Hokies never trail in handing Wake Forest third straight loss

The Deacons are off to an 0-3 start in the ACC following the 30-13 loss

Virginia Tech's Kyle Lowe runs for a touchdown against Wake Forest during the Hokies’ 30-13 win Saturday in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Robert Simmons / AP Photo)

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Kyron Drones threw two touchdown passes and for a career-high 321 yards to lead Virginia Tech to a 30-13 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday.

Drones also rushed for 59 yards, and Virginia Tech’s defense held the Demon Deacons to just 262 yards as the Hokies (3-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the second time in the past three games.

“That’s the best we’ve played as far as complimentary ball,” Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry said. “People get tired of me talking about it, but that was the recipe for us to win this game. … When they made a play, we answered. That’s who we have to be right now. I thought the wealth was shared throughout. There were a lot of guys that made plays.”

Wake Forest (3-3, 0-3), which has lost three straight games, struggled on offense, turning the ball over three times and benching quarterback Mitch Griffis after he threw an interception late in the first quarter. The Demon Deacons’ lone touchdown came on a 96-yard kickoff return by Demond Claiborne late in the first half.

Drones, who completed 20 of 29 passes, threw touchdown strikes of 75 and 12 yards to Jaylin Lane, who finished with 102 yards receiving. John Love kicked two of his three field goals in the second half for Virginia Tech, which never trailed and finished with a season-high 462 yards.

Michael Kern completed 14 of 22 passes for 166 yards to lead the Demon Deacons, but fumbled twice.

“We have a decision to make,” Wake Forest receiver Taylor Morin said. “That’s what coach (Dave Clawson) came in and told the team. We can either lay down and call it quits for the rest of the season or we can fight. I know our locker room, I know our team, and we’re going to fight. It starts in practice.”

The Demon Deacons have scored just one offensive touchdown in the past two games and haven’t amassed 275 yards in either. Clawson could choose to install Kern as the starting quarterback.

“Right now, offensively we are really struggling,” Clawson said. “It has been a long time since we have been in this position, and it is not fun. We have to really take a hard look at what we are doing and who we are doing it with and give our guys a better chance at competing.

“We are not giving ourselves a chance in the red zone, with our short yardage and the sacks. We don’t make explosive plays, and that has always been a key to our offense. We are not making those plays, and at times, we don’t have the protection that holds up.

“I’m 10 years into this, and we aren’t starting a program. We have a program, and that was a bad performance.”

The Deacons host Pittsburgh next Saturday.