It’s another rivalry game as the West Virginia Mountaineers travel to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies. The series renewed in 2020 with West Virginia earning a 27-21 win in Morgantown. WVU relinquished 14 points in the second half but was able to hold on for the win. Taking into account the season so far for each team, we may be in for another close game.
Virginia Tech on Offense
There’s an opportunity to build off of last weeks strong defensive showing from the Mountaineers against Virginia Tech. The Hokies come into the game struggling on the offensive side of the ball. While they are averaging 364 yards per game, those numbers are low given the competition. In week one, VT was upset on the road against Old Dominion. They followed that loss up with two straight wins over Boston College and Wofford, respectively. Despite the two winning outcomes, they have averaged a lowly 23.7 points per game, ranking them 104th in the nation. Taking into account the performances from both teams thus far, can the West Virginia defense maintain their momentum from their win against Towson to come up with the win?
The Hokie Defense
ESPN has the Hokie defense as one of the best in the nation, coming in at number five nationally. Slightly ahead of Alabama, this defense has put up numbers that could cause concern for any offense. Through three games Virginia Tech is only allowing 159 yards through the air. They have also been stout against the run, holding opposing teams to 42 rushing yards per game. However, it would be remised not to talk about the opposition thus far. In two of their games they have faced the 116th and 105th ranked offenses in the country. To date, their opponents’ lack of offensive prowess may be artificially inflating the Virginia Tech defensive numbers.
What to Expect
It’s tough to determine how rivalry games like this will play out; especially a night game on the road for the Mountaineers. The good news for West Virginia is that they have been in this position once already this season. Could their week one contest against Pittsburgh be beneficial in tuning out the crowd at Virginia Tech? With that experience and one of the better offenses in the country, they have a good chance of ensuring the Black Diamond Trophy returns to Morgantown.
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