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Freshmen Files: The Miami Game

By Sam Stromberg | October 17
Freshmen Files: The Miami Game
HokieBird was all smiles on Homecoming. (Photo/SOS)

Virginia Tech dropped to 2-5 this past Saturday after losing to Miami (3-3). The Hokies trailed by 20-points entering the fourth quarter, but turned it around, losing 20-14. Miami, however, did do the Hokies plenty of favors, accounting for over 150 penalty-yards. We continued to see more freshmen with expanded roles, now seven games into the season. Soon enough, redshirts will be burned…or not burned, as the staff has some decisions to make.

On Offense…

#13 Dae’Quan Wright (Fr., TE) accounted for 37-yards on three catches in Saturday's loss. Wright had a 27-yard catch and run on the Hokies’ first drive, unfortunately only to end up fumbling in Miami territory. Wright seems to gain a first down nearly every time he touches the ball – he did it twice vs. Miami. Despite the fumble, Wright must continue to be heavily involved in this Hokies’ offense. It was nice to see that Wright was not pulled from the game after that fumble, something that has upset Hokie fans in recent years.

#61 Braelin Moore (Fr., OG) came to Virginia Tech this year knowing he would be on the line, but just not sure if it would be on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. It is clear that the true freshman Moore has solidified himself as an offensive guard, alongside his brother and current starting right guard Kaden Moore. Braelin played little vs. West Virginia, but has seen a majority of action against Pitt (34 snaps) and now Miami (21). Moore has been rotating in with redshirt junior Jesse Hanson at right guard. Offensive line coach Joe Rudolph sees something he likes in Moore, as he slowly may take Jesse Hanson's spot.

On Defense…

True-Freshmen-Tandem

#23 Mansoor Delane (Fr., CB) filled in at cornerback over redshirt senior Brion Murray. Delane looked promising, once again, finishing with two pass break-ups and four total tackles. The true freshman out of Maryland had his highest Pro Football Focus (PFF) coverage grade of the year at 74.6. Delane, standing 6’1” and 177lbs, just “looks good” out there. He is fast and strong. Delane has proven to position coach Derek Jones that he should be the starting cornerback alongside Armani Chatman or Dorian Strong (upon his return) for the remainder of the season. #12 Cam Johnson (Fr., CB) got some burn at cornerback vs. Miami as well. The true freshman out of D.C. played 14 total snaps, recording a solo tackle and letting up one reception for seven-yards. Johnson can play in two more games before his redshirt is burned. It will be interesting to see what the staff chooses to do regarding his redshirt situation.

#29 Nyke Johnson (R-Fr., S/CB) had an increased role as starting senior safety Nasir Peoples got ejected for targeting in the first half. The redshirt freshman from South Carolina had a career-high four total tackles. Johnson recovered the blocked-punt touchdown last week at Pitt.

What’s Next?

Virginia Tech is back in action on Thursday, October 27, at NC State. NC State is coming off its second loss of the year to Syracuse. Starting QB Devin Leary is out for the remainder of the season as well. The Wolfpack, like the Hokies, have a bye this upcoming week in preparation for the Thursday night clash.

Sam Stromberg

Sam Stromberg

High school student at Norfolk Academy. Born and raised in the 757. Been a Hokie fan ever since I can remember. Immensely passionate about journalism and Virginia Tech sports. Go Hokies!

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