After last night's 49-28 blowout loss to Georgia Tech, we are not awarding a Defensive Hokie of the Game this week. Finding a standout player on defense seemed impossible after the Hokies gave up school records in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and first downs, and allowed 45+ points for the third time this season, the first time that's happened since 1950.
However, there were some solid offensive performances that do deserve recognition as this week's Offensive Hokies of the Game.
Offensive Hokies of the Game: Steven Peoples and Damon Hazelton
Steven Peoples and Damon Hazelton are this week's Defensive Hokies of the Game after their performances against Georgia Tech.
Hazelton led the Hokies' receivers once again with 6 catches for 81 yards including a 41-yard touchdown catch that was his sixth touchdown in seven games. Unlike some Hokies' receivers, Hazelton didn't have any issues with drops as the game went on, and was once again the reliable #1 receiver that is making a case to be an All-ACC First Team player this year.
Expectations were high for Hazelton entering the season and he's lived up to them so far with 35 catches for 596 yards and 6 touchdowns which includes an impressive 17 yards per reception average. Hazelton has been a playmaker with a unique blend of size, athleticism, and speed combined with some very good receiver skills that will have him playing on Sundays in a couple of years.
Steven Peoples also played well with 6 carries for 51 yards, a 13-yard reception, and a pair of kickoff returns that got the Hokies past their own 25. Peoples was able to make more Georgia Tech defenders than I've seen in all of his career before this game and was fairly consistently able to gain yards.
For most of his career, Peoples has simply been a bowling ball but the senior from Galax has developed into a better open-field runner that can break off some double-digit yard gains whether that's on the ground or in the passing game. Going forward, Peoples looks like the top running back for now with Deshawn McClease as the #2 guy.
Congrats to Steven Peoples and Damon Hazelton on being this week's Hokies of the Game.
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
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