Game Preview: Virginia Tech Hosts Former Big East Rival Syracuse

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Virginia Tech
Garrett Shrader will pose a dangerous running threat to Virginia Tech. (Cuse.com)
  • Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse: 12:30, RSN
  • Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse Betting Line: VT-3.5 
  • Virginia Tech-Syracuse roster cards: Click here
  • Game notes from Hokiesports: Click here
  • Blacksburg weather: Click here
  • Gameday information: Click Here

Losers of three of its last four games, Virginia Tech hopes to get on track against former Big East rival Syracuse this Saturday in Lane Stadium.

It’s been a rough few weeks for the Orange, who have dropped three consecutive football games that they easily could have won.

at FSU: 33-30 L
vs. Wake: 40-37 OT L
vs. Clemson: 17-14 L

Florida State made a last-second field goal to win, while Syracuse missed a last-second field goal to force overtime against Clemson.

I don’t see any evidence that Saturday’s game in Lane Stadium will be much different.  Syracuse is a bit limited offensively, while its defense has generally performed pretty well.  Here are their F+ rankings on both sides of the ball…

Offense: No. 73
Defense: No. 45

F+ rankings are a combination of the FEI efficiency ratings and the S&P+ ratings.

The Massey Composite, which takes into account multiple computer rankings, has Virginia Tech as the No. 68 team in the country, with the Orange coming in at No. 79.  This seems like a pretty even matchup at this point, and that’s not something I would have predicted following the UNC game.

Syracuse Quarterback Garrett Shrader: Limited, but Dangerous

Mississippi State transfer Garrett Shrader (6-4, 230, So.) started four games for the Bulldogs 2019, and he appeared in a further four games last season before taking his free transfer and switching to Syracuse in the offseason.  He supplanted Tommy DeVito as the starting quarterback for the Orange. (DeVito entered the transfer portal, by the way.)

Shrader – who is a Charlotte native – is limited as a passer.  Here are his career passing numbers at both schools…

Miss. State: 88-of-153 (57.5%) for 1,170 yards, 7.6 ypa, 8 TDs, 5 INTs
Syracuse: 66-of-123 (53.7%) for 810 yards, 6.6 ypa, 5 TDs, 3 INTs
Total: 154-of-276 (55.8%) for 1,980 yards, 7.2 ypc, 13 TDs, 8 INTs

Considering how effective the Virginia Tech pass defense has been this year, Shrader seems unlikely to have an efficient game through the air on Saturday.  The bigger concern is his running ability, and that of his backfield partner (more on him later) against a Hokie defense that has struggled to stop the run in recent weeks.

Here are Shrader’s rushing numbers over his career…

Miss. State: 113 carries, 587 yards, 5.2 ypc, 6 TDs
Syracuse: 82 carries, 418 yards, 5.1 ypc, 9 TDs
Total: 195 carries, 1,005 yards, 5.1 ypc, 15 TDs

Here are his highlights from the Florida State game…

As you can see, he’s big enough to power through defenders and he’s also fast enough to outrun them once he reaches the open field.  Stopping Shrader in the running game will be one of Virginia Tech’s top priorities.

Sean Tucker
Sean Tucker is an outstanding freshman tailback. (Cuse.com)

Syracuse Running Back Sean Tucker: The Best Player You Haven’t Heard Of

I don’t watch much Syracuse football, so I hadn’t heard of Sean Tucker (5-10, 210, Fr.) until recently.  As it turns out, he’s one of the best backs in the ACC, and he appears to have quite a future.  He ran for 626 yards last season, and since 2020 didn’t count, he’s back and even better as a true freshman yet again in 2021.

Through seven games, the Owings Mills, MD native has put up the following numbers…

Rushing: 155 carries, 948 yards, 6.1 ypc, 9 TDs
Receiving: 14 catches, 224 yards, 16 ypc, 2 TDs

Tucker averages 135.4 yards per game, which is second only to Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State, who transferred from Wake Forest.  That means Wake Forest and Syracuse originally recruited 2021’s most prolific running backs.  Evaluations and player development are very important.

Tucker has 155 carries on the season, while Shrader has 82.  Nobody else has more than 21.  Expect a heavy dose of No. 34 and No. 16 on Saturday, and the Hokies will have to stop it, or else they’ll have to outscore Syracuse.  Outscoring teams is a tall task for this particular Virginia Tech offense.

