Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

The Hokies have put themselves in position to win. But they can’t seem to close the deal. Last week, the offense finally showed up but the defense didn’t. At some point, both sides of the ball will show up and the Hokies will put another win on the board. The prospects of a bowl game are starting to look dicey.

SP+ Rankings

Virginia Tech

Overall: 43rd
Offense: 57th
Defense: 38th
Special Teams: 57th

Georgia Tech

Overall: 50th
Offense: 47th
Defense: 50th
Special Teams: 94th

Georgia Tech is a solid offensive team. The throw and run the ball well. Like Syracuse, they are a team that creates running plays from their quarterback and running backs. A running QB gave the Hokies a lot of trouble last week. This is an area that has given the Hokies a lot of trouble for years now. The Hokies need to do a better job of spying the quarterback if they hope to slow down Georgia Tech’s offense.

The Yellow Jackets are not a good defensive team. This is a team the Hokies should be able to put up some yards on. Virginia Tech would be smart to lean on a similar gameplan to last week’s. Run the ball. Get Malachi Thomas involved and not force the issue in the pass game. There should be some space this week for the offense to operate. Georgia Tech’s defense looks like a better matchup for the Hokies than Syracuse did.

This looks like an even matchup. Georgia Tech has a better offense. Virginia Tech has a better defense. In even matchups like this, I like to go with the home team. Virginia Tech is dealing with a lot of internal turmoil and a road trip is not what they need to turn things around. It’ll be a close game. This game will come down to the 4th quarter and like the Notre Dame and Syracuse games, Georgia Tech makes enough plays down the stretch to get the win.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 28, Virginia Tech 21

Syracuse vs. Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

You can’t win if you can’t score. The Hokies defense put up a solid effort against Pitt. But the offense couldn’t stay on the field and the defense wore out. We’ll continue to see that unless this offense gets any better as the season goes on.

SP+ Rankings

Virginia Tech

Overall: 52nd
Offense: 68th
Defense: 33rd
Special Teams: 88th

Syracuse

Overall: 58th
Offense: 69th
Defense: 40th
Special Teams: 109th

Syracuse runs the ball well. They are one of the best rushing offenses in the country. They have an elite running back in Sean Tucker and a quarterback who can get yards on the ground. This is the type of offense that has given the Hokies trouble in recent years. Expect the Orange to keep the ball on the ground and pound it right at the Hokies defense.

Syracuse defense is bend but don’t break. They give up a lot of completed passes but not a lot of yards. They keep the game in front of them. This is the type of defense that should be able to feast on the Hokies’ offensive approach this season. Virginia Tech will have to take some chances downfield to have success against Syracuse’s defense.

The two defenses are similar but Syracuse does one thing well and that’s run the ball. Last week, my pick was easy Pittsburgh had the better QB. This week, Syracuse has the better running back. Sometimes you don’t have to overthink it. The Hokies will score some points because this isn’t exactly an elite defense. But Syracuse will do enough with their running game to pull out a win. Lou Groza award winner Andre Szmyt for the win.

Prediction: Syracuse 24, Virginia Tech 21

Pittsburgh vs. Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

The Notre Dame game was a tough pill to swallow. The Hokies were so close to putting that game away but couldn’t make the plays in crunch time. Every year there are going to be close games and those games are the difference between good seasons and great seasons. So far, the Hokies are 1-2 in those games. That needs to improve as the Hokies get into conference play.

SP+ Rankings

Virginia Tech

Overall: 49th
Offense: 50th
Defense: 46th
Special Teams: 56th

Pittsburgh

Overall: 10th
Offense: 9th
Defense: 27th
Special Teams: 15th

Kenny Pickett may be the best QB the Hokies see this season. He may not be the highest pick in the draft but he is putting up the best numbers at the college level. Pickett is one of the best in the nation in passing yards, passing TDs and passing efficiency. Virginia Tech has had trouble over the years with NFL-caliber quarterbacks. Kenny Pickett definitely fits that description. The Hokies defensive backs and linebackers better bring their A-game because Pickett is going to be tough to stop.

The Pitt rushing defense will be able to stop the run and make the Hokies one-dimensional. Tech will have to throw to move the ball against Pitt which means winning battles in one-on-one coverage. Braxton Burmeister is going to have to be able to throw the ball up and hope his receiver comes down with it. So far this year, the Hokies haven’t been winning many of those battles when the ball is in the air. This isn’t a game where the Hokies can afford to be tentative on offense.

Tech should have one of the better pass defenses that Pitt have faced. The Hokies’ secondary matches up pretty well against Pitt’s receivers. But it’s a balanced offense that will be tough to stop. They run the ball well which will set up some opportunities to go downfield to their deep ball threats. This Pitt offense has been a nightmare for opposing defenses because they run and pass the ball so well.

Is this a lost cause? Definitely not. Pittsburgh looked extremely mortal in their loss to Western Michigan. Maybe Pittsburgh will look a little rusty after their bye. Pitt has lost in their last two visits to Lane Stadium. The Hokies looked terrible in 2019 in the Duke game and came back the next week and beat a pretty good Miami team. Weird things happen in college football. On paper, Pitt looks like the better team but anything can happen on any given Saturday in college football.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 31, Virginia Tech 17

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

The Richmond game film is one you throw right in the dumpster. You’re not going to learn anything from it. The Hokies made a bunch of mistakes on offense and squeaked by an FCS team. The takeaway is that the Virginia Tech offense has to execute better. But they knew that after the WVU game. Let’s see if there were any improvements made during the bye week. The offense is what is holding this team back from being a true Coastal contender.

SP+ Rankings

Virginia Tech

Overall: 33rd
Offense: 37th
Defense: 32nd
Special Teams: 89th

Notre Dame

Overall: 20th
Offense: 41st
Defense: 17th
Special Teams: 58th

These teams are mirror images of each other. Good but not great defenses. And pretty ugly offenses. Both teams will struggle to move the ball on Saturday. And if there is rain in the forecast, things could get ugly. Expect Notre Dame to go to their dual-threat QB, Drew Pyne, to try to move the ball on the ground against the Hokies defense.

Virginia Tech can turn the tide of the game with a big turnover. Notre Dame’s offensive line has been struggling this year. If the Hokies can get a turnover by getting in the backfield, that could flip field position and lead to points.

A special teams play could be the difference. Both teams have excellent return teams. A big return could lead to points in a game that will be short on them. Field goals will also be at a premium in this game. As far as the kicking game, you have to give the nod to Notre Dame in this matchup.

Notre Dame dominates the ACC. Notre Dame is 24-1 in their last 25 games against the ACC and they’ve won their last 16 regular season games against ACC teams. These stats alone should make Hokies fans less than confident with the Irish coming to town.

The Hokies have been AWFUL coming out of bye weeks in the last 3 seasons. Three 20+ point blowouts and a close loss assisted by a 98 yard fumble return. This doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that VT will hit their stride coming out of the bye. Notre Dame is a good team and if the Hokies aren’t ready, they’re going to get punched right in the mouth. My initial inclination was to pick Notre Dame in a blowout but I don’t think they have the offensive firepower to blowout the Hokies. Be prepared for a sloppy performance where Notre Dame does enough to win an ugly game in Blacksburg.

Prediction: Notre Dame 23, Virginia Tech 17

%d bloggers like this: