Tim ThomasSome Hokie fans have speculated as to whether this could be a trap game especially with how the Hokies lost to JMU on a short week after a game at FedEx Field. There are two days key differences between those two years: Virginia Tech won at FedEx Field this time and did well last year in taking care of weak, early opponents. This game profiles as just that though Danny Rocco is a very good coach that will have his Delaware team ready. It is tempting for teams like VT to sleepwalk into a game, but with this game being the home opener and the Hokies being ranked #18, I expect the Hokies will come out of the tunnel ready to go in this game. Josh Jackson matured before our eyes and the nation last week, and will be ready to build on that with a strong performance. Jackson is a very intelligent player that has the mental ability to handle preparation on a short week well and will have another strong performance this week. Meanwhile, the defense will be looking to give up a significantly lower number of yards this upcoming week. This week, they're facing a so-so Delaware offense that shouldn't be as hard or complicated to defend as Dana Holgorsen's. This more familiar rushing offense should make life more normal for the Hokies and help them have a strong game. By halftime, this game will be over as Josh Jackson and the Hokies will take care of business and give guys like AJ Bush, Devon Hunter, and others the chance to get valuable playing time.
Prediction: #18 Virginia Tech 52, Delaware 7
Dwight LesterThe Hokies welcome an on-the-rise Delaware program to Lane Stadium Saturday. Delaware has a pretty famous alumni Hokie fans would be familiar with in Joe Flacco. However, Flacco is not going to be lining up opposite Bud Foste'rs defense this week. Joe Walker is the Blue Hens signal caller. In his first game he struggled against a defense not nearly as talented as the Hokies so how do you think he is going to do on Saturday? The defense should control the game even with a short week of practice. The main concern is going to be the second unit of the defensive line. Against WVU, they could not get any pressure at all. Expect them to be improved this week as the coaching staff no doubt stressed the importance of a pass rush. Josh Jackson and the offense were very efficient in the opener and there is no reason to believe that trend won't continue. Look for Jackson to spread the ball around a little more in the passing game. This will help him down the road as teams key in on stopping Cam Phillips. Don't be surprised Hokie fans if we see AJ Bush get some reps late in the game. Also look for the Hokies to setup the ground game even more as the running. Ack by committee needs to be thinned down a bit in my opinion. This is a classic trap game for the Hokies. They are coming off a big time opener on a short week. Trust me, I remember the JMU and East Carolina debacles. However, Coach Fuente will have the troops focused up and ready for the task at hand. The Hokies handle the Hens in impressive fashion, 55-6. 1-0 for the week 2-0 for the season, Lets Go Hokies.
Prediction: #18 Virginia Tech 55, Delaware 6
Evan HughesComing off of a huge Top 25 victory over West Virginia at FedEx field, the Hokies will open up their 2017 home campaign against the Delaware Blue Hens on Saturday afternoon. With Virginia Tech riding on momentum from their nationally televised victory over the Mountaineers, I like the Hokies to walk away with a 45-10 victory. The Blue Hens are an FCS program who is struggling as they haven't had a winning season since 2013.
Prediction: #18 Virginia Tech 45, Delaware 10
Other NotesThis game will be a great opportunity for the team to make some improvements from the West Virginia game. Here are some things to be on the lookout for.
- Expect to see a number of Hokies to get touches in the backfield. The coaching staff is still looking for a number one tailback and that could be freshman, Deshawn McClease. Based off of his performance against WVU, he could see early touches against the Blue Hens. The Oscar Smith high school product finished with 51 yards on the ground, including a 12 yard touchdown run that proved pivotal in the 31-24 win.
- Lots of Hokies could be seeing playing time, including quarterback AJ Bush and defensive back, Devon Hunter. Assuming the game is out of reach by the second half, expect Bush to come out and try to make a statement after Josh Jackson won the quarterback battle in the off season. For Hunter, he was arguably the biggest player brought in over the summer as he was a five star safety. He saw touches on special teams last week but expect him to make his debut in the secondary this weekend wearing the coveted #7 jersey.