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Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh Predictions

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Photo Credit: Harley Taylor

Following three-straight losses at home to Purdue, and on the road to Rutgers and Marshall, Virginia Tech returns to Lane Stadium looking to turn their season back around. Meanwhile, they face a Pittsburgh team in the same spot on a three-game losing streaks looking to get their season back on track.

Prior to our picks, check out the rest of our pregame coverage.

Points are likely to be at a premium with the way both are struggling on offense and stronger on defense. So who will come out on top between the Hokies and Panthers? Here are our picks.

Tim Thomas

This should be a fascinating matchup between two low-scoring teams who will know that every point will mean a lot in the outcome of this game.

Both offenses have been anemic to say the least with the Hokies' rushing attack being a mess and Pittsburgh's passing attack being completely ineffective. There are some commonalities as both have issues on the offensive line with Tech having lots of youth and Pitt losing multiple starters to season-ending injuries.

Given those struggles, this seems like a certain low-scoring affair with an over/under near 40 seeming too high. Yes, Tech has a true dual-threat in Kyron Drones which can cause issues with his arms and his legs. Yes, Pitt has a decent rushing attack that can wear teams down. But in all this, it's hard imagining that either team becomes an offensive juggernaut.

Tech's run defense showed signs of progress last week, but also once again gave up a couple game-changing runs. That's the one thing that's held the Hokies back and something that will be tested against a run-heavy Pitt offense. Can they take the next step and stop giving up the field-flipping run? That's a fair question to have some doubts about given what we've seen.

The hidden yardage battle is one area where Tech could make some gains given what they have at punter and on punt returns. Both Peter Moore and Tucker Holloway have played quite well in their primary special teams roles and could be x-factors if the Hokies are to win this game.

In the end, I could go either way but I think Tech leans on a sold out crowd and their run defense tightens up enough. Additionally, Tech has the better QB play currently and that helps them punch one in to put them over the top in a matchup where field goals will be big.

I really could go either way, but I think Tech finds a way in front of a raucous Lane Stadium to end their losing streak.

Pick: Virginia Tech 13, Pittsburgh 12

Raza Umerani

I’ve flipped back and forth on this pick all week long, and one major sentiment has stood out to me: I can’t pick the Hokies to win until they show me that they are capable of doing so.

In each game of this losing streak, Tech has been within a score in the final quarter only to find itself with so many self-inflicted wounds that a win is simply too far out of reach. There haven’t been enough positives to assuage me of the notion that the Hokies are going to flip the script this week, especially against a program that always seems to have their number.

I do think that this is Tech’s best shot at winning a game in several weeks considering the circumstances. This is a team that always seems to play its best ball under the primetime lights at Lane Stadium.

It also helps that Pitt’s offense is just as anemic as Tech’s as the Panthers have had plenty of their own struggles running the ball in addition to having an uncertain quarterback situation. But they are just as big and physical up front as they always are, and with the Hokies’ run defense being as shoddy as it is – the ninth worst in the FBS and second worst in the Power Five – this figures to be a get-right game for their rushing attack.

It feels like there’s a clear win condition for the Hokies in this game: limit the big runs defensively and sustain enough scoring drives on offense. But if they were capable of doing that in the last two weeks, they would be 3-1 instead of 1-3. As I said, I need to see it to believe it.

Pick: Pittsburgh 20, Virginia Tech 17

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