Unfortunately, the Hokies haven’t done very well against the run recently.

Richmond: 36 carries, 160 yards, 4.4 ypc
Notre Dame: 43 carries, 180 yards, 4.2 ypc
Pitt: 44 carries, 208 yards, 4.7 ypc

The problem here is that the Orange are a better running football team than Richmond, Notre Dame or Pitt.  The Hokies are going to have to be stronger this week against the run.  If they can limit the Syracuse running game, it will be difficult for the Orange to score.  But if they can’t, the visitors will control the clock and wear out the Tech defense over the course of four quarters, just like Pitt did last week.

Other Syracuse Offensive Players Of Note

The best Syracuse offensive player not named is left tackle Matthew Bergeron (6-5, 315, So.).  He’s a young player who has been sound in both the running game and the passing game this season.  He’s a Canadian from Quebec, and it appears that Syracuse was his only scholarship offer out of high school.  He was a PFF Freshman All-American in 2019.

The Orange do not have great receiving threats, with running back Tucker leading the team in receiving yards with 224.  Courtney Jackson (5-11, 185, r-Fr.) is tops on the team with 20 catches, though he only averages just over 10 yards per catch and has not scored a touchdown.  Overall, the wide receiver position for Syracuse is very young, which, along with a young quarterback, makes it understandable why they struggle in the passing game.

The WR room has been hurt by the loss of Taj Harris, who had 16 catches through the first three games of the season before entering the transfer portal.  He was a Third Team All-ACC player last season.

The Syracuse Defense

Considering the Orange are currently starting four true freshmen on the defensive side of the ball, you’ve got to be impressed at how that unit has performed so far this season.  In particular, the Orange have been very good at stopping the run.  Opponents are averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, which ranks No. 19 nationally.  In yards per game, the Syracuse run defense ranks No. 28.

Contrast that to the Virginia Tech rushing offense, which ranks No. 104 nationally at 3.51 yards per carry, and No. 92 in rushing yards per game.  Here’s a game-by-game recap of the Syracuse rushing defense:

Ohio: 134 yards, 4.2 ypc
Rutgers: 50 yards, 1.2 ypc
Albany: 7 yards, 0.2 ypc
Liberty: 150 yards, 3.7 ypc
FSU: 247 yards, 6.7 ypc
Wake: 96 yards, 2.6 ypc
Clemson: 116 yards, 3.1 ypc

Florida State had a lot of success on the ground (113 from QB Travis Jordan), but other than that, the Orange have kept opponents in check on the ground this year.

Meanwhile, here’s Tech’s game-by-game performance on the ground…

UNC: 127 yards, 3.0 ypc
MT: 224 yards, 5.7 ypc
WVU: 106 yards, 2.6 ypc
Rich: 106 yards, 3.2 ypc
ND: 134 yards, 3.6 ypc
Pitt: 90 yards, 3.2 ypc

The Hokies have cracked four yards per carry just once this season, against a Middle Tennessee defense that is No. 103 nationally in yards per carry allowed and No. 97 in rushing yards per game allowed.  In fact, the Hokies haven’t even come close to topping four yards per carry in any of their other five games.  Unless Tech’s running game manages to get cranked up overnight, it appears the Hokies will have to throw the football to score consistently against the Orange.

So how about that Syracuse pass defense?  The Orange rank No. 25 nationally in passing yards per game, though they only rank No. 90 in defensive pass efficiency.  Teams have shown an ability to be efficient throwing the ball against Syracuse, though they haven’t put up many yards.

According to the efficiency numbers, the Syracuse defense hasn’t been quite as good as the traditional numbers would suggest, but they are still above average…

ESPN Def. Efficiency: No. 54
FEI Def. Efficiency: No. 55

The F+ ratings rank Syracuse as the No. 45 defense in football.  Here’s the F+ rankings for each defense the Hokies have faced so far…

UNC: No. 70
MT: No. 109
WVU: No. 47
ND: No. 11
Pitt: No. 16

According to all of that, the Syracuse defense isn’t quite on the level of Notre Dame or Pitt, but they aren’t nearly as bad as Middle Tennessee or UNC.  They are right around the level of West Virginia.  However you slice it and dice it, it’s concerning because the Hokies haven’t been able to move the football on anybody decent this season.

