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Bhayshul Tuten, Antwaun Powell-Ryland are the Hokies of the Game Against Syracuse

Antwaun Powell Ryland 1 VT Cuse 2023 From VT
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

Virginia Tech put together their best performance of the Brent Pry with a 30-3 first half launching them to a 38-10 rout over Syracuse. There were plenty of standout performances in this game, but a pair of transfers stood out the most for the Hokies in their dominant victory over the Orange.

Offensive Hokie of the Game: Bhayshul Tuten

There are numerous strong candidates for the Offensive Hokie of the Game award yet in this tight battle, Tech's lead running back Bhayshul Tuten stood out the most to earn this week's honor.

Tuten was dominant in this game consistently breaking off chunk plays and breaking tackles to get extra yards on his way to having 18 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown. Tuten played like a complete running back in this game showing a great blend of power, balance, agility, and speed that gave Syracuse fits all night.

There's no guarantee when a FCS standout transfers up to the Power 5 that he'll be able to keep his previous level of production up. However, Tuten has done just that and after not getting many quality opportunities early in the season behind a struggling offensive line and schematic approach, Tuten has come alive in an offense that is giving him quality opportunities.

If he would have had this type of running room sooner, we might be talking about a 1,000 yard rusher this season but better late than never.

Malachi Thomas also shined in this game with 13 carries for 87 yards averaging an impressive 6.7 yards per carry, just slightly better than Tuten, while also adding a 16-yard passing touchdown. Meanwhile, Jaylin Lane and Da'Quan Felton both had strong game as Lane had six catches for 72 yards while Felton had three catches for 80 yards including a pair of touchdowns.

Kyron Drones wasn't perfect in this game, but was plenty productive going 15-24 for 190 yards and a touchdown while adding 56 rushing yards. Drones had a few risky throws, but was otherwise solid for an offense that continues to find its stride. Tucker Holloway also had four punt returns for 96 yards plus a 23-yard safety free kick return in this game while John Love was a perfect 5-5 on field goals, becoming the fourth kicker with at least five field goals in a game for the Hokies.

Defensive Hokie of the Game: Antwaun Powell-Ryland

As there have been the past few weeks, there were plenty of strong candidates for our Defensive Hokie of the Game honor, but the Florida transfer from the 757, Antwaun Powell-Ryland, once again proved to be Tech's biggest defensive star.

Powell-Ryland had four tackles this game including two sacks and almost had a third when Cole Nelson got the strip sack for a safety on Garrett Shrader. APR led a Tech pass rush that gave Shrader fits all night producing eight sacks on the game to reach 30 on the season, seven more than Tech had in all of 2022.

Powell-Ryland showed plenty of promise during the latter half of the 2022 season at Florida, making his three-star rating from 247 Sports and On3 absurd at the time. With each passing week, that rating looks more absurd given what he showed at Florida and how he's delivered in 2023 for the Hokies.

Keli Lawson was once again productive with seven tackles including one for loss plus a QB hurry while Alan Tisdale had four tackles including 0.5 for loss and a pass breakup. Mario Kendricks had three tackles including two for loss with one sack while Keyshawn Burgos had three tackles including 1.5 for loss with one sack. Cole Nelson had the strip sack safety with Pheldarius Payne adding three tackles including 0.5 for loss.

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