Virginia Tech was blown out by Pittsburgh 52-22 yesterday, leading to us awarding our two Hokies of the Game honors to two players on offense instead of one player on both sides of the ball for the second time this season. VT’s defense had one of their worst performances of all-time with Pittsburgh nearly breaking an NCAA record with Pitt’s offense being almost too efficient to break the record.
The NCAA record for yards per play is 13.5 (Georgia Tech vs. Kansas in 2011). Pitt recorded 13.9 vs. VT, but there is a qualifier of a minimum of 50 plays. Pitt had only 47. And, by the way, Pitt reached third down only eight times.
— Jerry DiPaola (@JDiPaola_Trib) November 11, 2018
Meanwhile, the Hokies’ offense had its fair share of issues, but wasn’t nearly as bad as the defense with a pair of standout performers earning this week’s honors.
Offensive Hokies of the Game: Ryan Willis, Eric Kumah
Ryan Willis was okay in the first half, but he stepped up in the second half with a gutsy, tough performance as Willis fought till he was removed from the game in the final minutes to prevent any injury. Willis has earned plenty of fans for his toughness and lack of fear to find second opportunities even to a fault at times, but more often than not, it was to the Hokies benefit.
Willis finished the game 22-34 for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns while also leading the Hokies on the ground with 16 carries for 65 yards. Time and time again, the Hokies’ quarterback made some of the tough plays and turned bad plays and short pockets into productive results for the Hokies.
Willis wasn’t the only Hokie who made a big difference though as one of his top targets Eric Kumah put together a strong showing himself.
Kumah was dominant throughout the game with 6 catches for 80 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a 2-point convesion reception while also drawing multiple pass interferences. Time and time again, 50-50 balls to Kumah gained time whether it was by drawing a pass interference, making big gains on the outside, or even the 2-point conversion he had.
Kumah has shown throughout the season that he can consistently win 50-50 balls and make them almost look like a guarantee yet the Hokies’ offense seems to go away from giving Kumah and Damon Hazelton, who has also been very productive in those situations, those type of opportunities that work way more often than they don’t.
Damon Hazelton had a solid game with 3 catches for 51 yards including an impressive 24-yard touchdown reception that was mostly due to Hazelton’s impressive spin move to break a tackle. Tre Turner and Dalton Keene both had 4 receptions for 38 and 26 yards respectively while Steven Peoples led the Hokies’ tailbacks with 10 carries for 49 yards and 2 catches for 4 yards.
Congrats to Ryan Willis and Eric Kumah on being our Hokies of the Game this week.