Virginia Tech scored on five of its eight first-half possessions, and Quincy Patterson II accounted for three touchdowns off the bench to carry the No. 20 Hokies to a 45-24 victory over NC State in an ACC game at Lane Stadium on Saturday night.
Despite playing without 23 players and four coaches because of coronavirus issues and injuries – including starting quarterback Hendon Hooker – the Hokies got off to a quick start in a season opener delayed by two weeks because of two COVID-related postponements. Tech took advantage of an NC State defense missing three starters out with injuries, jumping out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and never looking back.
In the second quarter, Patterson came on in relief of starter Braxton Burmeister, who injured his right (throwing) hand while being sacked with 11 minutes left in the first half. Patterson threw touchdown passes on the Hokies’ final two drives of the half – a 15-yard strike to Tayvion Robinson and a 16-yard score to James Mitchell – and the Hokies took a 31-10 lead at halftime. He also scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Burmeister returned to the game in the second half, and both he and Patterson combined to played well at the position. Patterson completed 4 of 6 for 75 yards and the two scores, while Burmeister completed 7 of 11 for 106 yards.
Herbert paced the Hokies’ efficient ground game, rushing for 104 yards on just six carries. Tech finished with 495 total yards – 314 on the ground.
Tech’s defense played a tremendous game as well, holding NC State to just 386 yards and registering six sacks. Devin Leary threw for 165 yards and a score to lead the Wolfpack (1-1, 1-1).