Leaving Lane Stadium and traveling elsewhere has been miserable for Frank Beamer and the Hokies. Virginia Tech is looking for its first road win of the season, which seems like a daunting task considering this is undoubtedly the biggest game of the season. But if history has taught us anything- the Hokies are 25-2 in ACC-play in November (thanks, Andy Bitter)- we may not see the same team that lost at Pittsburgh, Cincy (at FedEx), UNC, and Clemson.
It’s simple: the winner of this game has the inside track to the ACC Coastal Division title. Here are some things/statistics to look out for during the contest:
1. Hokies rushing yards
Miami is currently dead-last in the ACC in the following categories: scoring defense (32.4), total defense (499.1 yards), and rushing defense (249.2 yards). The Miami pass defense (sixth) isn’t a pushover, so the Hokies will have to beat the ‘Canes on the ground. Virginia Tech averages 157 yards rushing per game; if the Hokies are to win the game, you’ll need to see at least 200 yards on the ground.
2. Defensive personnel
After facing strictly spread offenses the previous four games, Bud Foster’s defense will face four teams that run some version of the pro style. That means that tonight will likely be the first game Ronny Vandyke sees significant time at the whip spot. Expect to see the nickel package as well with Michael Cole, especially if the Hokies build a lead.
3. Miami’s passing attack vs. Tech’s secondary
The Hurricanes boast the conference’s fourth-best aerial attack with 288 yards per game, and the Hokies have the second-best pass defense at 203 yards. Not much else needs to be said- whoever wins this battle will likely win the game.
The Hokies rushing attack gets going, allowing Logan Thomas to finally utilize play-action passing as a weapon. Although it’s a close game throughout, Bud Foster’s revamped defense makes just enough plays to win, and cover the 1.5-point spread.
Hokies 31 Miami 23