When the dust settled late Saturday night at Lane Stadium, the Virginia Tech football walked off of their home field with their first loss of 2023, 24-17, to Purdue. It was not a good night in terms of injury news for coach Brent Pry and his team as they lost wide receivers Ali Jennings and Jaylin Lane. A struggling offense just got thinner heading into Week 3 at Rutgers.
Those injuries hampered the offense, especially in the second half, which failed to score a single point after being tied 17-17 at halftime. That meant that when the dust settled, the Hokies player of the game was someone that they didn’t want to be the star of the game from week to week.
Virginia Tech punter Peter Moore was their player of the game
First, let’s be honest, it was not the best day to play football in. The game was delayed 21 minutes in the beginning, then with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter, the game was stopped again for five hours and 27 minutes before the game resumed at 6:15 p.m.
When the game resumed, the Virginia Tech offense was moving the ball and after falling down behind 17-0, they scored 17 straight points to tie the game heading into the half. The second half was a disaster for everyone except punter Peter Moore.
Moore finished the game seven punts for 324 yards. Just how good was he? Consider the following. Moore had four points of 50-plus yards and three of them landed inside the Boilermakers 20-yard line. In fact, two landed inside the 10.
One of the factors that led to Moore needing to punt seven times was the injuries to Jennings and Lane, but also, quarterback Grant Wells played the second half with a noticeable limp and the Hokies running game was non-existent with just 11 yards for the entire 60 minutes. Not good.
Moore gave the defense an opportunity to pin Purdue deep and change the field, but it never materialized and the offense was always starting deep in their own territory, except for one time in the second quarter when they forced a turnover on downs in Boilemakers territory that led to a tying field goal right before halftime. Seven punts are too many and if Moore ends up punting seven times a game the rest of the season, it’s going to be a long season for Virginia Tech.