Virginia Tech and Old Dominion are making their final preparations for their first matchup between the two in-state programs. There is plenty of excitement around this game within the Commonwealth, especially in the 757.
With that said, here are our Hokies to watch against Old Dominion.
Cam Phillips has been quite impressive over the first two games leading the nation in receiving yards and also being in the top 3 in receptions and receiving touchdowns. While Phillips has been great, the Hokies have been looking for a second and third option to go with Phillips at receiver.
The one guy who has stepped into that second option role, true freshman Sean Savoy.
Savoy has been consistent with 4 receptions in each of his first three games and an average of 11.3 yards per reception over those games. Sean Savoy has shown great speed and the flexibility to work on the outside or in the slot even at 5'10''. Savoy has been consistent through the first games and if there's one receiver that's been able to establish himself as a second option, it's the D.C. true freshman.
While Savoy has been solid through the first three games, he seems poised for a big game soon especially as teams continue to put more and more attention on Phillips. Savoy has the speed to be a dangerous playmaker over the top and if he can build the same rapport that Phillips has with Josh Jackson, Savoy will give opposing cornerbacks problems.
ODU has some questions at cornerback and with Phillips receiving all the attention, Savoy will have the chance to make some big plays. Don't be surprised if Savoy has his breakout game tomorrow against ODU.
Deshawn McClease has shown lots of promise this season against West Virginia and East Carolina. In those two games, he's averaged at least 5 yards per carry and flipped the momentum of the game against West Virginia with some big runs.
While McClease is primarily a speed back, he's shown that he can run between the tackles fairly effectively while having the toughness and enough strength to fight for a couple of extra yards. Deshawn McClease has been the Hokies' second best back through the first three games and is continuing to push Travon McMillian and Steven Peoples for carries.
McClease likely will have around 10-15 carries this game, and look to make a statement knowing there will be lots of 757 attention on this game. McClease has also been playing well so far this season and has a great chance to make lots of plays against Old Dominion.
Deshawn McClease has a great opportunity to be a difference maker while having some extra motivation in a game that will have lots of 757 attention. If there's a running back that's going to have a big game, McClease is the top candidate.
Divine Deablo/Reggie Floyd
Reggie Floyd may be the starting rover, but Floyd and Divine Deablo have both rotated in and out fairly regularly. Floyd had a more prominent role against Delaware while Deablo had a larger than expected role against West Virginia. This game could give us a sign as to whether Floyd or Deablo will consistently have a larger role, or if we'll continue to see the rotation depending on the situation.
Floyd has proven to be more effective as a rush defender making lots of plays around the line of scrimmage especially against Old Dominion. Floyd hasn't been great in coverage, but he has proven to be proficient most of the time in pass coverage. However, Floyd is definitely not as good in pass coverage as Divine Deablo.
Deablo has been a major surprise as the Hokies' third safety. Divine Deablo has proven to be a very good center-field free safety that allows Terrell Edmunds to be used more around the line of scrimmage and gives the Hokies a better pass coverage option than Floyd. Deablo was particularly effective against West Virginia, and showed that he could be the starting free safety in 2018 if Terrell Edmunds leaves early.
Looking at ODU, they have a more-balanced offense that should give us some insight into whether Bud Foster wants to use Floyd or Deablo more.
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