Three Hokies to Watch for Virginia Tech Against Georgia Tech

Three Hokies to Watch for Virginia Tech Against Georgia Tech
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor

Will Locklin | @@locklin_will

TLP: Writer
Nov 04, 2022

The penultimate home game of Virginia Tech’s 2022 season approaches and the Hokies find themselves in must win territory. Sitting at 2-6, Tech must win out if they want to become bowl eligible. Realistically, it’s tough to expect a team that hasn’t won since the week they played Wofford to rattle off four straight but Hokie Nation can still dream.

This too is a pivotal game on the other side for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are a game ahead of the Hokies at 3-5. A glimmer of hope came from a two game win streak where Georgia Tech upset Pittsburgh and defeated Duke 23-20 in OT. The Yellow Jackets have fallen back to reality with losses to Virginia and Florida State since then.

It’s a must win game for both teams' hopes of earning bowl eligibility as we enter the final third of the college football regular season. Let’s take a look at three Hokies who could play a major role for Virginia Tech this Saturday.

Keshawn King

Recently, the Virginia Tech running back room has been bit by the injury bug. Malachi Thomas suffered a lower body injury in Raleigh where Tech fell to NC State. That leaves a hole for Keshawn King to potentially fill if he plays. King was listed as probable for Saturday’s game after missing the entirety of the NC State game.

King is the Hokies leading rusher as far as the RB room goes in 2022. He’s dealt with injury issues but at full strength, King was a bell cow for Virginia Tech. In the opening game versus Old Dominion, he rushed 111 yards on 19 carries. King piled up two more games of 50 plus yards on the ground against Boston College and North Carolina. If the Hokies want to establish a ground game against the Yellow Jackets, a strong performance from Keshawn King would go a long way to making that happen.

Dae’Quan Wright

Ever since Dae’Quan Wright caught his first pass of his collegiate career against North Carolina, the small but needed impact has been there. He hasn’t make much noise on the stat sheet, but his impact has definitely be felt in providing Tech with another quality receiving threat to go with Kaleb Smith.

So far, Wright has totaled 14 catches for 161 yards in four games with his best outing coming against Pittsburgh where the freshman finished with five catches for 47 yards.

The breakout game for Wright is coming and there’s a good chance it could be this Saturday’s contest. Wright displays unique athleticism for his 6’4'' size and can pose matchup issues for opposing defenses if he’s put in the right situations to succeed.

The Yellow Jackets allow 237.8 yards per game through the air which ranks fourth highest in the ACC. Without a great coverage option to match Wright’s size, ball skills, and speed; the freshman could be in for the big game VT needs to end their losing streak.

Alan Tisdale

The return of Alan Tisdale to Virginia Tech’s defense has been a welcome sight for the fan base and especially the coaching staff. The depth at linebacker for the Hokies was tested and too often failed to rise to the occasion. Dax Hollifield was left to perform solo acts in the middle of the field, plugging up free gaps left and right every Saturday. Tisdale gave Hollifield a breather first against Miami and then in this past week's game versus NC State.

The senior came in and made an immediate impact on the stat sheet in both of his first two games. Tisdale recorded nine tackles, two solo and seven assisted against the Hurricanes. Then he upped his own performance by playing with his tail on fire last Thursday night. Tisdale totaled 11 tackles with five solo and six assisted and notched a sack.

Tisdale has been the exact energy boost this once fledgling Hokies defense needed and his play this Saturday will be absolutely crucial to a strong defensive outing against a decent GT rushing attack led by veteran Hassan Hall averaging 5 yards per carry.