Ryan Willis got the message loud and clear after committing four of Virginia Tech's five turnovers in a season-opening loss to Boston College and getting pulled in last week's 31-17 victory over Old Dominion after a late fumble. Willis will continue to work on his ball-security issues Saturday when the Hokies aim to improve to 7-0 all-time against visiting Furman.
Willis threw for 344 yards and four TDs in the 35-28 loss against Boston College, and other than the fumble, played well against the Monarchs, passing for 272 yards, two TDs and no interceptions on 16-of-28 passing - one of the better two-game passing totals of his career between Virginia Tech and his two years at Kansas. "I guess I would say he made a couple plays that were pretty dang impressive," coach Justin Fuente said. "Really quick snap decisions and got the ball in great spots. There's still a few decisions we have to be better at and that's just simple. It sounds very easy and it's not. But that's part of our focus moving forward." The senior currently ranks second in the ACC averaging 331.5 yards per game of total offense, trailing only Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman (389.0). Furman had its five-game win streak snapped in a 48-42 loss last week at Georgia State, a team that was coming off a stunning 38-30 victory over Tennessee in its season opener.
TV: Noon ET, ACC Network. LINE: Virginia Tech -21.5.
ABOUT FURMAN (1-1): Quarterback Darren Grainger was named Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week and STATS FCS National Freshman of the Week after completing 16-of-25 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 53 yards on nine carries and another score against the Panthers. His passing yards were third highest for a Furman freshman and his 378 yards in total offense marked the fourth-best total in program history. Wideout Thomas Gordon tied a career high with eight catches, set his personal mark with 163 yards receiving and added a TD, while running back Devin Wynn gained 83 yards on 13 carries in a game that featured 1,092 total yards (Furman 526).
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (1-1): Junior Deshawn McClease picked up 64 yards on 20 carries against the Monarchs and Willis added 34 and a TD. Junior linebacker Rayshard Ashby, who led all ACC underclassmen with 105 tackles in 2018 and earned ACC Linebacker of the Week honors after accumulating 13 tackles at Boston College in the opener, added 10 more stops against the Monarchs. Former prep quarterback-turned-wide receiver and true freshman Tayvion Robinson leads Virginia Tech with 10 catches for 134 yards.
1. The Hokies have hosted an FCS team each season since 2010 and have won eight straight since a loss to James Madison.
2. Virginia Tech has won 25 straight contests when holding opponents to 21 points or fewer dating to 2015.
3. Furman couldn't hold a 20-3 lead against Georgia State but did tie the school record for most points against a FBS foe since reclassifying to NCAA I-AA (now FCS) in 1982.
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virginia-tech-hokies-football Stats 2019-2020