Returns to homepage

Story of the Statlines: Hokies Work Wonders Against Wake Forest

By Zachary Ozmon | October 15
WFSOS 0748
Hokies DB Derrick Canteen celebrates his interception off of Wake Forest QB Mitch Griffis late in the first quarter. (Grant Pearrell)

The Story

Coming off a rough defensive outing nine days ago against then No. 5 Florida State, the Hokies battened down the hatches of their defense against a weaker offensive opponent in the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and came out on top by a final score of 30-13. It was a slow start for both teams, but after the first quarter, Virginia Tech made use of a 17-point second quarter and a seamless second half to put their gear into drive and never look back. Kyron Drones shined for the Hokies, putting up over 300 passing yards, and the defense looked as excellent as they have all season.

With that being said, let's look at three key stats/lines that dictated the outcome of this game.

1. Keonta Jenkins notches 12 total tackles, 2 TFL’s and two forced fumbles

Now look, I know what you are probably thinking. “Why aren’t you going to talk about Antwuan Powell-Ryland,” who had four sacks and a fumble recovery? The reason why is because he has already been there and done that for this Hokies squad and is obviously being given his flowers, which is well deserved. But man, oh man, what a game Keonta Jenkins played this past Saturday. Earning double-digit snaps at DLine, Slot Corner, and in the Box, Jenkins was all over Worsham Field in the win against Wake Forest. With a 90.8 pass rush rating, according to PFF, he is ranked sixth in the category out of all 133 teams in the FBS. As Jenkins more than doubled his season high in total tackles vs. Wake, besting the five he had against Marshall, look for him to continue to set the Hokies up for success defensively.

2. Zero offensive touchdowns for Wake Forest

What more could be said about this? It kind of speaks for itself. When a defense gives up zero offensive touchdowns to their opponent, more than likely they put themselves in the win column, and that’s exactly what the Hokies did last Saturday. With the lone Wake touchdown coming off a kick-off return, the Demon Deacons could only muster two field goals on offense.

If you were at the game, you would have seen Bud Foster deliver an in-game speech to the fans in Lane Stadium, urging the crowd to show his former team some love. Well, that speech must have resonated with the defense because the dudes up front for Virginia Tech feasted on the Demon Deacons offensive line, as they totaled seven sacks. Winning the turnover battle by a margin of two also helped the Hokies prevail victorious. Going back to Bud Foster making an appearance at the game, the last time the Hokies didn’t allow an offensive touchdown to an opponent for the entirety of a game was on November 23, 2019 against Pitt, which was coincidentally Bud Foster’s last home game coaching for Virginia Tech.

3. Virginia Tech holds Wake Forest to an average of 1.1 rushing yards

Similar to the Hokies win against Pittsburg earlier in the season, they pretty much stopped Wake Forest from running the ball dead in their tracks. Funnily enough, the run defense has been a huge problem for Tech, especially attempting to limit chunk run plays. Yet Wake could get nothing going on the ground as they were stonewalled for only 1.1 average total rushing yards. Props to the Hokies for completely eliminating any possible chunk plays on the ground as they look to build off of this performance heading into their bye week.

IMG 1862

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.

Read More of Zachary's Articles