Virginia Tech aims to pick up where it left off vs. Syracuse
Syracuse must've been happy to have a week off, while Virginia Tech hopes its bye didn't slow the team's positive momentum.
The Hokies aim for their third win in four games Thursday when they welcome the skidding Orange to Blacksburg, Va.
Virginia Tech (3-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) has recovered from a three-game slide to defeat Pitt and Wake Forest over its last three outings, with a loss at No. 4 Florida State in between. In their most recent contest, the Hokies handled the Demon Deacons 30-13 as Kyron Drones threw two touchdown passes as part of a career-high 321-yard performance.
Drones also ran for 59 yards and is just 16 yards behind Bhayshul Tuten (360) for the team lead. As a 6-foot-2 signal-caller with speed, Drones was compared to Syracuse's 6-foot-4 Garrett Shrader this week by Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry.
"When he's on, he's one of the better ones in the league," Pry said of Shrader, who has 358 rushing yards and six scores on the season, not to mention 1,371 passing yards and eight TDs. "He's a good, strong athlete. He's got good speed, a lot of confidence. When he's playing his A-game, he's an awful good quarterback."
Shrader has not been at his best, however, during the Orange's three-game losing streak. He has not thrown for more than 200 yards in any of the last three affairs and has been severely limited in the rushing game as Syracuse (4-3, 0-3) has been outscored 112-24 by Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State.
"We played three really good teams, but we have to play well against those types of teams, and we didn't play our best games against them," Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. "So the outcomes were the outcomes."
The Orange will hope for an improved outcome against a Hokies team that they have defeated in each of the last two meetings. In the most recent matchup two years ago, Shrader threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Damien Alford with 19 seconds left to fuel Syracuse to a 41-36 win.
The Orange lead the all-time series 11-8.
--Field Level Media
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