There are definitely some concerns going into this game. The Hokies starting DTs are banged up which is a bad thing when facing a Georgia Tech team that loves to give it to their B-back going right up the middle of the defense. In the past, VT’s ability to defend that part of the option has limited what GT has been able to do on the ground. It’s also a concern that the Hokies will have a new LB corps going into this game. Last year, they had an advantage with a couple of guys on the field who had seen this offense multiple times. For Clarke, Williams and DiNardo, it will be the first time they’ve played against it. All of this makes me think GT will put up more points than we’re all used to. Last year, they scored 10 and 17 the year before.
On offense, this is the game where Hokies need to be able to run the ball. GT has not been able to stop anyone on the ground (216 ypg, 5.9 ypc). If the Hokies can’t move the ball on the ground against this defense, they’ve got some serious issues. This is a game where they need to lean on the running game with McKenzie and Williams and let them carry the offense to victory. If they can move the ball consistently on the ground, the Hokies should be able to outscore the Yellow Jackets.
Originally, I was thinking the Hokies would win by around 10 or 11. The more I look at the situation at DT and LB, I’m thinking this game will be closer than that (this game is always a close game). Expect a lot of trouble from Zach Laskey (FB) up the middle and expect former Alabama DB commit Justin Thomas (QB) to break a couple of long runs. Ultimately, I think the Hokies will do just enough on defense and the offense will be able to score consistently enough throughout the game that the Hokies win by a TD in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 28, Georgia Tech 21