Virginia Tech will travel up to Pittsburgh this Saturday to face the Panthers. The Hokies are looking for any chance at saving their season, while Pitt is looking to keep their Cinderella run as the only ranked ACC Coastal team. Virginia Tech has a few factors in their favor, but ultimately Pitt is in a great spot to expand on their lead.
Positives for Tech
- Lane Stadium is one of the most eccentric stadiums in the nation, but Metallica hasn’t done this team any favors this season. The Hokies are 1-3 at home, but 3-1 on the road. Pittsburgh won’t be the most friendly environment for the Hokies, but perhaps a change of location is what this roster needs to end their two game losing streak.
- The fewest points the Hokies have scored this season is 21, which is more than Pitt has scored in three separate games. This means that Pitt can be had. Even if Tech’s offense is underwhelming, they haven’t failed to put up numbers yet, and that might be enough to push them across the finish line this Saturday.
- Ryan Willis hasn’t won many games for the Hokies, but statistically he’s scoring effectively. Willis is averaging 1.85 passing touchdowns per game, and is tied for 49 out of 156 quarterbacks for most touchdowns. With 220 yards per game, more than half of the offense is run through Willis. Pitt’s defense gives up an average of 245 passing yards per game, and their defense has already allowed 18 passing touchdowns, 10 more passing touchdowns that the offense has scored. If Coach Fuente can capitalize, Willis has the potential for his best outing of the season.
STAT OF THE DAY 🏈
In his two previous @ACCFootball road starts, @RyanWillis14 has guided Tech to a pair of wins, throwing for 553 yards with 5 TDs and only 2 INTs. #Hokies 🦃 pic.twitter.com/cQQDsNHKm2
— Virginia Tech Football (@VT_Football) November 9, 2018
Advantages for Pitt
- The Hokies have found more success on the road as they come in to Pittsburgh, but they’ll face a roster that has had success at home. The Panthers are 4-1 at home, with their only loss coming from ranked Penn State.
- 63 percent of Pitt’s yards per game are rushing yards. 70 percent of Pitt’s touchdowns are rushing touchdowns. Virginia Tech’s defense cannot combat the run game. AT ALL. Just two weeks ago, the Hokies conceded seven touchdowns to a team that attempted one pass all night. For a team so reliant on the run-game, points for Pitt are almost inevitable.
- Looking at past matchups alone, Pitt has already outperformed Virginia Tech. Pitt found themselves in a much closer match with Notre Dame than the Hokies did, and the Panthers found a win against Georgia Tech. UNC did defeat the Panthers in week 4, but Virginia Tech’s victory against the same team was far from clean. Pitt knows this; they’ve already beaten this team, they just have to confirm it on the field.
The Hokies need something, anything, to turn their season around. This team hasn’t found success at home since their season opener, nor has their defense found any traction since week 5. Pitt, on the other hand, has capitalized on the weakened ACC division. The momentum, the statistics and the home atmosphere is on their side this Saturday. All Pitt has to do is seal the deal.
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