Planning ahead for the 2023 season, Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry did what most college coaches do, they hit the transfer portal hard. He landed five transfers on the offensive side of the ball.
Wide receivers Ali Jennings (Old Dominion), Jaylin Lane (Middle Tennessee State), and Da’Quan Felton (Norfolk State) came to Blacksburg as did quarterback Kyron Drones (Baylor) and running back Bhayshul Tuten (North Carolina A&T). Unfortunately for the Hokies, Jennings had a strong opening game against Old Dominion but suffered an injury in the second game of the season against Purdue and has been out since.
Saturday night, Drones started his third game of the season for Virginia Tech in place of senior Grant Wells who suffered an ankle injury against the Boilermakers and played his best game of the three. Tuten was hardly used by offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen, but against the Panthers, he was used early and often. What did it lead to? It led to a 38-21 dominating win over Pittsburgh and for one night, the transfer portal was huge for Pry.
Virginia Tech portal players account for all five touchdowns against Pittsburgh
What a night it was for the newest Hokies. They accounted for all five touchdowns and made big plays all night to spark a much-needed victory. Here is a breakdown of each player’s night to open up 1-0 in ACC play.
- Kyron Drones: The sophomore was 12-for-19 passing for 228 yards, and three touchdowns and he finished with a QBR of 216.1. He rushed for 86 yards on 21 carries and a pair of touchdowns. It was the first time he looked confident under center this season.
- Bhayshul Tuten: The Hokies fed Tuten early and often and he ended the night with 120 yards on 20 carries. He caught a swing pass late in the second quarter and found the end zone from 12 yards out. His body took a pounding all night, but he was effective and gained a ton of confidence against the Panthers.
- Jaylin Lane: Through the first three games, Lane has shown glimpses of what could be. Against Pittsburgh, he had two receptions for 64 yards, but it was third quarter 53-yard touchdown reception that allowed the Hokies to pull away. It regained a two-possession lead for Tech.
- Da’Quan Felton: It didn’t take long for Felton to make his presence felt against the Panthers. On the first possession, Drones dropped back and threw a perfect ball down the right sideline to Felton, and the speedy wideout outran his defender for a 54-yard touchdown. For the game, he finished with four receptions for 81 yards.
For one night in 2023, everything came together offensively for the Hokies and a big reason why was because of the transfer portal players on offense. It was a breakout night that Pry and his staff had been waiting for.