Boykin with a career high Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin caught seven passes for 149 yards in the Hokies’ game with Wake Forest, and one of those catches went 20 yards for a touchdown.
“Actually, I was kind of feeling out there,” Boykin said. “It felt like I was in the zone and that I couldn’t be stopped. Logan was making some incredible throws, and I was just going up and trying to make a play.”
The touchdown reception marked his third of the season and the 16th of his career. His 16 career touchdown receptions ranked tied for fourth in school history with Josh Morgan. Only Antonio Freeman (22 touchdown receptions), André Davis (18) and Ricky Scales (18) stand ahead of Boykin on the list.
But Boykin’s biggest reception was a 39-yarder that set up Tech’s first touchdown. He nearly scored on the play – and in fact, the officials reviewed it and determined he stepped out at the 1. More importantly, the play seemed to get Tech’s offense going.
“I think that kind of jump-started us,” Boykin said. “We were struggling up to that point. But once we had those couple of plays [his reception and Thomas’ touchdown], that motivated us to keep going.”
Wilson trips 100 again: Tech tailback David Wilson rushed for 136 yards on 17 carries and scored on a 7-yard touchdown run on Tech’s first drive of the second half – a score that gave the Hokies a 28-10 lead.
The performance marked Wilson’s sixth game of 100 or more yards rushing on the season. It also gave the ACC’s leading rushing 903 yards rushing this season and puts him within easy shot of his first 1,000-yard season, barring injury, of course.
“He runs with great effort every time,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “Not just one or two times, but every time. Sometimes you question where he’s going, but you know he’s going full speed. So you have to let him go.”
Two make first career starts: Two players made their first career starts because of the many injuries that the Hokies have suffered this season. Defensive end Tyrel Wilson and defensive tackle Luther Maddy made the first starts of their careers in place of James Gayle (ankle) and Antoine Hopkins (knee), respectively. Hopkins will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in the Clemson game.
Wilson was credited with five tackles and a sack, while Maddy recorded a tackle for a loss. Tech finished with nine tackles for a loss and six sacks.
A coupe of other young players saw extensive reps because of injuries. Alonzo Tweedy played extensively at whip linebacker after Jeron Gouveia-Winslow suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury in the Miami game (Tweedy didn’t start because the Hokies opened in a nickel defense), and redshirt freshman Detrick Bonner got a ton of time after Jayron Hosley went down with a hamstring injury in the first quarter.
Tweedy recorded six tackles, including one for a loss, while Bonner recorded eight tackles, including one for a loss.
“The whole season has been about being one play away, and I think our guys are ready for that opportunity to play,” said J.R. Collins, who recorded a half of a sack and a tackle for a loss. “They went out and showed it tonight.”
“I feel like they’re going in there and we’re not missing a beat,” backer Tariq Edwards said of the younger players. “It’s huge to be able to have that kind of depth and being able to show our potential on defense. We don’t lack any type of effort when a guy goes out.”
Branthover faring well as punter: Since playing in his first collegiate game against Miami last week, punter Michael Branthover has been punting pretty well. Against Wake Forest, Branthover booted two punts of 50 yards or more and placed three inside the 20-yard line.
Branthover’s longest punt was 58 yards, but his 50-yarder toward the end of the first half probably was his biggest punt of the night. Tech downed that punt at the Wake Forest 5, and four plays later, the Hokies’ Tariq Edwards intercepted a pass thrown by Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price at the Wake 26. That led to the Hokies’ touchdown right before half, one that gave Tech a 21-10 lead.
Branthover averaged 42.1 yards per punt on seven punts.
“He hit a couple of good ones, and he had a couple that were shaky,” Beamer said. “But for a true freshmen, that was pretty good.”
Edwards with big game: After recording just a couple of assists in Tech’s win over Miami, backer Tariq Edwards bounced back in a big way, recording a sack, a tackle for a loss and an interception in the first half alone. He finished with three tackles (two solo).
The interception marked the second of Edwards’ career. He picked off a pass in the Hokies’ win over Miami last season.
“I give J.R. [Collins] all the credit,” Edwards said. “He tipped the ball, just playing hard, like he always does. I had the back coming out of the backfield, but the back didn’t come out, so I was right there to make the play. But J.R. deserves the credit.”
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