BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – Braxton Burmeister threw for 212 yards and a touchdown to lead Virginia Tech to a 21-10 victory over Richmond on Saturday.
Tayvion Robinson added a 60-yard punt return for the Hokies (3-1), who battled a Richmond team that played most of the game without starting quarterback Joe Mancuso (injury by hand).
“Our guys played hard. They were ready to play, ”said Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente. “The defense was good. The offensive struggled. We were pretty inconsistent, to say the least.
“We’ve played two pretty good defensive lines over the past two weeks, but that being said, we’ve been inconsistent. Sometimes it has been pretty good, but not consistent enough to score as we will have to score as the season progresses. We have a huge improvement to do… Overall we need to find a way to play better.
Burmeister threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tré Turner in the game’s first possession to cap a 65-yard run – the Hokies’ best of the game. An Aaron Banks interception led to Richmond’s lone touchdown, Savon Smith scoring on a 16-yard run to tie the game in the second quarter.
Robinson’s touchdown and quarterback Connor Blumrick’s three-yard score were enough for Virginia Tech to register the victory.
Turner caught six passes for 102 yards for the Hokies, who amassed just 318 yards.
“It’s really us who beat ourselves,” Turner said. “These are small things. As if a player would spoil a game and it would spoil the whole operation for the offense. Execution is what our coaches preach every day. If we don’t run, all 11 guys on offense games probably won’t work.
Beau English II completed 15 of 23 for just 77 passing yards to lead Richmond, who finished with just 237 yards.
“We’re disappointed,” said Richmond coach Russ Huesman. “We wanted to win the game. We didn’t know how it would turn out, but we went in and practiced to win.
TO TAKE THEM
Richmond: The Spiders played well enough in defense to make it a game, but struggled without Mancuso, who injured his hand in Richmond’s second game and did not return. Richmond didn’t play more than 16 yards after Mancuso’s injury. The Spiders will need to find ways to move the ball if Mancuso is out for an extended period.
Virginia Tech: It was an uninspired performance by the Hokies, who were looking to bounce back from last week’s narrow loss to West Virginia. Virginia Tech looked lost on offense, barely rushing for 100 yards against an FCS team and struggling on third down (6 of 13). The Hokies must find an offense before a visit to Notre Dame on October 9.
On a second quarter possession with Virginia Tech on her 6-yard line, Fuente inserted substitute quarterback Knox Kadum to give him some experience. At second and 10, Kadum threw an interception that ultimately led to Richmond’s only touchdown, and many questioned Fuente’s decision to put Kadum, who has been in two games in his career, in that situation.
“On the first try, we run the ball. We don’t help each other, don’t go north and south, and all of a sudden we’re in second and long, and Knox is in a tough spot, saved and second and long, ”says Fuente. “But that’s also part of being a quarterback, it’s being disciplined enough to throw the ball and live to go play the next try.
“I wish it had turned out differently for him, but where the ball was should be of no consequence to his performance.”
Richmond: The Spiders play at home against Elon next Saturday.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies are off next week before hosting No.12 Notre Dame on October 9.
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