Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
We are now on the precipice of one of the most unprecedented seasons in the history of college football with Virginia Tech three days away from kicking off their 2020 football season against N.C. State. This comes after an offseason full of the unknown and a couple bumps with this opener against N.C. State being delayed two weeks and the VT-UVA game being postponed to December 12th from September 19th.
With that, it's time for our 2020 season predictions. Check them out along with links to our other season preview articles below.
Tim Thomas: 9-2
This season largely centers around the four toughest games against Clemson, North Carolina, Miami, and Louisville with Pittsburgh being the potential trap game on the schedule. With that, I have the Hokies losing 2 of those 4 toughest games with one being Clemson and the other one of those other 3 with a road trip to Louisville on Halloween being the top candidate.
Even with Caleb Farley opting out, this is still a very strong football team that brings back 17 starters. Tech has also brought in loads of talent via the transfer market that is ready to shine with Justus Reed, Khalil Herbert, and Brock Hoffman all poised to start; and Raheem Blackshear, Changa Hodge, Devin Taylor, Evan Fairs, and Braxton Burmeister poised for significant roles.
This is also an older, deeper team that has showed signs of progress and has their best quarterback since Jerod Evans in Hendon Hooker. Additionally, Tech should have one of the ACC's elite offensive line with the type of depth that should help them maintain a high level throughout the season and be a larger boost to the success of the team than many may predict.
Of course, it wouldn't surprise me to see 8-3 either, but I think the Hokies land at 9-2 and then have to wait and see if the tiebreakers and other things fall in to place properly for Tech's second trip to the ACC Championship under Justin Fuente.
Jawhar Ali: 8-3
There really should be only four possible games the Hokies could lose this year: Clemson, Miami, Louisville, and UNC. The Hokies have significantly more talent than every other team on their schedule.
Virginia Tech should win the rest of the games on their schedule, and I am predicting them to drop three of the above four games. They may surprise and win two of the four but I am not sure if the coaching staff will be able to scheme the team to victory in more than one of these tight games.
We have seen the inconsistency in performances over the last two years from this team, mainly stemming from the lack of quality play from the quarterback position.
In 2020, the quarterback situation is stable heading into the season which should result in less variance in performance this year from the offense, which held the team back for the first part of 2019. Tech should not drop a game they should win this year if they get that consistency from the quarterback, and I think they will get that consistency.
Andy Loce: 8-3
As the start of the season sits only days away, there’s a growing anticipation of what the 2020 season will look like for the Hokies.
The team will be suffering with the major defensive losses of rover Reggie Floyd, CB Caleb Farley and DB Devon Hunter. It doesn’t get much better on the offensive side of the ball with departures of TE Dalton Keene and WR Damon Hazelton.
There are still some bright spots that remind from last year’s roster, including skill-based position players on offense like QB Hendon Hooker and WR Tre Turner, while on defense LB Rayshard Ashby and FS Divine Deablo return to Blacksburg and take on the roles as captains.
There have also been some solid additions from the transfer window including RBs Raheem Blackshear from Rutgers and Khalil Herbert from Kansas, but also some new wideouts in Evan Fairs from Kansas and Changa Hodge from Villanova.
We’ll also be able to watch Brock Hoffman for the first time with the Hokies after sitting out last season after his transfer was denied.
With some exciting things to watch out for, it looks like 2020 could be a break-out season for Hokies and return to the ACC Championship game.
Although, the schedule that lies ahead for the Hokies is not too pleasant and they will have many obstacles ahead of them en route to Charlotte.
There are a few games that jump out to me that could be very challenging for the Hokies. Those games consist of home matchups against Miami and Clemson and road matchups at North Carolina and Louisville.
Seeing how the Hokies struggled on the road last season, with only one game going in favor of the Hokies against Miami, I believe those challenges away from Blacksburg will continue to have an effect on them in 2020.
I think the Hokies will fall short of returning to Charlotte this season to contend for a title with the addition of Notre Dame to the ACC for 2020 only making it more difficult for Tech to achieve that goal.
My record prediction for the Hokies this season is 8-3. I see them only dropping one game at home this season, helping lead the program to back-to-back eight win seasons.
Jack Brizendine: 9-2
The Hokies didn’t get any favors from the ACC with their updated 2020 schedule. After going through the entire slate of games, I counted seven contests I feel confident writing a W in permanent marker next to.
As for the other four matchups, I’m not so sure. These games are at North Carolina, at Louisville, vs Miami, and of course, vs Clemson. Outside of the Tigers, these games are going to be difficult, but winnable matchups for the Hokies. I don’t envision a scenario where Virginia Tech goes undefeated or winless against these four teams. Personally, I believe the Hokies have the talent to win at least two out of these four matchups, and I think they’ll probably win three.
I expect the Hokies to finish with a record of either 9-2 or 10-1. I think with the maturation of second year starter Hendon Hooker, who’s surrounded by a plethora of weapons, in addition to a talented defense, Virginia Tech could be sitting pretty at the end of the season.