Virginia Tech vs Syracuse Picks

Virginia Tech vs Syracuse Picks
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Oct 23, 2021

Massive pressure is on Justin Fuente as Virginia Tech looks to bounce back from back-to-back losses against a Syracuse team hungry to pull off the upset after coming up just short against Clemson.

So will it be the Hokies or the Orange taking this game? Here are our picks for Virginia Tech vs Syracuse.

Tim Thomas

This is a tough one to pick as Virginia Tech's offense is a mess, but Syracuse's isn't much better while Tech's defense is probably the strongest unit with the Orange rushing attack not being a great matchup for them.

Tech's lack of identity and passing limitations with Braxton Burmeister due to his injury and downfield inaccuracy have been problematic with the identity and any method on offense being the biggest issue. Tech is going to have to find some sort of method of attack and ideally an identity if they want to get out of the offensive rut which starts from an effective, four quarter gameplan that we simply haven't seen.

Meanwhile, Tech will likely approach Syracuse similarly to have they adjusted for Tyler Buchner in the Notre Dame game trying to force Garrett Shrader to beat the Hokies with his arm and doing everything they can to contain Sean Tucker and the Syracuse rushing attack.

This game feels like a true toss-up and while I expect Tech's offense to struggle again, VT will have enough on defense and a boost from special teams led by Tayvion Robinson to get the job done and avoid a three-game losing streak that could even cause a more immediate end of the Justin Fuente era.

Pick: Virginia Tech 17, Syracuse 13

Jawhar Ali

With the end of the Fuente era seemingly imminent, it feels like every game is simply another opportunity for the Hokies to turn in a poor performance. This weekend's game against Syracuse will be either a morale boosting win or yet another nail in the coffin for this coaching staff. At home, the Hokies must show up to avoid the crowd thinning out by halftime like we saw last week against Pittsburgh.

In order for that to happen, Virginia Tech simply needs more on offense. The Hokies are averaging 312 yards per game which is simply not good enough to stay consistently competitive. Syracuse has given up 23 points per game but that number has risen lately after giving up 30 points per game over their last three games. Luckily for the Hokies, their run game and deep shots can be where Syracuse struggles. Burmeister should have a huge day on the ground and the Hokies should be able to do enough if he is able to connect with Tre Turner on one or more vertical routes.

Defensively, the focus is on running back Sean Tucker. Already sitting at 948 rushing yards on the season, Tucker has a nice blend of power, speed, and vision. Against Clemson's superb defense, Tucker still had 157 yards which exemplifies just how good he is. In addition to Tucker, quarterback Garrett Shrader is a threat with his legs to move the chains on third downs. The Hokies need to stack the box and if Shrader is able to beat them with his arm, so be it but Tech has the corners to be able to hold up in man coverage.

The Hokies should have more success than they've had recently on offense. However, they will struggle to hold Syracuse's running game in check. They struggled against a similar offense against Notre Dame who scored 32 points in Blacksburg. But in the end, in a game with two offenses that leave some to be desired, Tech has the superior defensive talent to win the game in the fourth quarter.

Pick: Virginia Tech 28, Syracuse 27

Andy Loce

Syracuse and Virginia Tech meet each other at the lowest points of their seasons as the Orange are in the midst of a three-game losing streak and the Hokies dropping back-to-back games.

That means one team will walk out of Lane Stadium on Saturday with high hopes to build off the result while the other will continue to struggle finding success.

After an abysmal showing against Pittsburgh last week, the Hokies look to finish off the home stretch on a positive note; especially the offense, which has recently looked non-existent.

Quarterback Braxton Burmeister is not 100 percent, and he had a difficult time connecting with his targets last week only completing 11 of his 32 throws.

It wasn’t only the passing game that proved to be troublesome for the Hokies, as the running game, a past strength for the offense, only produced 3.2 yards per carry against the Panthers.

If the Hokies want to return to the win column, the answers must come from the defense.

The week didn’t start off well for the Hokies’ defense, as backup linebacker Dean Ferguson and backup defensive back Devon Hunter were ruled out of the season due to injuries.

The challenges won’t get any easier for Virginia Tech as they will look to contain running back Sean Tucker. Through the first seven games, Tucker has recorded a conference-best 948 rushing yards plus nine touchdowns for the Orange.

This game is virtually a must win for the Hokies if they have any ACC Coastal title aspirations. Any slip up against Syracuse will most likely send Virginia Tech into a downward spiral with four of their next five games coming on the road.

Pick: Virginia Tech 14, Syracuse 10