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2017

Virginia Tech

College Football

Betting Preview

Schedule

Everything went almost as planned for Virginia Tech in Justin Fuente’s first season as head coach. The Hokies finished with 10 wins, made the ACC title game and battled Clemson, and then beat Arkansas in a nice bowl win. Continuing that success is going to be the hard thing with a number of pieces gone on the offensive end, namely quarterback Jerod Evans.

While Evans is gone, the spring showed that Virginia Tech should be just fine at quarterback with a few guys to turn to. Josh Jackson had the edge in the spring with A.J. Bush and Hendon Hooker not far behind. In the spring, Fuente wasn’t too concerned about how his QB competition would pan out because outside of QB, there are bigger questions with only one relevant receiver returning in Cam Phillips (983 yards, 5 TDs). Travon McMillian (671 yards, 7 TDs) returns in the backfield, but he didn’t blow anyone away last season so his spot isn’t completely firm. In addition to all that, the line loses a few pieces, although the left side is filled with experience. If the Hokies can bring in a new quarterback without any hiccups, this team will compete at the top of the Coastal division again.

But to win the division, it means the defense can’t fall off, and all early signs point that it shouldn’t. While three guys are gone on the line, VT has enough talent in waiting. The back seven is what will set this group apart, though, with stud linebackers Andrew Motuapuaka (114 tackles) and Tremaine Edmunds at the head of that. The secondary should be one of the better units in the ACC with experience at corner and new safety Devon Hunter joining the mix. As long as the line doesn’t fall apart, this side of the ball can be just as good as a year ago when it allowed 22.7 points per game.

The Coastal division is a toss-up per usual, but the Hokies have the second-best odds to win it and are +900 (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win the ACC, only slightly below Miami. Both teams have new quarterbacks, so that doesn’t appear to play a big factor in this division.

The reason Miami has better odds has to do with the meeting between those teams being played in Coral Gables. The Hokies also have a tough schedule with Clemson coming to town in September and then a trip to Georgia Tech out of the Atlantic. Virginia Tech will likely have to win that Miami game to win the Coastal, but outside of that one, all of their road games are winnable. Their new quarterback will get a test in the opener against the Mountaineers and that could be telling on how the rest of the season will play out. The defense can keep this team as one of the best in the ACC, but if the offense takes a step back, reaching the ACC title game likely won’t happen with nine regular season wins a good projection, although Fuente will be wanting more.

 

2017 Virginia Tech Hokies Football Schedule

Sept. 3 vs. West Virginia (FedEx Field)
Sept. 9 vs. Delaware
Sept. 16 at East Carolina
Sept. 23 vs. Old Dominion

Sept. 30 vs. Clemson
Oct. 7 at Boston College
Oct. 21 vs. North Carolina

Oct. 28 vs. Duke
Nov. 4 at Miami
Nov. 11 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 18 vs. Pittsburgh
Nov. 24 at Virginia

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