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2018

Virginia Tech

College Football

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It’s been a solid two years for Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech, but fans would like a little more after failing to make the ACC title game and losing in its bowl game. The Hokies still had a solid 9-4 record partly due to a favorable schedule and it’s a similar situation this season. However, they’ll need to reload at a few positions to compete with Miami in the ACC Coastal division. They’re expected to be the second-best team in the division by a good margin with +6000 spring odds (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win the National Championship, putting them just below Miami with an over/under at 7.5 wins (most of the early money was on the over).

There were some questions regarding quarterback in the spring with a couple new guys coming in to challenge Josh Jackson (19 TDs, 8 INTs), but it’ll be hard to see anyone taking his spot after starting all of 2017. Jackson was still only a freshman last season and has some learning to do so he should at least start the year under center. Unfortunately, that center will be new as will left tackle and those spots have to be replaced. The running game needs to be better between Deshawn McClease (406 yards, 3 TDs) and Steven Peoples (211 yards) after the team averaged just 3.8 yards per carry. And with Cam Phillips gone at wide out, Sean Savoy (39 receptions) and Eric Kumah (23 receptions) will have bigger roles in the passing game. This group was fine last year scoring 28.8 points per game, but more is expected from a Fuente-run offense.

Another issue is the defensive side after the Hokies allowed just 13.5 points per game last year. They lost a slew of talent to the NFL with multiple guys gone at linebacker and the secondary. There was also the issue of co-defensive coordinator Galen Scott resigning at the end of April. Even though Bud Foster is still there, losing Scott wasn’t helpful. All three units will be fairly young with linebacker maybe being the biggest worry as two sophomores are expected to start after rarely playing last year. The secondary was still figuring itself out in the spring, while the line is young, but mostly set with Trevon Hill on the end and Ricky Walker inside.

There are questions the Hokies need to answer before the season and they may not be able to rely on their defense for as much success. Fuente’s offense has to come around at some point no matter who is at quarterback. Unfortunately, they open with a trip to Florida State as almost a touchdown underdog before getting some favorable non-conference games. If they can escape FSU and then upend Notre Dame in early October, the ACC schedule is as favorable as a year ago. Trips to Duke, UNC and Pitt aren’t overly difficult while Miami comes to town in November. If Jackson figures things out and the running game improves, the Hokies will be set for a little more success this year. If that doesn't happen and the defense takes a step back, there’s no telling how things will go with eight wins the most likely result.

 

2018 Virginia Tech Hokies Football Schedule

Sept. 3 at Florida State

Sept. 8 vs. William & Mary

Sept. 15 vs. East Carolina 

Sept. 22 at Old Dominion

Sept. 29 at Duke

Oct. 6 vs. Notre Dame

Oct. 13 at North Carolina

Oct. 25 vs. Georgia Tech

Nov. 3 vs. Boston College

Nov. 10 at Pittsburgh

Nov. 17 vs. Miami

Nov. 23 vs. Virginia

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