Cody Roscoe
Cody Roscoe leads the ACC in tackles for loss with 10.5. (Cuse.com)

Notable defensive players for Syracuse this season include…

S Eric Coley (6-2, 200, r-Jr.): Coley only has nine tackles this season, and he’s been targeted just seven times.  Yet he’s played 240 snaps for the Orange.  He is the highest-grading Syracuse defensive player per PFF at 81.4.

DE Cody Roscoe (6-1, 275, Sr.): Roscoe has 10.5 TFL, which leads the ACC, and 7.5 sacks already this season.

DE Kingsley Jonathan (6-4, 260, Sr.): Jonathan splits snaps with the starters, so his overall stats aren’t great, but he’s been a good player for the Orange this year.

LB Mikel Jones (6-1, 220, So.): Jones leads the team with 65 tackles, which ranks second in the ACC, and he also has 7.5 TFL and two sacks.  He’s also been very good in coverage this season.

The most amazing thing about the Syracuse defense this year is that they’ve held up so well in the secondary despite having so many freshmen in the two-deep.  Check out their depth chart…

I was particularly impressed by Duce Chestnut (it’s almost as if his parents expected him to be a football player) against Clemson on Friday night, and he had this fantastic play against Florida State earlier this season…

That’s a horrible attempt at a block by No. 87 of Florida State (which I guess is no surprise), but that’s also a heck of a reaction and play on the ball by such a young player. 

He also had this one-handed pick against Ohio…

Chestnut is already good, and he looks like one of the next big time corners in the ACC.

Still, as noted above, opposing teams have been able to be efficient in the passing game against the Orange this year, though they haven’t put up many total yards.  That’s partly because Dino Babers has gotten away from his usual run-as-many-plays-as-possible offense, which helps protect such a young secondary because they aren’t on the field for as many plays.  The Orange average 69.7 plays per game this year, which ranks No. 68 nationally.  Here’s how they’ve ranked in the other years of the Babers era…

2016: No. 7
2017: No. 1
2018: No. 2
2019: No. 4
2020: No. 119

It appears that Babers began employing this new strategy last season, though it didn’t work well, as the Orange only went 1-10.  Still, with a strong running game on offense and such a young secondary on defense, it’s probably the right strategy for this 2021 Syracuse team.

Syracuse Special Teams

Placekicker Andre Szmyt (6-1, 210, r-Jr.) was an Unanimous All-American in 2018, and he also won the Lou Groza Award for top kicker in the country that season.  Coming into this season, he was 56-of-65 (86.15%) for his career on field goal attempts, with a long of 35 yards.

However, 2021 has been more of a struggle for Szmyt.  He badly missed a 48-yarder that would have sent the game to overtime against Clemson.  He also missed an extra point against Florida State, and overall, he’s just 7-of-11 on his field goal attempts this season, though all four of his misses have been longer attempts.  Still, he’s very good despite his struggles this year, and he’s more than capable of beating the Hokies in a clutch situation if presented with the opportunity.

The Orange are only averaging 34.9 yards per punt, and they’ve had a punt blocked.  That’s a situation where the Hokies could have an advantage with Peter Moore, who was named a Midseason Freshman All-American by The Athletic on Tuesday.  Syracuse is a decent return team, though not spectacular, and as good as Tech’s punt coverage team has been this year, it would be hard to see the Orange making a big impact in this part of the game.

Final Thoughts

You know what I’m tempted to do?  I’m tempted to pick Szmyt to beat the Hokies on a last second field goal the week after he botched a similar attempt against Clemson last week.  Similar how that Liberty kicker drilled one against Tech last year, and then missed one that would have beaten this very same Orange team earlier this year.  That would be par for the course, wouldn’t it?

By the way, that Liberty kicker (Alex Barbir) is 1-of-4 this year with a long of 31.  And by the way, he was only 13-of-20 last year, making him 14-of-24 (58.3%) for his career, which is an absolutely terrible number for a kicker these days.  But you know, he made the one against Virginia Tech, which was a career-long 51 yards. 

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

One part of me wants to pick Syracuse.  Its obvious offensive strength (running the football) matches up with Virginia Tech’s obvious defensive weakness (rush defense).  On the other hand, with all of those freshmen in the secondary, if there was any time for the Hokie passing game to do anything, this would seem to be the week.  The forecast for Saturday is sunny, with a very low chance of rain and hardly any wind.  Conditions will be ideal to throw the football around.

