The season isn’t over for Virginia Tech just yet because if it wins this Game, the Marshall Game that was cancelled earlier in the year, would be reScheduled for the following weekend. Surprisingly, Virginia has three more wins than the Hokies, which rarely happens. In fact, this is only the second time the Cavaliers have been favored in the last 10 years (2014, VT won) in this matchup and they opened as -4 point road favorites for this one as seen at betonline Sportsbook.
There’s no telling how this Game will play out. In an almost opposite situation last season, Virginia Tech won 10-0, holding Virginia to just five rushing yards (sacks included). The year before that, the Tech offense went off in a 52-10 win, though that’s definitely not going to happen in this Game. The Hokies have fallen off in a major way, losing their last Four Games all by double digits. They looked headed for another solid season under Justin Fuente after beating Florida State in the opener, but after the loss to Old Dominion, things fell apart.
Virginia had a shot to win the ACC Coastal division, but has lost its last two in Conference play, falling at home to Pitt and in overtime at Georgia Tech last weekend. This team has surprised, but it’s not like it’s dominating opponents. The big thing in this Game is that Virginia has a much better defense. The Hokies haven’t stopped anyone, giving up 208 rushing yards and 31.7 points per Game.
That aligns perfectly for Virginia’s run-first approach led by quarterback Bryce Perkins. The Cavs average a decent 4.6 yards per carry and a lot of that is because of Perkins, who has rushed for 730 yards and nine touchdowns. Combine that with Jordan Ellis, who has 868 yards and eight touchdowns, and that’s enough to beat a lot of teams in the ACC. Perkins isn’t known for his arm, but that can still be a threat for him, completing a decent 65.4% of his passes for 19 touchdowns. This Game may be on the road, but Virginia’s offense may be too much for Tech to compete.
Of course, like in any rivalry, it may be wise to throw out what’s happened this season. Sure, Tech hasn’t played good defense, but they are still at home and have plenty of pride to play for. The question is if the Hokies can Scoreagainst a Virginia defense giving up only 20.6 points per Game. That’s the main reason the Cavs are where they are, holding offenses like Miami’s and Duke’s to 14 points per less.
A lot of Tech’s struggles are due to former Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis, who continues to start for the injured Josh Jackson. His numbers look fine on paper with 17 touchdowns and only six interceptions, but that’s because he’s been forced to air it out in almost every Game since Tech is often behind. He’s mobile with 295 rushing yards, but Tech’s leading running back Steven Peoples has just 586 rushing yards and hasn’t topped 64 yards in the last seven Games.
But betting on Tech is just betting on the name at this point. Virginia has the better offense, defense and quarterback and favored by only Four points, everything points to the Cavaliers, even on the road.
The Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last five Conference Games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 overall. The Hokies haven’t covered in their last Four home Games and are 0-6 ATS in their last six overall. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these schools and the under is 6-2 in the last eight.
Our Pick – Virginia -4