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Virginia Tech vs Rutgers Predictions

Jaylin Lane 1 VT Purdue 2023 From VT
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

After a disappointing 24-17 loss to Purdue last weekend, Virginia Tech is looking to bounce back against a Rutgers team looking to start 3-0 in front of a sold out crowd. Both teams know that this is an important game for their hopes to reach a bowl game with the loser having a whole lot of work to achieve that goal this season.

Before we get to our predictions, here's a look at some of our other pregame coverage.

So can the Hokies come out on top or will the Scarlet Knights defend their home field? Here's our predictions for Virginia Tech vs Rutgers.

Tim Thomas

I thought about going even lower-scoring with my prediction than I did, but this has all the makings of a tight, low-scoring affair that could be a fitting tribute to Virginia Tech's 13-10 victory over Rutgers in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl.

Both teams have offensive concerns with the Hokies having a struggling rushing attack and potentially a QB making his first career start while Rutgers has an inconsistent passer and an offense that has put up a lot of points but hasn't been very efficient. There's a reason why the over/under dropped from an already low 40.5 to around at least 37.

If Virginia Tech wins this game, it's going to be driven by defense forcing Gavin Wimsatt to beat the Hokies with his arm against their strong cornerback unit. Special teams is an area of advantage for the Hokies and one that the Hokies will need to maximize given the talent they have at punter and at best return positions. Tech can win this game while being outgained because their special teams have the ability to win the hidden yardage battle.

In the end, I just think Rutgers wears Tech down like Purdue did last week dominating the time of possession against a VT team with major offensive line issues and a QB who may have lots of potential but is also making his first career start. However, I could easily see the Hokies win what is definitely a toss-up game regardless of the highs or lows that each of these teams enter this game coming off of last week.

Prediction: Rutgers 17, Virginia Tech 13

Raza Umerani

“Rockfight” doesn’t even begin to describe what this game is going to be. With Virginia Tech’s offense limping into Piscataway to face a very stout Rutgers defense, points will be a hot commodity on Saturday afternoon.

While there has been plenty to like with Tech’s defense so far this season, I don’t believe in the Hokies’ ability to win games with the run game being as poor as it has been through two weeks. With just 1.5 yards per carry this season, Tech has the 10th worst rushing attack in college football and fourth worst among Power 5 programs. It certainly doesn’t help that they’re going up against a Scarlet Knights' defense which ranks third in the country against the run and ninth in the country in scoring defense.

The quarterback debate has been hot all week long in Blacksburg, but I truly don’t think it matters. No QB can have success with flailing pass blocking and no run game to fall back on. It certainly doesn’t help that Tech’s star wide receiver Ali Jennings won’t be suiting up on Saturday.

If the Hokies want to win this game, it will have to be on the back of the passing attack. Receivers such as Da’Quan Felton and Stephen Gosnell will have to step up and have big games alongside Jaylin Lane, who is dealing with a hamstring issue this week.

As it stands, I think Grant Wells gives Tech a better chance to win, but if his ankle injury is bothering him and hindering his ability like it was against Purdue, Kyron Drones should absolutely get the start. Then we can see what the Baylor transfer is made of.

With the young offensive line still experiencing some growing pains, it’s safe to assume that the Hokies offense will struggle yet again. Combine that with the plethora of injuries for Tech, and I think you’ll get a very stagnant offensive performance that leads to Tech's second consecutive loss, regardless of who starts under center.

Prediction: Rutgers 16, Virginia Tech 13

Ryan Duvall

I’m gonna go ahead and push the narrative here. This will be the Kyron Drones game. The game where the Baylor transfer solidifies himself as the guy for Virginia Tech and leads the Hokies to a gritty road win against a tough Rutgers' defense.

And that Scarlet Knight defense certainly is tough having allowed 14 total points in their first two games. Another strength for Rutgers is its run game, and in particular, junior tailback Kyle Monangai, who is averaging just over 100 yards per game in 2023.

For Tech, the three keys to taking a much needed road victory in Piscataway are the run defense, which has allowed nearly 140 yards per game thus far; the offensive line’s ability to create holes for Bhayshul Tuten, who has ran for just 59 yards on 27 attempts following a 1,363 yard season at North Carolina A&T last year; as well as the emergence of Da’Quan Felton as a reliable receiver for the Hokies, with the vertical threat having only hauled in one reception through two games.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 33, Rutgers 20

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