But Virginia Tech hasn’t been able to do that against anybody this year, and at this point it’s really hard to pick them to do it when we haven’t seen them do it.  Meanwhile, we have seen Syracuse run the football quite well this season.  They have proven to be able to do the things you need to do to beat the Tech defense.  Tech hasn’t proven to be able to do the thing that is most likely to beat the Syracuse defense.

I never would have imagined myself doing this before the season began, but yeah…Szmyt on a late field goal, because with everything else, we just need some salt poured in our wounds, don’t we?

Chris’s Prediction: Syracuse 23, Virginia Tech 21

Will Stewart’s Take: The theme this week has been “confidence,” as in “lack thereof.” The Hokie players appeared to have no confidence on offense against Pittsburgh, and as a result of that 28-7 loss, Virginia Tech fans seem to have lost confidence in the Hokies to win almost any game, with the exception of the Duke game later this season.

I don’t enter this one with much confidence, either. In making up the roster card for this game, I was struck by how young Syracuse is, and I was also struck by the fact that offensively, it’s all about Shrader and Tucker. Shrader is the leading passer, Tucker and Shrader are the leading rushers, and Tucker is the leading receiver. You’ll see a lot of 34 and 16 this Saturday.

As a young team, I’m not sure how physical Syracuse is, but I know that the Hokies haven’t been very physical this season. They’re going to have to be, to stop the Cuse rushing attack. The 231.7 yards per game that the Orange average is no small change. Will Justin Hamilton stuff the box to defend the run? He hasn’t shown much tendency to do so, but this is a run-heavy team, and if there’s a time to do it, it’s now.

Offensively, the Hokies are circling the drain, big-time. I just don’t know what to think, other than there’s no quick fix.

Syracuse typically doesn’t have much success in Lane Stadium, losing five out of the last six in Blacksburg, for what it’s worth. But I’ll be honest: I don’t have anything clever or insightful to say about this one. This could be a close one, but I’m going to go with the team that runs the ball better … a lot better.

Will’s Prediction: Syracuse 27, Virginia Tech 20

David Cunningham’s Take: As I heard Justin Fuente praise the way Syracuse plays on both sides of the ball in Monday’s press conference, I did some research, and I found what Chris detailed above. The Orange run the ball hard, they’re physical on both sides of the ball and their defense isn’t too shabby. Their 3-4 record probably doesn’t do them justice.

Like Will said, I’m not confident that Virginia Tech can get anything going offensively. As I wrote about on Tuesday, the defensive players praised Justin Hamilton in front of reporters, constantly mentioning how he’s always put them in positions to succeed. There hasn’t been the same praise with the offensive side of the ball and Brad Cornelsen, and I don’t think this is just a one-year thing.

This game boils down to this: Virginia Tech is good defensively and abysmal offensively, while Syracuse is a bit above average on both sides of the ball. Like Chris said, if there’s any defense that VT can exploit through the air, it’s Cuse. But Tech hasn’t shown that through six games so far, including against MTSU and Richmond. Why will another ACC game be any different?

I think it’s going to be very similar to last Saturday’s game against Pitt. It’s going to be fairly low scoring and a close game, simply because Justin Hamilton’s defense is going to keep the Hokies in the game. The dam can’t hold forever, though, and I think the Orange run away with it in the third quarter. I don’t know if this one will be over by halftime, but I don’t think it’s going to be in Tech’s favor.

Syracuse, while above average on both sides of the ball, has confidence, particularly in the running game. Tech’s defense does, too. But I think the Orange defense shuts down the Hokies offensively and it’s at least a two-score game. I think this is going to be another one of those games where the offense has to make plays and can’t. That’s been the theme the past few weeks, at least, and until there’s new life in the VT offense, I don’t see that changing.

David’s Prediction: Syracuse 28, Virginia Tech 10

 


What's your prediction for the 2021 Virginia Tech-Syracuse game?

  • Syracuse Wins by 1-10 (35%, 539 Votes)
  • Hokies Win by 1-10 (31%, 476 Votes)
  • Syracuse Wins by 11+ (24%, 378 Votes)
  • Hokies Win by 11+ (10%, 151 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,544

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Last Game’s Virginia Tech-Pittsburgh Prediction Poll Results

Game Result: Pittsburgh 28, Virginia Tech 7

What's your prediction for the 2021 Virginia Tech-Pittsburgh game?

