What an odd ACC season. Virginia Tech seemed like they were dead and buried. After losing to FSU, the Hokies were 2-4 (1-1 in ACC). Then they won three out of their last four games. They're at .500 overall at 5-5, but somehow they aren't mathematically eliminated from the ACC championship game as they are tied with NC State at 4-2 in the conference. They have one of the best edge rushers in the nation with Antwaun Powell-Ryland, his nine sacks have him tied for 10th nationally. Their defense is not just him, however. Their secondary is quite stout, allowing 161 passing yards/game, good for sixth in the country, along with just 6.6 yards/attempt.
There's a little more breathing room on the ground as the Hokies are giving up 156 rushing yards/game, putting them 10th in the ACC. The Wolfpack are third in the conference at about 100 yards/game.
Former Baylor transfer quarterback Kyron Drones has been at the helm for most of the season, and has been a good game manager, throwing nine touchdowns to just two interceptions. He's a dual threat QB, so we should expect to see double digit carries from him. Speaking of QB's, expect Brennan Armstrong to come out with an edge against his former in-state rival. Likewise, the VT defense will be on the hunt for him, as there is no love lost between both sides in that matchup. Armstrong has said that UNC and VT are the two teams he dislikes the most, and that tracks given Virginia's historical rivalries. As usual, the Lane Stadium crowd will likely be a factor, though thankfully the game isn't at night. Let's see how the panel thinks this game will turn out:
What a bizarre season for the Hokies. It's kind of a Jekyll and Hyde opponent, but I do expect the good version will show its face at hom on senior day. Virginia Tech can be run on. It has given up some monster rushing games. Can NC State continue its positive trajectory as a ground-first team? Can NC State prevent explosive plays from an offense that will option you? It'll be close.
The Wolfpack defense has been playing lights out recently, but the Hokies have found a second gear on offense. They likely won't have many explosives, but I have a feeling Payton Wilson and crew will be sent back onto the field a few too many times since VT's defense will stall the struggling NC State offense.
As we've learned all season with this team, if you score 24 points first; you will win the game. I think the team struggles at first in what is sure to be a hostile environment , but they ride the wave of momentum from the last three weeks to give Armstrong the last laugh over the Hokies
I know, it's tough playing in Blacksburg, and we are a 3 point underdog, but our defense is going to be too much for them. Brennan Armstrong is back on track, and I think we will put up way better numbers on offense. I got a feeling.....
So, what do you think will happen this week? Let us know in the comments below, and respond in the poll with your pick!