The Virginia Tech Hokies face off against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field tomorrow night in another critical ACC Coastal showdown. The Hokies have emerged as the favorites in the Coastal along with being in control of their own destiny in their division after beating Miami while Pittsburgh is looking to pull off a big upset. With that said, here are your three Hokies to watch from Henry Skutt.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn but *toot toot*
From last week and my Hokies to Watch article.
He has quietly become one of the best defensive lineman throughout the years, and now he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down this season.
“He” of course is referring to Woody Baron. He had one of the best games of his Virginia Tech career against Miami, and is playing “great football”, not just good football, according to Bud Foster. The defensive line play for the Hokies was flat out great against the Hurricanes, and that was with two starting defensive linemen out due to injury.
Pittsburgh has one of the best offensive lines in the country and one of the best running backs as well. If the Hokies’ defense hopes to prove there is a reason they’re 11th in the nation, they will need a good push up front from the D-Line. Look for Woody Baron to help lead that push against Pittsburgh.
Back on the list after a week off against Miami, Evans needs to make a splash again in front of a national primetime audience on Thursday night. He has continued to play very well with 22 total touchdowns and close to 2,000 total yards of offense. Pittsburgh boasts a secondary that is not very good, and I am looking for Evans to take better advantage of that then against Syracuse.
The main key for Evans and the passing game is that he gives himself enough time to get the pass off. Against Syracuse, he never was truly in rhythm and that messed up his passes against the very weak Orange defense.
Look for Jerod to have around 3 or 4 total touchdowns against the weak defense. He is only 5 touchdowns away from tying the record for touchdown passes in a season set by the great Tyrod Taylor in 2010.
More and more defenses are starting to key in on how dangerous the Ford-Evans combination can be. Miami was able to shut it down for the most part last week, but look for that to change this week in Pittsburgh.
Bucky Hodges finally had a good game last week, and that is going to be on the tape that Pittsburgh watches to prepare. Because of that, the weak secondary is going to have to figure out who to guard and it will be a struggle to matchup against both Hodges and Ford.
Because of this, I feel that Ford is due for a breakout game. He has been quiet the past couple weeks, and is looking at an advantageously weak secondary across from him this week. Evans and Ford should connect early and often against the Panthers, and I look for Isaiah to have a couple touchdown catches on Thursday night.
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