The Virginia Tech Hokies suffered a disappointing 45-24 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday night in front of a world record 156,990 fans at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Hokies did make a lot of mistakes and had a lot of fumbles but there were a few players that played well and a duo that earned the game 2 honors as the Hokies of the game.
VT Offensive Player of the Game: RB Travon McMillian
Travon McMillian may have had 1 of Virginia Tech’s 5 fumbles but the redshirt sophomore was quite other than that with 14 carries for 127 rushing yards and 1 touchdown plus a nine-yard reception. McMillian’s 69-yard touchdown run was probably the biggest play of his career and sent the Hokie faithful in Bristol into a state of euphoria with the Hokies leading 14-0 before Tennessee’s stunning 45-3 run.
After not having a great week 1 performance, McMillian was quite productive in this game leading all rushers on the evening and giving the Volunteers plenty of problems throughout the game. McMillian seems to have plenty of confidence after this strong performance and is poised to build on his breakthrough redshirt freshman season.
Jerod Evans was also considered for this spot after going 20-for-28 for 214 passing yards and 1 touchdown but Evans was a part of a couple of fumbles while missing a couple fo big throws that could have made a big difference in this game, causing him to come up just short this week.
VT Defensive Player of the Game: DE Ken Ekanem
Ken Ekanem was a force all night for the Hokies on the edge as the senior defensive end once again played quite well with 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Ekanem was a nuisance for Tennessee’s offensive tackles and seemed to have his way on multiple times throughout the game, forcing the Volunteers to try to find creative ways to slow him down.
Ekanem definitely seems to be having a bounce-back senior season after a disappointing junior campaign with the chance to build on that even more in the Hokies’ ACC opener against Boston College.
Andrew Motuapuaka also received consideration this week after having 15 tackles including 1 tackle for loss along with Mook Reynolds who played quite well with 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, and a lot of solid pass coverage throughout the evening.
Congrats to Travon McMillian and Ken Ekanem on being our Hokies of the game for the Battle at Bristol.