Virginia Tech will make the trek to Durham saturday as the Blue Devils play host to the Hokies at 7:00pm on ESPN 2. This looks to be a bounce back game for Virginia Tech after getting stunned last week by winless Old Dominion.
ODU’s offense had its way with Virginia Tech saturday. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s unit allowed a mind-boggling 632 yards to the Monarchs. Black LaRussa was lethal through the air, throwing 495 yards and four touchdowns during his assault on the Virginia Tech secondary.
To go along with the heartbreaking loss, head coach Justin Fuente dismissed star defensive end Trevon Hill from the team for violating team policy.
Oh, and quarterback Josh Jackson was relieved late in the 3rd Quarter after suffering a broken leg. Before Jackson’s injury, he was 1-for-13 passing in the second half.
Phew, quite a rough week.
And it doesn’t get easier for the Hokies as they travel to Durham to face an impressive Duke team that is ranked for the first time since 2015. Ryan Willis will be filling in under center for Virginia Tech as he will try to stabilize the offense. Wills was steady last week, going 9-for-18 for 131 yards during his relief appearance for Jackson.
The explosion of the running game has been the bright spot for Virginia Tech and it will have to carry the load this week again. The Hokies will look to control time of possession on Saturday as they average 245 yards per game on the ground.
The defense is also way too talented to play like they did last week a second time. There’s a reason Bud Foster is the best defensive coordinator in the country, and he will have his group more than ready this week. Duke’s running offense will be susceptible to Bud Foster’s heavy blitz scheming with the talent Virginia Tech has on the d-line, even despite the loss of Hill.
It will be a close game, but I think the Hokies will be on a mission to prove last week was a fluke. The defense will certainly be better and will prove to be too much for Duke to overcome.
Prediction: Va. Tech 24 – Duke 21
This is a season-defining game for the young Hokies, who will come out hungry to bounce back from the last week’s disaster. With Notre Dame coming to town next week, there will be plenty of opportunities to reshape how we view this season.
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