Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
Virginia Tech fell to #9 Miami 25-24 today despite the fact that they held a two-score lead at 24-13 for much of the latter half of the third quarter. Despite the loss, the Hokies still had strong performances especially on defense who earned Hokie of the Game honors from our staff.
Offensive Hokie of the Game: Jalen Holston
This was the first time that the Hokies were held under 200 rushing yards this season, but the Hokies did have a standout performer at RB in Jalen Holston.
The veteran Hokie tailback had 36 yards on 4 carries including 2 touchdowns along with 2 catches for 11 yards with one picking up a big first down and the other smartly involving him getting out of bounds to stop the clock.
The most encouraging thing about Holston today was the fact that he is starting to show some explosiveness which had been lacking and holding him back from taking the next steps. With Khalil Herbert likely NFL bound after this season, Holston could be that next bellcow back in 2021 and do so at a quality level with Raheem Blackshear being more of a scat back and slot receiver combination.
Hendon Hooker didn't have his best game but was productive going 19-29 for 202 yards with an INT plus 59 net rushing yards and 1 TD. Tre Turner continues to have a strong middle of the season with a team high 5 catches for 86 yards while Khalil Herbert was limited but good with 8 carries for 49 yards and a 7-yard reception.
Defensive Hokie of the Game: Dax Hollifield
Dax Hollifield has had plenty of struggles this season, but that changed at least for today as he had arguably the best game of his Hokie career today.
Hollifield led the way for the Hokies with 13 tackles including a pair of assisted sacks while also having a pass breakup. Hollifield has had his struggles with missed tackles and being out of place, but Hollifield was consistently in good positions and then got the job done as a tackler when the time came.
Hollifield had been seeing his role as Tech's backer shift more towards Alan Tisdale in recent weeks but for now, this may change things and see Hollifield more involved. However, don't be surprised just to see more rotation in general between those two and Rayshard Ashby especially with Hollifield's versatility that gives more flexibility for Tech to get Ashby rest witout sacrificing much at linebacker.
Devin Taylor played well with 11 tackles including 1 for loss along with a pass breakup while Rayshard Ashby also had 11 tackles as this was Tech's best game for linebackers all season. Tech had 6 sacks as a team with Jarrod Hewitt being the biggest star with 2.5 sacks among his 5 tackles in this game.