If the Virginia Tech football team is going to win at least three of their final five games, they are going to need some players to step up to help out their teammates on both offense and defense. Offensively, quarterback Kyron Drones and running back Bhayshul Tuten have done a nice job along with wide receiver Jaylin Lane in making some big plays.
Defensively, Florida transfer Antwaun Powell-Ryland is making the case to be the MVP of the transfer portal from last offseason. Again, I said making the case as I know other transfer portal players are making a difference on both sides of the ball. Here are five players the Hokies need to step up and make a big impact over the final five weeks of 2023.
Dae’Quan Wright & Benji Gosnell
When tight end Nick Gallo went down with a season-ending injury at the end of training camp, that left a huge hole at the tight end position. Offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen has not got a lot, if anything, from the tight end position, but that is going to have to change over the final five games.
Norfolk State transfer Dae’Quan Wright was moved from wide receiver to tight end to help fill the void left by Gallo and the 6-foot-4 sophomore has 16 catches for 223 yards, while freshman Benji Gosnell has nine receptions for 116 yards. The key stat that is missing for both players is they both have zero touchdowns. Sooner or later, the tight ends are going to have to have a bigger role in Bowen’s offense.
Tuten and Drones each have done a nice job in running the ball in recent weeks, but Virginia Tech is going to have to lean more on Malachi Thomas. He has 53 carries for 116 yards this season, but a big part of the Hokies’ success of late has been the running game.
Thomas is a different type of back than Tuten and if he’s able to hit the hole, he’s quick and tough to bring down. Using the passing game with swing passes is another way that he can make an impact. Picking up some big yards with Tuten off the field either running the ball to catching it is where Thomas can be effective.