The Hokies are ranked! Finally. It’s been a long time since Virginia Tech has been in the top 25. Since September 2014 to be exact. After they beat Ohio State. Since then it’s been a lot of .500 football. They’re back in the top 25 and this time it feels like they’ll stay there for a while.
On to North Carolina. This looks like an even matchup on paper. North Carolina has an elite offense. Virginia Tech has an elite defense. North Carolina’s offense has talent but is inconsistent. You can say the same for the Virginia Tech offense. The advanced stats tell the story.
S&P+ Rankings: 14th
S&P+ Offensive Ranking: 73rd
S&P+ Defensive Ranking: 7th
S&P+ Special Teams Ranking: 32nd
S&P+ Rankings: 27th
S&P+ Offensive Ranking: 7th
S&P+ Defensive Ranking: 101st
S&P+ Special Teams Ranking: 20th
This game will come down to special teams plays and turnovers. The team that can make plays on special teams and win the turnover battle will win the game.
If you’re looking for matchups, watch Mitch Trubisky and VT’s secondary. He hasn’t faced a secondary this good all year. The highest ranked secondary he’s faced all year is Georgia. And they rank 92nd in passing efficiency defense. That’s a big jump in competition.
This is going to be a close game. Both teams are very good and deserve their top 25 ranking. Is Virginia Tech’s secondary good enough to slow down UNC’s high powered passing attack? Can Virginia Tech score consistently against a talented but inconsistent defense? Will the Hokies be able to keep Ryan Switzer in check?
North Carolina played very well against Pitt and FSU and pulled out gutsy wins against both. Then you have the Hokies coming off a bye week. There is the whole rest vs rust argument. History tells us Justin Fuente’s teams are good coming off a bye. Let’s hope that’s enough to pull out a tough fought win against the Tar Heels.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 31, North Carolina 30