The Virginia Tech Hokies finished the regular season with a dominant performance, beating the Virginia Cavaliers 52-10 to retain the Commonwealth Cup for the 13th-straight year while also clinching the ACC Coastal title and a spot in the ACC Championship the day before thanks to a loss by North Carolina to N.C. State.
The Hokies had plenty of strong performances but two players stand out to receive this week’s Hokies of the Game honors.
Offensive Hokie of the Game: Sam Rogers
Was there anyone in college football that had a better day Saturday than Sam Rogers? The answer is simply no as Rogers had a great day on the field against Virginia in his final game at Lane Stadium, and after the game in getting engaged on the field to his longtime girlfriend.
On the field, Rogers had what may have been the best game of his career as he had 15 carries for 105 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns plus 2 catches for 29 yards. Rogers was consistently getting at least 4-5 yards per carry while having a few big runs including his 32-yard touchdown run while also doing what he normally does in putting his head down and earning extra yards as he did on his shorter touchdown run.
Rogers has been a leader and fan favorite on this team, and the crowd went into a frenzy both times Rogers scored on his Senior Day with many hoping he could get a third touchdown when the Hokies got deep into the red zone a couple of times. Rogers capped off his great day with his successful proposal that likely will be the biggest memory for him and of course, the longest-lasting thing by far to come out of Saturday.
Jerod Evans had a strong day as he went 16-for-27 for 253 passing yards and 2 touchdowns to take sole possession of Virginia Tech’s single-season passing touchdown record while also having 11 carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. Cam Phillips had a big day with 6 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown while Isaiah Ford had 4 catches for 68 yards and Bucky Hodges had 4 catches for 69 yards plus Brenden Motley had a passing touchdown in his final game at Lane Stadium.
Defensive Hokie of the Game: Andrew Motuapuaka
There were plenty of standout defensive performances but Andrew Motuapuaka earned this week’s honors with some solid tackles and a couple of big plays in what has been a much-improved junior season from the 757 native and mike linebacker.
Motuapuaka led Virginia Tech with 6 tackles while also having a couple of big plays with a first half interception and a fumble return for a touchdown in the second half to really start the rout in the second half and allow the Hokies to barely play their starting offense in the third quarter. Motuapuaka was where he needed to be on multiple occasions while also being in solid positions to prevent a couple of big runs for UVA and limit them to one or two yard gains.
Motuapuaka has taken a lot of flack and while some of it has made sense, a lot of it hasn’t for the Hokies’ solid starting mike linebacker whose offseason improvements have shown during the regular season this year. Motuapuaka continues to improve and should only improve more this offseason before his senior season.
Nigel Williams led the Hokies with 2 tackles for loss as a part of his 3 overall tackles while Woody Baron had 2 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss with Ken Ekanem having 2 tackles and a sack in his final home game. Tremaine Edmunds had 5 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss while Mook Reynolds had 4 tackles, 1 tackles for loss, and forced the fumble that Andrew Motuapuaka returned for a touchdown.
Congrats to Sam Rogers and Andrew Motuapuaka on being this week’s Hokies of the Game.
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