BLACKSBURG, Va. — The Hokies moved to 3-1 at the one-third mark of the 2021 campaign with a 21-10 home victory against the Richmond Spiders on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium.
The Hokies offense started hot with a quick sub-three minute touchdown drive culminating with a spectacular grab by Tré Turner in the endzone to put the home team up 7-0. After that, the Virginia Tech offense stagnated and could not move the ball down field. The Hokies defense held the Spiders in check throughout the entirety of the quarter and the score after the first was 7-0.
Backup quarterback Knox Kadum entered the game about five minutes into the second quarter, which was planned per Hokies head coach Justin Fuente. Kadum threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the game and gave the ball to the Spiders in great field position. Richmond capitalized on the first play of the ensuing drive with a nice run from Savon Smith and tied the game at 7-all.
Burmeister re-entered the game and promptly went three-and-out. Fortunately, in traditional Virginia Tech fashion, the special teams unit arrived to save the day. Wide receiver Tayvion Robinson has been a mainstay as a punt and kick returner this season and showed everyone why that’s the case. Robinson took a 42-yard punt from Richmond punter Aaron Trusler to the house on a 60-yard return for a score.
The Hokies took a 14-7 lead into the locker room where head coach Justin Fuente couldn’t have been pleased with offensive execution and overall production. Which is a trend that would fail to improve over the course of the rest of the game. Following a Richmond field goal early in the third quarter, the Hokies pieced together a 10-play, 78-yard drive culminating in a Connor Blumrick quarterback sneak to complete the scoring for the day.
The Hokies emerged victorious by a score of 21-10, but there are certainly more questions than answers at this point. Last week’s game in Morgantown presented numerous challenges for the Hokies’ offensive unit considering the numerous red zone possessions the team had resulting in zero points. However, that was against what is arguably the best defensive front seven in the Big 12. Failure to produce against an FCS program, albeit a very formidable one, is cause for concern.
The program is showing upward mobility in terms of recruiting, facilities, etc., but with the offenses’ downright ineptitude at times, one must wonder how the program moves forward in the short term. The Hokies will have a bye week to solve some of its offensive woes before what figures to be a primetime matchup against Notre Dame at Lane Stadium on October 9th.
Written by Greg Atkins