Editor's note: The first published score for the match was incorrect. The current score below is now accurate.
The Virginia Tech Hokies were able to come away with a 26-17 win on Saturday. Here are a couple takeaways from the matchup with Georgia Tech:
1 - Tré Turner has been severely underutilized
One of the most talented players on the team, “Big Play Tré” has earned his mantra for a reason. The junior has a unique ability to get open deep and make big plays once he gets the ball in his hand. Though he’s had a decent season, Turner’s ability to be a superstar wide receiver was put on full display Saturday. The coaching staff used him in much more creative ways in the game, and Turner was able to take advantage of a weak Georgia Tech secondary in route to 187-yard outing. Turner and fellow receiver Tayvion Robinson make up one of the most talented receiving duos in the ACC, and it seems likely the staff is finally putting them in positions to live up to their potential.
2 - Malachi Thomas is here to stay
When the freshman running back came into the game in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss to Pittsburgh, his 33 rushing yards in garbage time seemed to be a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy outing. He then led the team in carries against Syracuse and rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns. The explosive freshman back continued his tear through the ACC on Saturday, rushing for 103 yards on the day. It seems Virginia Tech has found its lead back of the future and it seems Thomas is more than ready to carry the load.
3 - Braxton Burmeister can hit the open throws when needed
This was a much-needed bounceback game for the Hokies’ quarterback Saturday after completing only around 34% of his passes against Pittsburgh and 50% against Syracuse. Burmeister was able to show up in this one, though, completing 60% of his passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns. The struggling quarterback didn’t make many extremely impressive throws on the day, but he hit his receivers when they were open and played well in the play-action and read-option offense.
4 - The Hokie pass defense is menacing
The Hokies’ pass defense continues to be the best part of the team. The combination of a talented secondary and a solid pass rush makes it difficult for most teams they go up against. The Yellow Jackets were only able to pass for 183 yards on around 7 yards per attempt in the game, and Virginia Tech was able to get consistent pressure on Jeff Sims. Outside of Chamarri Conner getting beat on a fade, the pass defense lived up to any and all expectations.
5 - Run defense is still a huge issue
The Hokies were lucky Georgia Tech elected to pass the ball 26 times in the game, because the outcome may have been a lot different if the Yellow Jackets decided to commit to the run. Starting running back Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 113 yards on only 11 carries, and Sims rushed for 60 on the day. Run defense continues to be the weakest link on the team, and the play of linebackers Dax Hollifield and Alan Tisdale will have to improve if Virginia Tech wants to continue to try to right the ship this season.