Virginia Tech vs Miami Picks

Virginia Tech vs Miami Picks
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Nov 19, 2021

After a long, wild week in Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech Hokies head on the road to Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes free of the coaching hot seat cloud that still hangs over the Miami program.

So can the Hokies rally after this long week to take down the Canes or will Miami bounce back after a loss to Florida State? Here are our picks for Virginia Tech against Miami.

Tim Thomas

Virginia Tech has had their backs against the wall before and the response from players and coaches after the Justin Fuente news earlier this week suggests that rather than folding, they've embraced that rally mentality. That shows with veteran leader Tre Turner making a 12+ hour drive each way to play against Miami since he can't fly. Meanwhile, the promotion of J.C. Price to interim head coach has seemed to rally Hokie fans which could be quite valuable as well.

Miami has definitely been the better team of late but the cloud of a coaching hot seat still hangs over the Canes program especially after their loss at Florida State last week that led to the dismissal of their athletic director days later. Additionally, Miami has been a pass-first and almost pass-only offense of late which plays into the Hokies' pass defense strength.

There's no doubt that this game could go a lot of ways as it's always hard to tell sometimes how a team will respond after seeing their head coach dismissed before the end of the season. However, Tech has the player leadership to rise to the occasion and a passionate J.C. Price who seems like the right guy for this moment at least from the limited data points we have.

Expect a close game, but I'm going with my gut as I believe the Hokies' defense plus a strong rushing attack led by the surging duo of Raheem Blackshear and Malachi Thomas will get the job done for the Hokies at Miami.

Pick: Virginia Tech 24, Miami 23

Andy Loce

Following their most dominant victory of the season against Duke, the Virginia Tech football program is heading into a new direction after Justin Fuente and the school mutually agreed to part ways effective immediately on Tuesday.

With the final two games of the season looming in the way of the Hokies, co-defensive line head coach J.C. Price is going to help try to lead this team to bowl eligibility as the interim head coach as they venture down to Miami.

After a rough start to the season, the Hurricanes have looked much stronger in the second half of the season with victories over No. 18 N.C. State and No. 17 Pittsburgh, but poor clock management against Florida State cost Miami their winning streak and a bitter loss to their in-state rival.

What has stood impressive for the Hurricanes is that they have been able to be in this position although some key offensive players of quarterback D’Eriq King and running back Cam’Ron Harris.

Fortunately for Miami, their depth has helped them bounce back as freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has looked strong under center with 19 touchdown passes and a completion percentage just over 60 percent.

Van Dyke will surely give the Hokies a test down in Hard Rock Stadium as the secondary will try to disrupt the connection between the signal caller and wide receiver Charleston Rambo, a junior who sits just 45 receiving yards shy of the 1000 mark.

It will be fascinating to see how Virginia Tech comes out early in Miami Gardens and how they will perform in the first game out of the Justin Fuente era.

One thing that showed its strength in last week’s victory was the running game, which totaled 297 yards on the ground; led by Raheem Blackshear who had 117 of those yards and a rushing touchdown to go along with his performance.

Braxton Burmeister also had a performance worth noting as he had a season-best three touchdowns in a single game with 71 rushing yards to go along with his afternoon.

Emotions will not be absent down in South Florida with this rivalry matchup that has so much on the line for both teams, but with the way Miami has performed in the last month leads me to believe that they will pull off their fourth win in five games and secure bowl eligibility.

Pick: Miami 35, Virginia Tech 27