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Story of the Statlines: Obliteration of the Orange

By Zachary Ozmon | October 28
Da'Quan Felton breaks the tackle and takes it 62 yards to the house. (Will Trent)

The Story

A commanding win Thursday night in the Terror Dome was exactly what the Hokies and their fans needed to keep their promising season rolling as they move to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in the ACC, jumping up to a second-place tie in the conference. The biggest thing to take away from this game was that Virginia Tech was straight-up dominant for four quarters. The defense gave no breathing room to the Syracuse run game and limited Garrett Shrader very well. Eerily similar to their last game against Wake Forest, the defensive line was feasting again all night long. With that being said, let’s get into some of the statlines that made this win so big.

1. Zero total rushing yards for Syracuse

If you go back and pinpoint a couple games that the Hokies played earlier in the year, you are going to see games where this Tech squad gave up 200+ rushing yards to their opponents very frequently. Even going back two games against FSU, the Hokies had a severe problem stopping the run. But something has switched for this Hokies defense the past two games, especially last Thursday against Syracuse.

Virginia Tech gave up zero total rushing yards against the Orange, and yes, you read that right. Accounting for sacks, Syracuse had a net rushing yardage total of nothing. NOTHING! No matter how this season ends for the Hokies, this display on defense will not be forgotten, and let's hope they can continue the trend and keep things locked down next week vs. Louisville.

2. Da’Quan Felton hauls in three receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns

Felton has become quite the deep ball target for Kyron Drones, and he went just one yard shy of his season high for receiving yards in the Hokies win on Thursday night. The majority of Felton’s yardage came off of a perfectly placed deep ball that resulted in a 62-yard touchdown for the transfer from Norfolk State.

Felton also caught the first touchdown of the game on a trick-play touchdown delivered by Malachi Thomas, who found him wide open in the end zone. Tyler Bowen went deep in his bag for that one and pulled off something special to get the Hokies rolling, and they never looked back. The transfer portal has certainly paid off for Tech this season.

3. Hokies defense racks up 12 TFL, eight of which were sacks

After a seven-sack performance against Wake Forest right before the bye, who would've thought that the Hokies would have upped their total with eight against the Orange? Syracuse had no answer for the relentless pass rush from the boys up front, and Shrader was scrambling all night long.

Antwaun Powell-Ryland led Virginia Tech again in sacks and added two more to his total of nine for the season. But he is just one of many Hokies that were getting to the quarterback, and it is going to continue to be the Hokies strong suit moving towards the backend of the schedule.

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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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