the Panthers great field position on most of their drives. Coach Pry didn't seem to have an exact answer on Moore's problems, telling press after the game that, " Our operation in the kicking game was just sloppy, so we got to clean it up." Hope for a better punting game from Peter the rest of the season.

The Return of Malachi Thomas

The long awaited return of Malachi Thomas came to fruition on Saturday, as the highly touted sophomore ran for 84 yards on 15 carries, along with a 5 yard Touchdown on his first play returning to the Hokie backfield. Thomas looked like he ran with the highest motor of any Hokie running back this season. Malachi showed his ability to hit holes and push the pile, scoring a 5 yard touchdown in his first carry since returning from injury.

To see Malachi Thomas' first carry and Touchdown from last night look below.

A New Impact

Nyke Johnson recovered a punt blocked by PJ Prioleau for a touchdown as his first statistic in the Maroon and Orange. Not a bad way to get on the stat sheet for the first time. PJ is the son of former Hokie Defensive Back and current Safeties Coach Pierson Prioleau. His blocked punt will surely be one that him and his dad will remember for a long time. As a freshman at Virginia Tech, Pj hadn't seen much play time, however after this huge play look for PJ to see the field more on special team in the next few weeks.

Another Hokie who saw themselves make their first big play this season was Keonta Jenkins. There were many rumblings about Keonta when he made his switch to Linebacker this season, however we hadn't heard his name considerably on the stat sheet until this week. With the Hokies up 9-7, Pitt QB Kedon Slovis dropped back for a pass that was tipped and caught by a diving Keonta Jenkins. This interception set the Hokies up with a short field, leading to a 25 yard drive a touchdown by Keshawn King to make the score 16-7.

Hope the Hokies to come back strong at Lane Stadium against Miami next week.

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