For the third time this season, the Hokies have collapsed at the end of a game. A game they should have had in hand and failed to put away. This is a trend that has been present for the last few years. It’s a losing mentality. When this team encounters any adversity, they fold like a cheap tent. There are reasons like talent and depth that this team wears out late in game. But that’s only part of the answer. The other part is a psychology of losing that this team can’t seem to kick.
Special Teams: 49th
Special Teams: 53rd
It’s been a while but Duke is good at football again. Mike Elko has done an awesome job of getting the most out of the roster he inherited from David Cutcliffe. This is what VT fans were hoping for from the Pry era but it appears that Duke had a more ready-made roster. Duke has a very good rushing offense that will give the Hokies trouble. Particularly rushing from the QB position. Expect the Hokies to play a lot of zone to try to keep the Duke running game in check. There will be a lot of rushing yards from Duke QB Riley Leonard, especially from read option plays.
Duke’s defense is vulnerable against the pass. Unfortunately, VT’s passing offense is not consistent enough to take advantage of it. The Hokies show flashes here and there in the passing game but it’s not enough. If there was a game where the Tech should focus on airing it out a bit, it’s this game. The Hokies should focus on targeting Kaleb Smith, Dae’Quan Wright and Nick Gallo downfield. This is also a good opportunity for guys like Da’Wain Lofton and Stephen Gosnell to step up in the passing game. The Hokies won’t be able to score much in this game from their run-based offense. They will need some downfield throws to move the ball against a stout Duke defense.
It seems like everything has been a struggle for the Hokies this season. Do they have a chance in this game? Of course. But Duke seems like they are firing on all cylinders based on their roster. Tech is still trying to figure things out. The best thing for Tech to do is forget all the negative plays and bad energy and focus on going 1-0. This team has the talent to win but they need to put a complete game together. There are only three more opportunities to get that done this year. Let’s see if they can finish the season strong.
Prediction: Duke 31, Virginia Tech 17