The Hokies room welcoming UVA to lane Stadium v a opportunity to carry the republic Cup home. It has actually been a story of two really different teams so far this season.
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UVA has won four games in a heat after a 1-4 start, if the Hokies have lost four in a row after beginning 4-2. These space two groups seemingly on very different trajectories to end up the season, for this reason that method this is a shoo-in for the Hoos, right?
As I stated in a previous write-up this week, hate Week is a really real thing, and also the Hokies have had some amazing performances versus the Hoos, even when the odds appeared to be against them.
Here room three factors why the Hokies might get their 16th win versus UVA in your last 17 matchups:
History is top top the Hokies’ side
The critical time the Hokies and Hoos met in roadway Stadium, the previous was 4-6 and also had lost 4 in a row, much like this year team. That video game turned out to it is in an instant classic, v VT squeaking far a three-point victory in the very first overtime matchup in the rivalry’s history.
Despite gift in the middle of what was the program’s worst season in end 25 years, the Hokies found a means to pull it out against a team that, frankly, castle were less talented than.
Looking at these two groups now, my moral evaluation is that the Hokies are vastly underachieving if the Hoos room overachieving.
Many the those same VT players from the 2018 squad are currently juniors and seniors. Meanwhile, UVA has actually lost many key contributors from that team, consisting of Bryce Perkins, Joe Reed, Hasise Dubois, Jordan Ellis, Bryce Hall, Jordan Mack and also Charles Snowden.
You deserve to see a clear talent dropoff from each of this players’ replacements.
Couple that with the motivational affect this rivalry brings and Justin Fuente’s history of capitalizing ~ above it, and also you have actually a recipe because that a Hokie win.
That UVA second is H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E
During the 3 ACC gamings in UVA’s win streak, they have provided up an typical of just under 375 passing yards per video game to the contrary quarterbacks. The is really, really bad.
Now, the Hokies’ passing video game has not provided much factor this season come be i was sure they can make use of this weakness, however there is one video game in particular during UVA’s stretch I want to emphasis on: their victory over Louisville.
In the game, the Hoos held Malik Cunningham to just 161 yards in the air, yet he additionally ran for 197 yards and also two touchdowns. Cunningham is a very comparable player to presumed Hokie starter Hendon Hooker, so the is reasonable to believe Hooker have the right to put up similar numbers.
UVA’s various other two ACC wins in that stretch, UNC and also Boston College, walk not find success running your QB’s (Sam Howell and also Dennis Grosel), however neither is well-known as a dual-threat QB.
When factoring in QB runs, UVA provided up 423 complete yards every game versus UL, UNC and also BC. This way that no issue which way the Hokies shot to attack, UVA’s defense is powerless to prevent it.
UVA’s second is poor not only in coverage but once an athletic QB favor Hooker or Cunningham gets previous the first line, they deserve to be intended to failure in acquisition the ideal angles to carry him down.
One that the major reasons UL was only able come score 17 points versus the Hoos to be that in spite of Cunningham’s efforts, the Cardinals were without your two ideal playmakers, Javian Hawkins and also TuTu Atwell.
The Hokies have similar players in Khalil Herbert and also Tre Turner, an interpretation in enhancement to a good performance from Hooker, the Hokies deserve to find an ext success with those players than the Cardinals did.
Speaking of Turner…
Big day for large Play Tre
Turner is, without a doubt, the Hokies’ best downfield threat, and also if he is able come play (he missed the Clemson game), he can be in because that a one-of-a-kind game.
Turner tends to have special games against the Hoos, together both of his performances against them have actually been spectacular.
Who can forget the miraculous one-handed record over Bryce hall (pictured above) he had actually as a true freshman in 2018? He finished that video game with 112 full yards, add to a blocked punting that sent Lane stadium over the edge.
In 2019, despite the team’s loss, Turner had another great performance, catching seven passes because that 134 yards and also a touchdown while rushing because that 25 an ext yards. In Turner’s career versus the Hoos, he has actually 271 complete yards, two touchdowns and a clogged punt.
UVA struggled to cover the in critical season’s matchup, and their defense has only regressed since then.
Turner is averaging 16.3 yards per record this season, and he is sure to have actually some long catches versus the Hoos.
But Turner is no the only player to expect big plays from.
According come ESPN’s David Hale, Virginia Tech has the fifth-highest portion of explosive plays in the FBS, while UVA provides up the 10th-highest percent of explosive plays.
Coincidentally, those percentages almost exactly align, together VT has actually 16.39% of their plays become explosive while 16.29% that plays against UVA’s defense perform the same. This means, based on these numbers, you deserve to expect between 16 and also 17 percent of VT’s dram on Saturday to go for 10 yards or more.
For a team together momentum-driven as the Hokies, this is crucial. In your last 3 losses, they challenged three of the defenses least-prone to offer up explosive theatre in the ACC in Miami, Pittsburgh and Clemson. This make it difficult to have actually the varieties of plays that jumpstart the team’s momentum.
If the Hokies have the right to have some lengthy plays - specifically long touchdowns - through Herbert and big Play Tre, plus also introducing large Play Tay(vion) and big Play J(ames Mitchell), momentum can swing steady in the Hokies’ direction.
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Born and raised in Radford, Virginia (hometown of the man himself, Mike Young), i am a lifelong Hokie. A member that Virginia Tech"s course of 2019, I currently reside in Charlotte, phibìc Carolina. Two of my best loves are writing and also Hokie athletics, for this reason an opportunity to be a Scribe of Saturday was exactly what i needed. I have actually written because that the independent Tribune in Concord, NC, and also Joe Gibbs Racing, the technology Lunch Pail and also Fansided. Ns hope someday to create for ESPN, The Athletic, Fox Sports, The Ringer or one of the like. In addition to watching/writing around sports, I gain drinking craft beer and playing golf.