  • Pitt Wins by 11+ (64%, 887 Votes)
  • Hokies Win by 1-10 (19%, 261 Votes)
  • Pitt Wins by 1-10 (14%, 189 Votes)
  • Hokies Win by 11+ (4%, 54 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,391

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2021 Virginia Tech Football Predictions Tracker - TSL Staff
Game
Chris (5-6)
Will (6-5)
David (7-4)
Result
UNC
MTSU
@WVU
Richmond
Notre Dame
Pittsburgh
Syracuse
@Georgia Tech
@Boston College
Duke
@Miami
@UVA
TBD
2021 Virginia Tech Football Predictions Tracker - Fans (7-4)
Game
Fan Poll
Result
Score
UNC
Hokies Win by 1-10
Hokies 17, UNC 10
MTSU
Hokies Win by 11+
Hokies 35, MTSU 14
@WVU
Hokies Win by 1-10
WVU 27, Hokies 21
Richmond
Hokies Win by 11+
Hokies 21, Richmond 10
Notre Dame
Hokies Win by 1-10
Notre Dame 32, Hokies 29
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Wins by 11+
Pittsburgh 28, Hokies 7
Syracuse
Syracuse Wins by 1-10
Syracuse 41, Hokies 36
@Georgia Tech
Hokies Win by 1-10
Hokies 26, GT 17
@Boston College
Hokies Win by 1-10
Boston College 17, Hokies 3
Duke
Hokies Win by 1-10
Hokies 48, Duke 17
@Miami
Hokies Win by 1-10
Miami 38, Hokies 26
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36 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Hokies 35 – 17 Easy – JHam stacks the box stopping both Shrader and Tucker – Man up on WR’s and we win easy…and I have seen every game…we are a bad match up for Syracuse way more than they are for us…

  2. Hard to fathom losing to ‘Cuse without Donovan McNabb, but then I read this: “ Considering how effective the Virginia Tech pass defense has been this year, Shrader seems unlikely to have an efficient game through the air on Saturday.”

    The kiss of death. He’ll have a career day. Oh, and he runs….

  3. Don’t underestimate a team with its back against the wall. With all this negativity around the program the Hokies will be inspired to prove everyone wrong. Hokies will win the game and it will not be close.

  4. The writers act like we are playing Pitt or ND twice in a row… we could still crap the bed but this ain’t Pitt girls… it’s an Orange squad that isn any good …

  5. I watched Cuse v Clemson and said to myself “We won’t beat Cuse.” Now I see the 3 gurus say the same. What does that make us this year 3-9? 4-8? Looking grim.

    J Ham for interim HC

  6. The Hokie offense is going to struggle when BB can’t run, that is a given. How bad they struggle is on play calling. BB3 will never be able to drop back in a traditional lineup, and throw without any gimmicks. There has to be some misdirections, presnap motioning, jet sweep action abd there has to be a running gm established. Usually, we need to pass to run and allow BB3 to run, we need to pound it to go playaction to give BB3 a shot. Corny will either have to be great or we will be in trouble. 24-17 Hokies

  7. I think on O we see the misdirection game return this weekend. I think we have a big kick return, finally hit a pop-pass and hang on for the win in a higher than expected score.
    34-31. Their running back is the real deal and will likely break some big runs, but hopefully not too many.

  8. Getting hard to care after all these years. Will not tolerate mediocrity after all this fan base and community has invested in this football program.
    A half empty Lane Stadium will prove I’m not alone in my sentiments.

  9. I’m real concerned about having positive and excited Effort on both sides of the ball. Also, we need some sort of positive EFFORT from our Special Teams in a blocked punt, blocked field goal or a blocked extra point. EFFORT = PERFORMANCE. GO HOKIES, we need a POSITIVE EFFORT from you in all 3 phases of the game with Syracuse.

  10. I’m picking Hokies in a close one. Not because I have any faith in our offense, but because I don’t think Syracuse will be as good on the road as the numbers suggest. They’ve only had two away games – a win at Ohio (big deal) and a loss to a bad FSU team. Their close losses to “good” teams have been in the Carrier Dome.

  11. VT’s offense really struggled last week as they seemed to make it a point to limit BB in the running game (likely to protect him from getting more injured). Hopefully BB can make enough plays with his feet and hit a few big ones to do enough offensively.

