The Virginia Tech Hokies are back in the top 25 for the first time in two years but their reward is a trip on the road to face the 17th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels who are coming off big, close victories over Pittsburgh and at Florida State. Both teams know that a loss would severely hurt their ACC Coastal chances while a win could even have them alone at the top of the Coastal by the time Saturday is done.
So, who will win one of Saturday’s biggest games? Here are our predictions.
This should be a great game between two ranked ACC opponents, with huge Coastal division implications. Both offenses are high powered, and it seems like the games between North Carolina and Virginia Tech have turned into a mini rivalry. After two straight blow outs against teams that aren’t considered to be very good this year, this game will be the first real test for a team that has seemed to mature in a major way after the blowout loss in Bristol.
While it will be wet and windy, it won’t be as bad as some people were fearing earlier this week. The coaching staff will have them ready for the slippery conditions and I don’t expect it to play a huge factor. Coach Foster always seems to have North Carolina’s number — but it’ll be interesting to see how he slows down the quarterback Mitch Trubisky. This game will be the first time where we can see how the Hokies react to being down since the Tennessee game. It should be back and forth, but a good victory for the Hokies.
Prediction: #25 Virginia Tech 34, #17 North Carolina 28
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring; honestly I couldn’t resist that one folks. This weekend’s game is not only against the UNC Tar Heels, but against Hurricane Matthew. The game officials have said the game is going to go on as planned as long as its a safe environment. The weather, make no mistake about it, will play a huge factor in this one.
Once again folks, ball security is going to be key. These last two games, the Hokies have done a stellar job keeping the turnovers down only committing one. The running backs for the Hokies are going to be depended on to carry the load of the offense in the game as passing will be at a premium. The Hokies have developed a three-headed monster attack in Sam Rogers, Marshawn Williams and Travon McMillian. All three Hokies will need to run well and hold on to the ball to take the pressure of the passing game.
The weather is going to be the Hokie defense’s best friend as the Tar Heels like to the throw the ball all around the yard. Ryan Switzer will be the focal point for the defense as he is a jack of all trades as a receiver, and has a knack for causing a lot of issues for defenses.
Look for Bud and the boys to play zone and try and keep all the receivers in front of them. Also, the Hokies front four will need to get good pressure all day in order to secure a victory. However, I think this one will be a slobber knocker with the rough and tough Virginia Tech Hokies coming out on top. Final score 21-17. Let’s get out of this rain, Lets Go Hokies!!!
Prediction: #25 Virginia Tech 21, #17 North Carolina 17
The Virginia Tech Hokies are back in the top 25 and ready for a big ACC Coastal showdown against the #17 North Carolina Tar Heels on what will be a very wet and windy day in Chapel Hill. This will be the Hokies’ first true road game of the season but it may not be as tough of an environment as once anticipated due to the weather issues from Hurricane Matthew.
This game features two of the best quarterbacks in America that few have heard of in Jerod Evans and Mitch Trubisky who each have 13 passing touchdowns and a combined 1 interception. Both of these quarterbacks will likely be effected some by the heavy rain and wind but both have the talent to make some plays despite the weather conditions.
North Carolina does have an advantage in the running game but the Hokies can counter that with a big defensive advantage as Virginia Tech has one of the best defenses east of the Mississippi while North Carolina’s defense has struggled immensely including ranking outside the top 115 in average rushing yards allowed per game while also giving up an average of 5 yards per carry.
These two teams are both very talented and it will be critical for the Hokies to protect the football as they have the past two weeks. Evans and Trubisky will make their fair share of plays and while this will be a close game, the Hokies’ defensive advantage will be the difference as Bud Foster’s defense will get one more stop than UNC’s and help Virginia Tech get a huge road victory.