The best way to stay up with all that we do at The Tech Lunch Pail is by becoming a TLP Insider! Sign up for an account and get the best news, inside scoops, and analysis on the Hokies! Learn more

Ali Jennings, Antwaun Powell-Ryland are the Hokies of the Game vs Old Dominion

Ali Jennings 1 VT ODU 2023 From VT
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

It wasn't pretty, but Virginia Tech took care of business in their 2023 season opener with a 36-17 victory over Old Dominion. There were plenty of notable standouts, but only two were able to earn this week's Hokie of the Game honors.

Offensive Hokie of the Game: WR Ali Jennings

Picking an Offensive Hokie of the Game was a tough one given how well two guys in particular played but in the end, our staff went with the guy who had the best numbers of the day playing against his former team, Ali Jennings.

Jennings put on a show against ODU having 5 catches for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns in his Virginia Tech debut. Jennings did it just about every way from big catches down the field to quality playmaking turning short passes into bigger plays to crisp routes and separation to give Grant Wells a good window to throw into.

There was plenty of hype about what Jennings could bring to the table, but given some of the struggles transfer WRs have had for Tech including Changa Hodge and Jadan Blue, there may have been some skepticism. However, Jennings and the overhauled WR room lived up to the hype tonight making some big plays throughout the game.

Jaylin Lane was the other top candidate as he proved to be the sparkplug to get the Hokies' offense going on his way to having 4 catches for 69 yards and a touchdown plus 2 punt returns for 20 yards. Lane proved that he could be a prove home run threat over the top and across the middle of the field in this game.

Grant Wells was inconsistent overall struggling with accuracy at times, but had a pretty decent night overall at least statistically going 17-29 for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns plus 27 rushing yards on 7 carries. Da'Quan Felton had a 34-yard reception in his debut while Bhayshul Tuten had 55 rushing yards plus a 5-yard reception.

Defensive Hokie of the Game: DE Antwaun Powell-Ryland

There were plenty of transfer Hokies who had strong debuts including Florida DE transfer Antwaun Powell-Ryland who lived up to the hype tonight as someone who could upgrade Tech's DE room and overall pass rush.

Powell-Ryland had a strong game leading the Hokies with 6 tackles including 2 sacks while also adding a forced fumble, the only one of three fumbles that Tech forced that they were unable to recover. APR showed off some impressive pass rush moves that left ODU's offensive tackles in a world of hurt and Grant Wilson on the ground when the whistle blew.

This may only be ODU but given what APR did at the end of last season for Florida, it seems clear that he can be the high-level pass rusher that Tech knew they had to find this offseason.

Nasir Peoples had a solid game while wearing the #25 jersey with 5 tackles plus a forced fumble, fumble recovery, and pass breakup. Keli Lawson made some plays on his way to having 4 tackles including 1 for loss plus 2 QB hurries.

Jaden Keller added 5 tackles including 1 for loss in an up and down game for him while Keyshawn Burgos had 3 tackles including a sack and Josh Fuga had 4 tackles including a fumble recovery. Derrick Canteen had a forced fumble and a tackle while Dorian Strong had an interception that included a 32-yard return to put the Hokies in the redzone.

You must login in order to comment on this post.
Loading Indicator