After a second-straight loss to Georgia Tech
last week, Virginia Tech is looking to end their first multi-game losing streak of the Justin Fuente era with a win on Senior Day. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is looking to spoil the party and keep their faint hopes of making a bowl game alive.
With that said, here are our picks for this week's Coastal matchup between the Hokies and Panthers.
While there has been plenty of ridiculous talk of doom and gloom over the past week that could hurt the mood of the Hokies, Virginia Tech will be fired up to end their losing streak and get their senior class one final win at Lane Stadium. Motivation was not the issue for the Hokies last week, and you can expect that Virginia Tech will be fired up playing at home even if the opponent makes this game tempting to overlook with the Battle for the Commonwealth Cup looming in six days.
Pittsburgh's offense has been one of the worst in the ACC this year and is in turmoil with a tough quarterback situation. The Panthers have come to rely on junior tailback Darrin Hall who is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and has a bright future. However, the Hokies have been dominant in shutting down opposing running backs and you can bet that the Hokies will look to put 7 or 8 in the box to contain Hall.
Pittsburgh's defense has also been underwhelming this season and gave up 27 points to UNC last week (one touchdown came on a kick return and isn't counted in that total). Virginia Tech's offense has struggled recently, but this is a prime opportunity for Josh Jackson and the VT offense to rebuild their confidence. Don't be surprised to see Brad Cornelsen save some risks for late in the first half and try to get his offense in rhythm early to build up their confidence.
Pittsburgh has taken a step back this season after losing guys like Nathan Peterman, James Conner, and Ejuan Price. While Pat Narduzzi does have some young talent, Pittsburgh is in a major rebuilding year, but won't be able to get to a bowl game that could give them the extra practices that young players need.
Virginia Tech is the significantly better team and as it showed against teams like UNC, ECU, and Duke; it will show against Pitt. Virginia Tech's defense will have another dominant performance while the Hokies' offense will rebuild their confidence with Cam Phillips leading the charge on his senior day. VT will cruise to a comfortable victory on Senior Day.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 38, Pittsburgh 10
Fans, another season is quickly drawing to a close. Senior Day is upon us for the Hokies, and nothing would be better than to send the seniors out with a win as well as end the longest losing streak of the Justin Fuente era.
The Hokies host the Pitt Panthers on Saturday in
a game they should win. Pitt will surely have revenge on their minds as the Hokies held on late to get the win last year, but this is not last year, and the Hokies are an entirely different team on a similar yet very different path.
The Hokies and the Panthers both come into this game off losses. Both games were games I would have considered games they should have won. The Hokies were defeated by Georgia Tech while Pitt lost a close contest with hapless UNC.
The Hokies have struggled lately on offense. However, it is Senior Day and one of the Hokies' seniors just happens to be Cam Phillips. Look for Cam to have a big game in his last call at Lane Stadium. Getting Cam involved early could really open up the offense for the other younger receivers as well as open a lot of running lanes for the Hokies rushing attack.
The defense was dealt a big blow this week with the season ending surgery of Terrell Edmunds
. It will be next guy up for the Hokies as the defense looks to send senior leaders Greg Stroman and Andrew Motuapuaka out with a win. The secondary will definitely be tested early, and it will be interesting to see how the defensive unit reacts not having Edmunds anchoring the secondary.
I believe Stroman will be the x-factor in this game both on defense and returning punts. It would not surprise me for him to add a touchdown to his stellar collegiate stats.
The revenge factor aside, this should be a game the Hokies cruise in. However, so should have been last week. That being said, I do believe the Hokies win this one but closer than most fans would like. Final score: Virginia Tech 31 Pitt 24. 1-0 and on to Hate week. LETS GO HOKIES!!!!!!
Prediction: Virginia Tech 31, Pittsburgh 24
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