Liberty vs Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

This week we have a guest contributor @DriftVT from Twitter writing this week’s preview.

Before we get into the preview, please consider giving to a GoFundMe to support the families affected by the shooting in Charlottesville this week: https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/uva-shooting-help

After back-to-back collapses against NC State and Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech was completely outmatched by the Duke Blue Devils this past weekend. A game that left most Virginia Tech fans feeling demoralized. It was a tough game to watch, as Virginia Tech took the lead to start the game, and failed to score again. Losing even against the spread which was 9.5 in favor of Duke.

Moving forward to this week, Virginia Tech is playing the best program in the state of Virginia, in Liberty. Hugh Freeze has built a winning G5 program, and he was recently signed to an extension keeping him at Liberty for years to come. Until the SEC gives him a ring.

SP+ Rankings

Virginia Tech

Overall: 98th
Offense: 123rd
Defense: 48th
Special Teams: 82nd

Liberty

Overall: 73rd
Offense: 81st
Defense: 49th
Special Teams: 87th

In order for Virginia Tech to contain this Liberty offense, they will need to slow down Demario Douglas. From Jacksonville, FL, Demario has 830 yards this season on 56 catches, which is already a season high for him. He is a shifty mismatch nightmare for defenses to contain and it begs the question, who will Virginia Tech put on him? Usually in this scenario, Chamari Conner or DJ Harvey will cover the slot in man coverage. I’d expect to see more zone this week as I do not believe the staff will be comfortable playing man coverage against him all game. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the Hokies still look completely lost. Everything looks difficult and forced. At least we have been able to snap the ball without false starting every play, which has been about the only improvement. In terms of what works; well, nothing really, outside of throwing the ball downfield to Kaleb Smith. Virginia Tech will have to do whatever they can to score at least 20 points to keep this game within reach. And they’ll need the defense to gift them a turnover as well. 

There are quite a few fans calling for Tyler Bowen to be fired, and while I am completely uninspired by his performance this season, I don’t think he will be let go. I think Pry would like to keep the same staff heading into next season, hoping to learn and grow as a unit. While a new OC could help, I think it might be too soon to cut the cord. 

Up until after the Georgia Tech game, I had said on Twitter just how far one of these games would help recruiting in Virginia if Pry could squeak one or two out. We thought we had it with Miami, then NC State, and then Georgia Tech. If we get blown out this weekend, it will seriously damage the moral of the fanbase and all the buzz around the program. I really think a win here, while unlikely, could go a very long way in repairing some of the damage done by previous staff. Remember, it is a revenge game for the Hokies. 

Even with that being said, here’s my prediction:

Liberty 24, Virginia Tech 13

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