Home Abanikanda goes for 320 yards, six TDs on the ground in 45-29 Pitt win over Virginia Tech

Abanikanda goes for 320 yards, six TDs on the ground in 45-29 Pitt win over Virginia Tech

Roger Gonzalez
virginia tech brent pry
Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry. Photo courtesy Virginia Tech Athletics.

Virginia Tech allowed Pittsburgh’s top running back to record 320 yards and six touchdowns on the ground as the Hokies lost 45-29 at Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Tech (2-4, 1-2 ACC) has now lost three games in a row.

Israel Abanikanda had 36 carries for those 320 yards and six scores, averaging 8.9 yards per carry in an incredible performance. He had a long run of 80 yards on the day as Pitt scored 28 points in the second half to move to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the ACC.

Tech allowed 497 yards overall in one of its worst defensive showings in recent memory, shooting themselves in the foot time and time again. Tech led 16-7 early in the second quarter but soon found themselves down 31-16 in the third quarter, and that was all she wrote.

Abanikanda scored touchdowns on runs of 38, 17, 29, 5, 10 and 80.

Despite the defense continuing to slide, the offense showed a little more promise with Grant Wells throwing for 277 yards. Malachi Thomas led the Hokies on the ground with 84 yards on 15 carries, and Kaleb Smith had 152 yards receiving on nine catches, but his fumble at midfield with Tech down 31-29 in the third quarter saw things snowball.

Tech finished with two turnovers, eight penalties and went just 4-for-16 on third downs. Pitt was 5-for-14 on third down and had just one turnover on the day.

After solid defensive performances to start the season, Tech has allowed over 30 in three straight games including over 40 in the last two.

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez is freelancer for Augusta Free Press. A native of Connecticut that grew up in Charlottesville, he is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He currently is a sportswriter with CBS Sports and has written for The Daily Progress, The Roanoke Times and other newspapers before getting into the digital sports journalism world.