The Virginia Tech Hokies picked up a much-needed victory on Friday Night against the N.C. State Wolfpack in convincing fashion 28-13 in what likely will be Brenden Motley’s last start of the season unless Michael Brewer gets injured again.
The Hokies needed this victory, and there were a few things that definitely stood out in this big home victory.
Travon McMillian Should Be the Running Back
With the Hokies’ past history, saying that Travon McMillian is the Hokies’ running back isn’t certain, but he definitely should be after Virginia Tech scrapped the running back rotation to let McMillian be the guy.
McMillian is only going to get stronger as he gets more time at the position, and his running back skill will only develop more as he gains more experience. Against N.C. State, McMillian showed that he has been getting stronger with some tough runs to get a couple extra yards up the middle.
However, McMillian showed his tremendous athleticism and his game-changing speed once again with some big runs.
McMillian has the speed to break off a big run whenever he gets some space to do damage, and that is exactly what he did on the 59-yard touchdown off-tackle run that got McMillian in space and allowed him to use his speed to make a big play. McMillian also had a few other solid runs, and will only gain more confidence as he continues to be the guy.
Travon McMillian should be the guy in the Hokies’ backfield and with Scot Loeffler once again calling him a dude, that seems likely to be the case against Miami.
Brandon Facyson is Back
Brandon Facyson didn’t get off to the fastest start this season, but has been gaining confidence every single week. Now with Kendall Fuller out, the Hokies have turned to Facyson to be the Hokies’ lockdown cornerback, and the redshirt sophomore has stepped up to fill that role.
Facyson played fairly well against Pittsburgh wide receiver Tyler Boyd though Boyd is an elite route-runner that did beat Facyson a couple of times. However, most of Boyd’s catches came when Facyson was not covering the talented junior wide receiver.
Against N.C. State, Facyson was dominant with four tackles and four pass breakups in this game. On one drive, Jacoby Brissett tried to seem to go after Facyson, but the Georgia native stepped up on that drive after a pass interference call that was clearly wrong. Facyson made multiple big plays to prevent first downs and a touchdown that helped the Hokies seal the deal late.
Facyson has proven that he is one of the top three healthy cornerbacks in the ACC along with Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey and Clemson’s Mackenzie Alexander along with being one of the top eight cornerbacks in college football. Facyson has the talent and potential to end up on the All-ACC First Team cornerback when the season ends as he continues to gain more confidence.
Brandon Facyson has quietly improved every week, and may be the most underrated cornerback in college football.
The Hokies Have a Pulse
For the first quarter against N.C. State, the Hokies seemed to not have that energy that Frank Beamer promised the Hokies would bring. Virginia Tech looked like the same underperforming team that had struggled the past two weeks against East Carolina and Pittsburgh.
However, the Hokies turned it around in the second quarter, which could end up being the turning point of their season.
The Hokies played like a team that would have definitely beat East Carolina and Pittsburgh fi they had played this way against those programs with the energy they brought to the game. The Hokies’ offense started to really get going with Brenden Motley making some big passes while the defense was in control after N.C. State scored their only touchdown of the game.
With Michael Brewer likely back against Miami, the Hokies’ offense should only get better while the defense seems to be starting to play as well as we thought they were. The question is can they keep this level of energy up consistently for the rest of the season? If they can, the Hokies may be set to go on an impressive run in the ACC Coastal over the next few weeks.