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Va. Tech might be without starting QB at Rutgers

Oct 27, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Grant Wells (6) drops back to pass during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech could be without its starting quarterback when the Hokies visit Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.

Grant Wells is questionable for the non-conference game after suffering an ankle injury during the Hokies’ 24-17 loss to Purdue last week. He gutted through it until the team’s final possession, when Baylor transfer Kyron Drones took over and led a drive that fizzled at the Purdue 42-yard line.

“I think it was good to get him out there, and it was a big moment, a challenging situation,” Hokies coach Brent Pry said of Drones, who will start this week if Wells can’t go. “I thought he was level-headed, he was steady. There’s some other things that need to happen better around him.”

Through two games for Virginia Tech (1-1), Wells has completed just 53.2 percent of his passes for 494 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions.

Virginia Tech will be without wide receiver Ali Jennings (ankle), and slot receiver Jaylin Lane (hamstring) also is questionable. Lane leads the team with nine catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

The Hokies will face a Big Ten opponent for the second straight week. Rutgers (2-0) has home wins of 24-7 against Northwestern and 36-7 over Temple.

“Know these guys well. They’ve always been stingy on defense, and it’s no different this year,” Pry said of the Scarlet Knights.

Against Temple, Kyle Monangai had a career-high 165 rushing yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. Jai Patel won Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after making field goals from 51, 43 and 23 yards.

Temple cut its deficit to 13-7 in the first nine seconds of the fourth quarter before Rutgers scored 23 points while forcing the Owls into two interceptions and a three-and-out.

“I do see a group that trusts each other, and that was evident in our last game when things started to get away from us a little bit,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “As I told you that night, they came together and said, ‘No, we’ve got a job to do, everybody go do your job, and this is going to go where we want it to go, and that’s exactly what happened.’

The Scarlet Knights are aiming to start 3-0 for the third straight season, though in the past two seasons, one of those wins came against an FCS opponent.

–Field Level Media