Kyron Drones threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more as Virginia Tech secured a much-needed 38-21 victory against visiting Pittsburgh on Saturday night in Blacksburg, Va.
Bhayshul Tuten rushed for 109 yards and caught a touchdown pass for the Hokies (2-3, 1-0 ACC), who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Drones completed 12 of 19 passes for 228 yards and gained 41 more on 21 carries. He played in a limited capacity last year for Baylor, and then played sparingly in the first two games this year before his role expanded.
Virginia Tech held the Panthers scoreless for the final 24 1/2 minutes.
Pitt (1-4, 0-2) sputtered again with its fourth consecutive loss. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec was back for the Panthers after leaving a week earlier with an undisclosed injury in a loss to North Carolina. He had trouble getting much cranked up, although two of his first four completions went for touchdowns. He finished 11-for-22 for 235 yards.
Pitt’s first two scores came on one-play possessions. Jurkovec threw to Bub Means for a 75-yard play just 12 seconds after the Hokies’ first touchdown.
The Panthers trailed 28-7 after a 10-yard touchdown run for Drones gave Virginia Tech its largest lead of the season. That margin was brief because of Jurkovec’s 61-yard pass play to C’Bo Flemister on the next snap.
Just 37 seconds later, Pitt’s Braylan Lovelace recovered a Drones fumble for a touchdown as the Panthers closed within 28-21.
Drones responded by throwing a 53-yard touchdown pass to Jaylin Lane with 3:27 left in the third quarter.
The Hokies were up 20-7 at halftime after Tuten, a transfer from North Carolina A&T, scored on a 12-yard reception. Virginia Tech scored earlier on Drones’ 54-yard pass to Da’Quan Felton and on Drones’ 2-yard run.
Tuten ended up with 24 carries. Pitt’s offense had 24 total rushing plays, compiling only 38 yards.