For the second time under Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech lost back-to-back games with a 31-21 loss to 22nd-ranked Boston College after BC put up 21-straight points in the third and fourth quarters. While the loss was another disappointment, Virginia Tech did have some quality performances including from Dalton Keene and Rico Kearney to earn this week’s Hokies of the Game honors.
Offensive Hokie of the Game: Dalton Keene
Dalton Keene showed why the Hokies need to use him more in this offense with 3 receptions for 65 yards in the first half to earn this week’s Offensive Hokie of the Game honor. The first half was the first time we saw Keene receive a significant amount of volume all season and the sophomore tight end stepped up turning plenty of short passes into large gains that make you wonder why he isn’t used as a checkdown more often (or even in the second half of this game).
Keene showed throughout this game that he has a future at the next level as a well-rounded tight end who can be more than useful in the passing game going forward as a checkdown playmaker. Keene is now averaging 18 yards per reception this season and 17.4 yards per reception for his VT career to date, simply incredible numbers for a tight end.
If anything’s clear, it’s that Brad Cornelsen needs to get Dalton Keene more involved in the Hokies’ offense.
Hezekiah Grimsley and Eric Kumah also had strong performances as Grimsley had 6 catches for 53 yards while Kumah also had 6 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. Steven Peoples once again had a productive game with 4 catches for 39 yards and 12 carries for 39 yards while Ryan Willis went 25-42 for 281 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT after going 16-19 for 212 yards and 2 TDs in the first half.
Defensive Hokie of the Game: Rico Kearney
In his first career start, Rico Kearney had one of the best single game performances for a Virginia Tech linebacker this season with 18 tackles including 1.5 for loss. Kearney was all over the field for the Hokies and seemed to constantly be in on tackles around the line of scrimmage.
Kearney was a playmaker on Virginia Tech’s defense and may start to create a little competition at the mike linebacker spot once Rayshard Ashby is healthy again. Ashby has been fairly productive this season with 62 tackles including 7.5 for loss so it’s hard seeing Kearney taking that job away at this point, but a performance like this does add some intrigue.
Divine Deablo slid into Khalil Ladler’s whip linebacker role today and was very good with 14 tackles including 1 for loss, a pass breakup, and a fumble recovery. Dax Hollifield was quite good in his first career start with 10 tackles in this game as the Hokies’ linebackers had one of their better games of the season.
Congrats to Dalton Keene and Rico Kearney on being the Hokies of the Game.