The Virginia Tech Hokies are heading north to the Carrier Dome to face old Big East rival Syracuse for the first time since 2003 after the Hokies jumped to 17th in the AP Poll thanks to a 34-3 victory at North Carolina last Saturday. While the Hokies are heavy favorites, Virginia Tech will need to avoid overlooking Syracuse so with that said, here are our three Hokies to watch from Henry Skutt.
Syracuse is known for their passing attack — it’s about the only good thing they’ve got going for them this season if we’re being completely honest. The offense for the Orange is averaging around 350 passing yards/game, which is 2nd in the ACC. On the flip side, the Hokies’ defense is allowing just 130 passing yards/game — 1st in the conference. Something is going to have to budge in this matchup.
Greg Stroman has continued to play at a high level, even after the return of Adonis Alexander. He leads the team with 3 interceptions and also has proved to be a dynamic kick and punt returner (and also punter?). The defensive backs will need his contributions if they hope to stop a dynamic passing attack on Saturday afternoon.
This game is lining up to be a field day for the Hokies’ best wide receiver. The defense for the Orange is in general not great (last in the ACC allowing almost 500 yards/game) but the secondary is especially bad. They allow close to 300 yards through the air every game which, combined with how well the Hokies offense is clicking right now, should allow all kind of open field to be found by Ford.
Look for Ford to easily have a 100+ yard game and to score a couple of touchdowns. He is an NFL-caliber wide receiver and should take full advantage of a weak defense lined up across from him. It will be interesting to see how well he can play before (hopefully) getting pulled at some point in the 4th quarter.
Slowly but surely, Evans is starting to gain recognition. He certainly deserves it — he has 15 touchdown passes and still only 1 interception. This type of consistency is eye-opening, and hopefully continues against Syracuse. The quarterback is starting to get a little bit of Heisman talk, which is all fun and good, but he needs to continue to play at a high level for that to escalate. As of right now, he is the most valuable player on this team and he needs to continue to prove that.
Look for Evans to continue his interception-less streak against the weak Syracuse secondary. I want to see Fuente really open up the playbook and see how capable Jerod Evans is at running the offense. This is as great of a tune-up game for Miami as it could be. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked — it should be considered another chance to get better, especially for Jerod Evans and the offensive unit.