    I think VT has to sustain some drives in the first half and get some positive momentum to help the defense out. The defense really hung in there for most of the first half but those two short fields seemed to demoralize the entire team and put the game away.

    Here’s to hoping VT can figure out a way to do enough offensively to get the W. If they look completely out of their element again I wouldn’t be surprised to see some change come Monday. If the ship is going down may as well get the jump on everyone else looking to make a change.

  12. I don’t really see a path for VT to win this game, the offense isn’t going to score more than 14 and I don’t think Syracuse is going to need to put the ball in the air with how long they’ll have the ball in this one. Without scoring points it’s very hard to win games, and our ability to do that has hit rock bottom in the last 4 weeks.

    We’re averaging 14 offensive PPG in the last 3 games, that includes 2 bad defenses in Richmond and Pitt.

  13. Roanoke Times article today, theme was: VT’s “O” lacks confidence, beginning on the goal line at WVU.
    I have no confidence either, much as I hate it, I expect Syracuse to win. Until CJF & Corny prove me wrong, I see only maybe one W rest of year. Hope I’m wrong by four to six games..

  14. Syracuse is a different team outside of the vacuum-sealed, arena football venue they call the Carrier Dome. (An oversized version of Radford’s Dedmon Center.) The game in Tallahassee was while FSU was at their low point. We’re all down on the season, but I’m not so low that I’m going to pick Syracuse to win. I mean, I’m trying to retain some dignity.

  15. It takes at least a “competent” offense to have a chance to win. From my seat on the West Side Saturday….I could not see any evidence that we have anything resembling a competent offense. Whether that’s due to the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s or the X’s and the O’s (and I suspect it is some of both) it seems unlikely that it will be fixable in the near term. Hoping for the best but, expecting the worst every Saturday right now.

  16. Cuse is going down. This team is about to surprise everyone with their toughness. Hokies win 24-20.

  17. An interesting matchup of coaches that don’t seem to be able to make the right moves when the game is on the line to win it. IMHO, mobile QB gives the edge to “Cuse because we can’t ever seem to handle that. But, I think lower scoring, like 14-10 or so.

  18. One young up and coming team composed of mostly freshmen playing other teams close. At some point they will break out.

    The other…

    VT should destroy a group of freshmen. Not likely this Saturday.

  19. Another prediction

    Tech loses and Corn is released from his duties on Monday’s press conference. FU wins out the remaining games and saves his job.

  20. If we lose to Syracuse, it’s going to get really ugly, really fast. That hot seat will have flames and I have a lighter!

  21. Is there such a thing as a “good loss”? Syr’s losses are “better” than ours. Taking WF and Clem to the wire?

    On the other hand, our wins are almost all better than theirs (hanging my hat on UNC -they don’t have a win that good).

    My prediction: No one “wins” this one, but somebody “loses” this one. I predict (fan) pain, regardless the outcome. It will be ugly.

    Edge- Syr for having the best player on the field.

  22. Before the season started, I think the general consensus was that there were four games that Fuente just HAD to win: MTSU, Richmond, Syracuse and Duke. Then going 0.500 the for the other 8 would get VT to 8-4 and he may could keep his job. Some said if he loses one of those four he would be out by the Monday following the game.

    And yet here we are all expecting VT to lose to Syracuse but not saying that anything significant would happen with the coaching staff as a result. I get it that a mid-season firing is not ideal.

    I’m not sure I have a concise point, but I think its telling that we’re at this point I guess.

    1. Posted before Pitt game that Fu is done b/c we won’t beat Cuse. Time to make J. Ham the interim head coach – we know Fu is not it. Good chance to see if J. Ham can grow into the job. Look at the Dabo model – worked there. If J. Ham is not it, let him go or let him stay on as DC, if he wishes. Firing Corny will not do anything but make our O worse – think about it. Go Hokies! We don’t have the talent – O is decent otherwise.

  23. Wow. I knew Pitt was a bad matchup and VT needed breaks and to play well…none of that happened. But you’re picking this game like Cuse is on Pitt’s level. They’re not. They could be suffering lack of confidence too due to their ACC losing streak and propensity to just lose close games after losing so many last year. Couple that with this being only their 2nd ACC road game (their first was FSU’s FIRST W after starting 0-4), and I don’t see anything close to David’s prediction. I could see Chris’s, But I have Hokies winning 24-16

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