Offensive MVP: Jerod Evans
This guy is on pace for 2,700 yards, 34 TDs and 4 INTs. If he keeps it up in the second half, he will receive consideration for all conference awards. And maybe even some national awards. He has been the biggest difference maker for the Hokies this season.
Honorable mention: Isaiah Ford
Defensive MVP: Andrew Motuapuaka
This one might sound kinda crazy but the stats bear it out. He’s been the Hokies most consistent defender. If you are looking for a reason for the defense’s improvement, look to him. He leads the team in tackles with 57. He has 3 TFLs. 1 Sack. 1 INT. 4 quarterback hurries. And 1 fumble recovery. He has been excellent and somewhat underrated.
Honorable mention: Tremaine Edmunds, Ken Ekanem
Special Teams MVP: Greg Stroman
Stroman has been a game changer on punt returns. He has also been good about taking care of the football. Fair catching when he needs to. Taking a knee in the end zone. He’s making all the right decisions and the Hokies are excelling at special teams again.
Honorable mention: Mitchell Ludwig, Joey Slye
2nd Half Outlook
The Hokies are a better team than they looked against Syracuse. They are better on offense and defense. It was just one of those games where it kind of got away from them. Syracuse was the inspired team and didn’t make many mistakes. The Hokies showed up and went thru the motions for a lot of that game. If you do that, you’re going to get upset.
Either way, I only expect the Hokies to lose 1 or 2 more games the rest of the way. Which would put them at 9-3 or 8-4 for the season. That’ll get them to a good bowl game and Justin Fuente’s first season would be considered a success. I still think this program is on the right track but it will take time before this team will be a consistent top 25 team. The program needs improvement in recruiting and more experience in Justin Fuente’s system.
Justin Fuente’s first game as head coach at Virginia Tech. Will his team be ready? How will he shuffle his personnel? Will he choose to go with simple packages to not show anything before Tennessee? Or will he go pedal to metal in order for his offense to a find groove? As far games against FCS go, this one should be pretty interesting.
What do we want to see from Virginia Tech? I’d like to see us get the ball into the hands of our playmakers. I want to see a lot of handoffs from Jerod Evans to Travon McMillian and Sam Rogers. I want to see short passes to Isaiah Ford, Cam Phillips and Bucky Hodges. Get the ball to your playmakers and let them make plays. Oh, and no turnovers please. PLEASE.
On defense, I don’t want to see the Hokies make any major snafus. No busted coverages. No wide open running lanes. Assignment football. This defense should be able to handle Liberty’s offense even without Adonis Alexander. It’s all about covering their assignments. If they do that, I can’t see Liberty score more than seven. Although, I have my doubts that we will see perfect assignment football from our defense.
Things to lookout for from Liberty:
Stephon Masha (QB, 6’1″, 205 lbs, Jr.) – Uh oh. Running quarterback. Call me when we figure that one out.
Strong passing game – Liberty ranked 29th last season in passing offense last year.
Trick plays – Turner Gill pulls out a trick or two every now and then. Look out for that.
I don’t think that Liberty has the horses to pull off this upset. The Hokies didn’t play a top 10 opponent this past Monday, right? Justin Fuente is the type of coach that always looks for opportunities. This Saturday is opportunity is to show off his team. He seems like the type of coach that is not shy about putting points on the board, regardless of the opponent. This is a game that the Hokies should win without too much trouble. Show up. Play assignment football. Walk away with a comfortable win.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 42, Liberty 17