VT-UNC grades: Rogers leads Hokies offense to win

The top performances and biggest takeaways from Virginia Tech’s victory over North Carolina.

| 2 weeks ago
(Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

VT-UNC grades: Rogers leads Hokies offense to win

Virginia Tech Hokies 34, North Carolina Tar Heels 3 

Here are the top performances and biggest takeaways from Virginia Tech’s 34-3 drudging of North Carolina.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Quarterback grade: Jerod Evans, 55.2 

Evans plays well when he’s not losing the ball

Considering the rain, Evans actually had a reasonably successful day when he attempted to pass. He completed seven of his 14 aimed passes (he attempted 18 throws, three of which were thrown away intentionally with one more getting batted down at the line of scrimmage) and two of those seven completions resulted in six points. The weather likely had a role with him putting the ball on the turf a couple of times though, which is ultimately what weighs down his overall grade.


Top offensive grades

FB Sam Rogers, 86.5
T Yosuah Nijman, 73.7
TE Chris Cunningham, 70.7
G Augie Conte, 69.9
HB Travon McMillian, 67.5

Sam Rogers leads VT offense on the ground

In a rainy, ugly, sloppy game, it was the FB who stood above everyone else. To be honest, I’m having a tough time putting into words exactly how exceptional of a performance Sam Rogers put on Saturday afternoon. Whether he was leading the HB up the middle or sealing off the edge for a run to bounce outside, he simply did it all. Rogers finished the game with an 88.5 run-blocking grade, with only a few minor blemishes keeping that from reaching 90.

Top defensive grades 

LB Andrew Motuapuaka, 87.0
CB Greg Stroman, 82.9
S Terrell Edmunds, 80.7
LB Tremaine Edmunds, 79.0
CB Brandon Facyson

Defense dominates in the rain

The Hokie defense teamed up with the rain to keep the Tar Heel offense from doing much of anything. LB Andrew Motuapuaka led the team with 12 tackles in North Carolina and he also led the defense with five stops (a solo tackle that constitutes as a loss for the offense, given the situation). In the secondary, Tremaine Edmunds allowed six of eight targets to be caught, but held Tar Heel receivers to just 26 yards total. Meanwhile, Greg Stroman allowed just one catch on six targets while also defending two passes and snagging an interception. QB Mitch Trubisky had a 0.0 QB rating when targeting the man covered by Stroman.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Quarterback grade: Mitch Trubisky, 39.9

Tough time for Trubisky

There is no way around it, Mitch Trubisky was simply brutal in this one. There’s really nothing positive you can point to when a QB plays an entire game and finishes with just 58 yards to pair with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Trubisky had all day to throw for most of the game but simply had no answers for Virginia Tech’s coverage. When he wasn’t under pressure, Trubisky completed just nine of 23 passes for 46 yards, two interceptions and a microscopic 11.0 QB rating.


Top offensive grades

C Lucas Crowley, 78.1
T Bentley Spain, 78.1
G Tommy Hatton, 74.0
G Nick Polino, 69.5
G R.J. Prince, 69.3

Offensive line holds it’s own

Few positives coming from the Tar Heel’s offense on Saturday, but at least the offensive line wasn’t a disaster. As a unit they combined to allow just two pressures in pass protection and neither were a hit or sack.

Top defensive grades

DI Nazair Jones, 79.9
CB M.J. Stewart, 77.0
LB Andre Smith, 76.0
S Dominquie Green, 75.6
DI Aaron Crawford, 74.1

Defense weathers the storm

The defense held its own for most of the game — turnovers were ultimately what weighed the most on this one’s outcome. Andre Smith led the defense with eight stops on the day to go with a team-high 12 tackles. Aaron Crawford and Nazair Jones combined for seven stops in run defense (their respective 13.0 and 12.5 run stop percentages were among the top defensive tackles this week) and Des Lawrence (73.0 overall) was the most-targeted player in the secondary, allowing just one of four targets to be caught to go with two pass defensed.