Virginia Tech came up short against elite Clemson 31-17
as the Tigers showed why they are #2 in the nation. The Hokies fought to the very end and made the fan base proud in a game in which they could have very easily quit after the pick 6 by Clemson's Dorian O'Daniel.
Even in defeat, several Hokies played well on the big stage. One Hokie once again stood out above the rest on the offense while it was a close choice for our Defensive Hokie of the Game. With that said, here are our choices.
Offensive Hokie of the Game: Cam Phillips
Cam Phillips had his worst game statistically of the season, but the Hokies' star receiver played well against the toughest defense he has and will face during the regular season. Phillips found his footing and made some plays on his ways to having 7 receptions for 74 yards as he continues to show he's one of America's best receivers.
Clemson was able to slow down Phillips in some ways, but the star senior still found ways to make a big impact and help give the Hokies some offensive momentum. Phillips's strong season is also causing his NFL Draft stock to rapidly improve. As long as Phillips keeps playing at this high of a level, he should end the season projected to be no worse than a third or fourth round pick.
Phillips did well against his toughest test of the season, and it's hard seeing any other ACC team having a chance at slowing him down.
Sean Savoy is establishing himself as the Hokies' second best receiver with 4 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown plus 2 carries for 8 yards and a touchdown. Josh Jackson didn't have his best night, but he was still solid going 29-for-44 for 251 yards and a TD plus 2 interceptions that came off a unlikely deflection from a drop and a one-handed catch by a 270-pound DE.
Defensive Hokie of the Game: Greg Stroman
This was a difficult choice that came down to a trio of players, but Greg Stroman had the slight edge thanks to a great game in coverage along with a strong night as a punt returner. On a night where guys like Adonis Alexander and Terrell Edmunds had some struggles in coverage, Stroman showed why he is one of the ACC's best cornerbacks with a dominant night locking down his side of the field.
Stroman only had 1 pass breakup, but Stroman was almost never targeted and took the receiver he was covering out of the game consistently. The senior cornerback from Northern Virginia showed he was the Hokies' best cornerback against Clemson, and should be the #1 guy going forward with Adonis Alexander and Brandon Facyson battling across from him.
However, Stroman wasn't only dominant in coverage, but he had a great night as a punt returner consistently making great decisions to either take a fair catch or attack. Stroman's best moment came on his 43-yard punt return taken to the Clemson 2 early in the fourth quarter that brought some new life into a Lane Stadium crowd looking for a big play to go crazy about. Stroman is now eighth in the nation in punt return yards and has established himself as one of the best punt returners in America.
Two other players came very close this week as both Trevon Hill and Tremaine Edmunds played quite well. Hill was very good with 6 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 QB hurry, and 1 sack that came on an impressive edge rush to go by Clemson's Preseason All-ACC LT Mitch Hyatt. Tremaine Edmunds was once again all over the field with 9 tackles and showed why he could be an All-American this year. Andrew Motuapuaka also played well with 9 tackles as he continues to look like one of the ACC's best linebackers.
Congrats to Cam Phillips and Greg Stroman on being the Hokies of the Game.
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