The Virginia Tech Hokies defeated the Liberty Flames 36-13 to kick off the Justin Fuente era with a victory ahead of the big showdown this upcoming Saturday at Bristol against the Tennessee Volunteers. The Hokies had plenty of players that played well but two in particular stood out to earn our first offensive and defensive player of the game honors of the 2016 season.
Note: Each week, the staff of The Tech Lunch Pail will choose the offensive and defensive players of the game for each Hokie game.
Offensive Player of the Game: WR Isaiah Ford
Star wide receiver Isaiah Ford is well on his way to owning every significant Virginia Tech career receiving record by mid-season after an exceptional performance yesterday with 11 catches for 117 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Ford was a nightmare that Liberty couldn’t find a way to contain while Ford did this in basically three quarters as he sparingly touched the field in the fourth.
Ford dominated one-on-one matchups against opposing Liberty cornerbacks whether ti be making great jump ball catches or just outrunning Liberty players and then coming back to the ball. Ford was dominant yesterday and started to lay the groundwork for his push to be an All-American in 2016.
Jerod Evans was also considered and while Evans had a solid Virginia Tech debut, Ford’s performance was clearly the best of any offensive player.
Defensive Player of the Game: CB Greg Stroman
Greg Stroman was the defensive star of yesterday’s game with 2 interceptions, 2 tackles, and 1 pass breakup while being a lockdown cornerback throughout the afternoon. Any Liberty receiver matched up against Stroman seemed to struggle as the junior cornerback showed why coaches had been praising him as arguably the most improved player of the offseason.
Despite Adonis Alexander’s return next week, there is almost no way that the Hokies can take Stroman out of the starting lineup even with this game being against Liberty. Stroman was the best man coverage cornerback on the field and while Bud Foster is adding some more zone packages this year, Foster still needs strong man coverage cornerbacks and Stroman was definitely that yesterday.
There you have it, congrats to Isaiah Ford and Greg Stroman on being The Tech Lunch Pail’s offensive and defensive players of the game.