NC State Preview and Prediction

The Hokies finally get on the field after two weeks of postponements. As of the publishing of this post, the game is still on. Let’s hope it stays that way. The team has been struggling over the last three weeks with significant issues related to COVID-19. The team as a whole had to take a four-day pause from football activities since they had so many players out due to positive tests or contact tracing. Even now, as players start returning from quarantine, it appears like the Hokies may be without some key starters for NC State.

SP+ Rankings

Virginia Tech

Overall: 27th
Offense: 38th
Defense: 24th

NC State

Overall: 60th
Offense: 57th
Defense: 61st

The rankings above are based on preseason rankings and one game that NC State has played against Wake Forest. NC State is a solid team that put up a lot of points against Wake Forest. The Wolfpack ran the ball well last week. That concerns me due to the fact that the Hokies have had many guys unavailable to practice for the last couple of weeks. We saw what happened to Navy after their team went no-contact in practice. BYU ran all over them. Since the team has been limited in practice for the last two weeks, let’s hope we don’t see that with our guys.

I’m a bit less concerned about the offense. If Braxton Burmeister has to play, he is ready. I’ve heard he is an excellent runner and a good passer. He has playing experience from his days at Oregon and he’s entering his second year at Virginia Tech. If called upon, he can do the job. What to look for on Saturday is a healthy offensive line that will be able to line up and run the ball. The Hokies have a stable of capable running backs. This week’s game plan should focus on running the ball, running the clock and keeping the defense off the field.

The first thing I want to see this week is for the Hokies to actually make it to kickoff. They still need to get through test results on Saturday morning before they are cleared to play. If they do make it to kickoff, they will still may be down a couple of starters. And they will be playing a team that has already played a game. Both of those things concern me. This is a good week for the Hokies to go with a safe game plan to pull out a victory. Next week, they should be able to get more of their guys back.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 27, NC State 24


NC State Preview and Prediction

The Hokies have been a disappointment so far. There is far too much talent on this team to be a sub .500 team. That’s even without the services of Michael Brewer and Kendall Fuller. The Pitt game was just embarrassing. We got Stanford’d… BY PITT! They just dominated line play on both sides of the ball. It was not a banner day for Virginia Tech football.

Now let’s get down to some realities about Virginia Tech football. This simply is not a good team right now. This team resembles Mike London’s Hoos more than they resemble the Hokies that we all know and love. The Hokies are 1-7 in their last 8 home games against Power 5 competition and that one win was against UVA. They aren’t exactly a powerhouse program right now and it required a 4th quarter comeback to pull off that victory.

I’m really struggling with whether this is just a bad team or if this is a team that is struggling through some injuries and youth and will come around as the season progresses. I’m honestly not sure but the signs don’t look good. I’m hoping that Michael Brewer can inject some life into a team that is struggling right now.

Well, time to move on to NC State. Jacoby Brissett is solid QB with good mobility. As we found out the last few weeks, the Hokies seem completely unable to stop a mobile QB. I don’t know what it’s going to take to change that.  Brissett only has 39 rushing yards for the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if he matched that on their first drive. Let’s hope the Hokies have found the lunch pail since last Saturday.

Let’s hope that Michael Brewer starts Friday night. The film is out on Brenden Motley and if the Pitt game is any indication, it appears like the offense is pretty limited with him at the helm. NC State has the type of secondary that Michael Brewer will be able to move the ball against if he can get better protection from the offensive line. This is the type of game where the Hokies need to put the ball in the hands of their playmakers and let them make plays. Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges and Ryan Malleck should be able to win a lot of matchups in this game, if the QB can get them the ball.

I have the same record as the Hokies in picking games this year. I’m going to start picking against the Hokies until they show me that they’re not a bottom feeder ACC team. I would used to say that a night game at Lane Stadium is a cure for what ails you. Now I’m not so sure. Here’s to hoping that Michael Brewer injects some life in the offense and that the defense has found the lunch pail. If not, it’s probably another week of one possession loss misery.

Prediction: NC State 24, Virginia Tech 17