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Story of the Statlines: Delays in Blacksburg

By Zachary Ozmon | September 11
Photo via Scooter Waller

The Story

Purdue rolled into Blacksburg for what was expected to be a noon kickoff inside Lane Stadium to take on Virginia Tech. Showers were imminent, but both teams started the matchup with a near 30-minute delay. What came after the first five minutes of the game was a storm like no other, as fans and both teams were told to leave the stands and the field for another delay, this time more major. Fast forward five hours and 27 minutes, and the teams once again took the field as the fans that were left returned into the stadium to cheer on their teams. Grant Wells and the Hokies trailed 17-0 early in the second quarter but stormed back to tie the game heading into halftime. The Hokies would be left scoreless in the second half, and a touchdown from Purdue was all they needed to close out the game 24-17.

The Hokies rush for 11 yards on 22 carries

Hokie fans may be getting some Deja Vu from last week as Virginia Tech struggled to run the football once again in Week 2. The Hokies only carried the ball 22 times, one more carry than Purdue running back Devin Mockobee had just by himself. Despite the lackluster run game last week as well, Virginia Tech managed to pull off the win against ODU due to a terrific game from Grant Wells. This week was a bit of a different story.

Wells completed only 48% of his passes and threw two touchdowns and two interceptions. With a lackluster run game, the quarterback had a lot of pressure on him to move his offense down the field, but it just wasn’t enough. Wells was replaced on the final drive by Kyron Drones, who showed a bit of poise but ultimately had his drive stall at the Purdue 42-yard line.

Zero points scored in the second half

It's tough to win a football game without scoring in the second half, and that was the Hokies downfall this past Saturday. After coming back onto the field from the long delay, it took a bit of time for the Hokies to get into their groove, but going into halftime, they had come back to tie the game at 17.

The second half was brutal for Virginia Tech, as their six drives amounted to four punts, an interception, and a turnover on downs to end the game. The loss in the offense of Ali Jennings served as a huge deal as the Hokies could get nothing going.

Dae'Quan Wright snags four receptions for 77 yards

With a thinner receiving core due to injuries early in the game, players had to step up and fill the missing production, and that's exactly what Dae'Quan Wright did this past Saturday. The sophomore from Perry, GA, had a solid game for the Hokies and really stepped up after the news that Nick Gallo is expected to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

He was less of a factor in the game last week vs. ODU but stepped up when his team needed him and played great. Wright's ability to make plays on the field after the catch and keep moving forward with the football will be key as the season goes on. Depending on how severe the injury is to Jennings, don't be surprised if Wright sees more targets in Week 3 vs. Rutgers.

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Born in Chesapeake and raised into a family of hokies, Virginia Tech is where I call home now. Attended New River Community College as a freshman and now a sophomore at VT as a transfer student in Fall 2022. Majoring in Sports Media and Analytics, I’m excited for what’s to come for me as a student at VT.

Virginia Tech sports has always been something I have been a fan of. From afternoons in Lane Stadium to nights in Cassell Coliseum, I have loved every second of it no matter the outcome.

One of my first memories of being a Tech fan was our upset win against Ohio State 35-21 where CB Donovan Riley had the game sealing pick-6. More recently, beating UNC in 6 overtimes, our run to the sweet 16, and of course winning the men’s basketball ACC Championship with upsets over UNC and Duke.

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