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Virginia Tech 36, Maryland 9: Hokies' Three Stars

No one's performance was eye-popping either on the stat sheet or on the screen during today's game against Maryland. However, here are the three players who distinguished themselves during today's win over Maryland.

First Star: QB Tyrod Taylor

Maryland focused on stopping the run in the first half, showing man coverage against Tech's receivers. Taylor took advantage for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. He finished the day 13-for-23 for 268 yards and three TDs. During Taylor's time at Tech we've learned how much he loves to throw against man coverage. His first half today was similar to his game against Duke where he was able to throw good looking deep ball and let his receivers go get them.

Taylor also ran eight times for 81 yards. This included two sacks for losses of eight yards combined. Take those out and Taylor's rushing numbers are six carries for 89 yards. Taylor's lone mistake came on Maryland's lone touchdown. On a play-action pass in his own end zone Taylor held onto the ball a little too long and fumbled, allowing Maryland to score what will probably be the Terps' easiest touchdown of the year.

vs Maryland / 11.14.09 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD Rush Yds Avg TD
Tyrod Taylor 13 23 60.0 268 3 8 81 10.1 0

Second Star: LB Jake Johnson

One week after not seeing the field for a single play, Johnson came back with a vengeance. He led the team with seven tackles, including two sacks. The sacks came on consecutive plays in the second quarter. In all, Johnson had five tackles in the second quarter to help the Hokies take a 27-3 lead into halftime.

Johnson struggled in the middle of the season and lost his starting job to freshman Lyndell Gibson before the East Carolina game. Whether or not Johnson has earned back his starting job won't be decided until later this week. But he certainly has earned more playing time for the Hokies' last two regular season games and bowl game.

Third Star: WR Jarrett Boykin

All three of Boykin's catches came in the first half. He ended up with 118 yards and a 64-yard touchdown catch down the middle of the field to give Tech a 27-3 lead. It was Boykin's fourth touchdown of the game. His first catch was originally called a touchdown, but replay ruled him down at the one-yard line after a 30-yard reception.

Boykin has become the Hokies' primary deep threat after it looked like Xavier Boyce was going to win the split end job at the beginning of the season. You can tell Taylor trusts him to go up and get jump balls in man coverage. He also has a good sense of where he is in relation to the sideline and good body control when in the air.