Virginia Tech shook off a sluggish start and rolled to a 42-7 victory over FCS opponent Austin Peay, moving the Hokies 2-0 on the season. Virginia Tech got good performances from a number of players, including WR Dyrell Roberts. Today, we identify the top five performers from the game.
Dunn made his season debut against the Governors after not playing against Georgia Tech and had a solid impact for the Hokies. He finished with three catches for 39 yards and a 13-yard touchdown reception, displaying the receiving prowess that we've been hearing about for years.
Dunn also managed to haul in a big reception without a shoe, providing another highlight. He's likely only to be a situational threat this year (he played the entire two-minute drill at the end of the first half), but it's obvious that he definitely can bring something to the table for the Hokies.
Despite letting a snap go right through his hands against Georgia Tech, the true freshman Hughes really turned in a solid performance Monday night so it was no surprise when he did so again Saturday afternoon.
Hughes punted five times with an average of 44 yards with a long of 53. He pinned two punts inside the twenty and got all five off without a hitch, which is the least you can ask for from a punter. Hughes is going to get better and better as the season progresses.
Tyler is as solid a tackler as defensive coordinator Bud Foster has had in a number of years and he showed it again Saturday, leading the team in stops with eight. Tyler played this game without Bruce Taylor on one side of him, which made his ability to run sideline-to-sideline and make stops on first contact imperative.
The Hokies hope to get Tariq Edwards back at some point this season, but Tyler's played well enough in two games this year to relegate Edwards to a reserve role for 2012.
Thomas wasn't on top of his game again Saturday, but still managed to put together a 15 of 23 day passing for 212 yards and two touchdowns. From one 20-yard line to the other, Thomas seems to struggle with accuracy, throwing crossing routes high and out routes wide. However, he's been pretty good in the redzone so far this year and seems to have perfected the deft touch pass needed to hit the tight end in the back middle of the end zone.
Despite the aforementioned struggles, Thomas still the led the team in offensive production last year and ran a wicked two minute drill in the final 1:32 of the first half.
Out of all the Virginia Tech defenders, Jarrett has been the most impressive so far this season. He played sparingly last season and didn't really show a ton of ability, so his big-hitting ability and rangy coverage skills have come as a welcome surprise this season.
Jarrett finished second on the team in tackles Saturday with six (1.5 TFL) and showed some terrific technique on a handful of open field tackles. Jarrett's biggest contribution Saturday came on special teams, as he fielded a punt with around four minutes left in the first quarter and took it 46-yards to the six yard line to set up the first Tech touchdown.
Coach Frank Beamer switched punt returners before this game from Roberts to a combination of Michael Holmes and Jarrett, but look for Jarrett to be the sole returner for the foreseeable future.