Freshmen Files: The Old Dominion Game
As many say, it’s tough being a Hokie. That sentiment continues to be true, as Old Dominion handed Virginia Tech a 20-17 loss last Friday night. Virginia Tech shot itself in the foot too many times on Friday night -- something a team with a slim margin of error can not afford. Four interceptions, a botched snap resulting in a 10-point swing, and simply not capitalizing on offense were all detrimental to the Hokies. Brent Pry has lots of work to do.
On the brighter side, this will be the very first edition of a season-long series: Freshmen Files. Every week we will spotlight the freshman, true or redshirt, who played and had an impact on the game. With that being said, let us get into the first edition of Freshmen Files: The Old Dominion Game.
#28 Chance Black - RB/KR, r-Fr.
With Jalen Holston seeming limited, and Malachi Thomas not making the trip due to injuries, Chance Black saw a majority of the carries behind Keshawn King. Black had seven carries for 22 yards, for an average of 3.1 yards per carry. Black additionally registered 14 yards after contact. He looked impressive on the one kick he returned, taking it 29 yards out.
Better angle, great cuts to get upfield. Black run the rock pic.twitter.com/KUghn0Nfci— Joe Rogers (@VT_JoeRogers_38) September 4, 2022
#20 DJ Harvey - CB/PR, r-Fr.
The former 4 star Sierra Canyon product saw all his action at punt return on Friday night. He fielded three punts for a total of two yards. Harvey needs to field the punts that he can -- he let a couple roll too far, hurting the Hokies starting field position. A positive, though, is that he fielded all three punts cleanly -- no muffs in his first start at punt return. I remain very high on DJ Harvey. Once he gets some more experience back there, I think he can be dangerous.
#24 Jaden Keller - WLB, r-Fr.
Keller may have been a little banged up, as he surprisingly did not get the start at the Will position. He played a total of 15 snaps, registering a solid 73.6 PFF defensive grade. He totaled three tackles and is credited with a sack (per hokiesports.com) on ODU QB Hayden Wolff -- the one that resulted in a fumble. Keller looked as advertised when he was in. Hopefully we can see him at 100% soon.
It was a tough loss for the #Hokies Friday night to ODU but @VikingsTHS alum Jaden Keller (@jaden_keller24) made one heck of a hit on this strip sack! Check it out below ⬇️— Andrew McClung (@AMcClungTV) September 5, 2022
🎥: @theACC @BTCS_THS pic.twitter.com/Pn5EAZd3du
#38 Jayden McDonald - WLB, r-Fr.
The 6'4" 231 pounder got the start at the Will Linebacker position over Keller, as Alan Tisdale did not make the trip to Norfolk. Jayden McDonald played 37 total snaps in his first Hokie start, making six tackles. He did have a few missed tackles, and his PFF tackling grade of 35.6 resembles that. However, McDonald provides speed and size on the defensive side of the ball. I would expect to see more of him throughout the year, even upon Tisdale's return.
Slides four and five on his most recent Instagram post below show a couple of nice tackles he makes.
Who Else and What's Next?
The following redshirt freshmen also saw the field in some capacity: Jack Hollfield, Jaylen Hoyle, Nyke Johnson, and Elijah Howard.
Harrison Saint Germain, Mansoor Delane, Bryce Duke, and Keyshawn Burgos were the only true freshmen who got in.
Virginia Tech will look to get back on track in its home opener versus Boston College on Saturday night. Boston College also started its season 0-1, losing to Rutgers 22-21 at home.