Jalen Holston, TyJuan Garbutt are the Hokies of the Game Against Liberty

Jalen Holston, TyJuan Garbutt are the Hokies of the Game Against Liberty
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Nov 21, 2022

Virginia Tech ended their seven-game losing streak with a road in-state victory against a now 8-3 Liberty team 23-22 in a game defined by the Hokies making some big plays on both sides of the ball especially defensively. There were several standout performances, but two stood out the most to our team to earn this week's Hokie of the Game honors.

Offensive Hokie of the Game: Jalen Holston

Jalen Holston had the finest game of his career in what might just be his last game being the workhorse back for the Hokies and making winning play after winning play.

Holston had 26 carries for 99 yards and 3 touchdown which may not be the most spectacular numbers in terms of efficiency, but was undoubtedly productive. Holston was reliable throughout this game while his consistency on the ground also helped the Hokies dominate the time of possession with 36:33 compared to 23:27 for Liberty.

The most impressive part of this game for Holston was his final carry where he got the first down Tech needed to seal the game while he also made the selfless decision to go down short of a touchdown and short of a 100-rushing yard game, preventing Liberty from getting the ball back. To do the best for the team when a fourth touchdown was right there in your final game is a selfless, team-first decision that embodies the type of character of person any team would want.

Jalen Holston may not have some sort of legacy at Virginia Tech, but that final carry speaks quite well to the high character player he is for the Hokies.

Keshawn King had another big game for the Hokies exceeding the 100 total yards of offense mark as he had 11 carries for 78 yards plus a team-high 4 catches for 31 yards. Meanwhile, Tech's tight ends made some plays as Nick Gallo added 2 catches for 45 yards with Dae'Quan Wright having 2 catches for 35 yards.

Defensive Hokie of the Game: TyJuan Garbutt

Virginia Tech's pass rush has struggled a fair amount over the past several weeks but if there has been one pass rusher who has had a fairly good year, it's TyJuan Garbutt. Tech's veteran DE stepped up in Lynchburg with another big gain that made a major difference in the outcome in the end.

Garbutt had 6 tackles including 3 for loss with 2 sacks plus a forced fumble and a QB hurry. His strip sack in the fourth quarter to set up Tech's final drive to run out the clock was obviously critical in sealing the deal, but Garbutt was consistent throughout this game in making big plays for the Hokies.

With his performance against Liberty, Garbutt clearly has his best season as a Hokie now with career highs in both tackles for loss (12) and sacks (6.5), doing so on a team without a lot of help to avoid him having the spotlight on him while also only playing in 9 games. Personally, he's had the type of production that should earn him some sort of All-ACC recognition either as an Honorable Mention or a Third Teamer.

Keli Lawson continues to have his breakthrough over this final month as he had 5 tackles including 2 tackles for loss with a sack plus a fumble recovery. Meanwhile, Mansoor Delane continues to impress with 5 tackles including 2 for loss plus a forced fumble and 2 pass breakups. Dax Hollifield added 6 tackles including 1.5 for loss with a sack while Keonta Jenkins had 6 tackles including 0.5 for loss.