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VT vs. UNC–Stay the Course

Posted By Frank Sullivan On Nov 17 2011 @ 2:02 pm In Virginia Tech | No Comments

Yes, I know, I picked against the Hokies last Thursday.  I didn’t think they had the defensive intensity or the offensive efficiency to match up with the Yellow Jackets.  Once again, I was a little off in my prediction.  With only two conference games left, a likely ACC Championship re-match with Clemson, and the ensuing bowl game, I only have a few more chances to right the ship.  Let’s give it a shot… 

The Virginia Tech Hokies hold their own destiny in their hands.  After beating Georgia Tech in Atlanta last Thursday the Hokies will secure a spot in the ACC Title game with a win at home Thursday night against UNC and a UVA loss to FSU over the weekend (if UVA wins, Tech plays at UVA next week to settle the score).

This has been a remarkable season for the boys from Blacksburg (that’s right, i said remarkable).  As I’ve mentioned before their offense was, in effect starting over after last years Orange Bowl appearance; new QB, RB, pieces along the line, and skill players.  Everyone expected to see the 8th ranked Hokies defense, but very few foresaw RB David Wilson leading the FBS in rushing or Logan Thomas’s rise to prominence.

After the Clemson loss at home the players could have packed it in.  They could have made excuses about how it wasn’t their year, or it wasn’t their conference anymore, but they didn’t.  Frank Beamer, Bud Foster, and the Hokie faithful would not give up, and the players stayed the course.

Now, with a realistic shot at a re-match with Clemson and a BCS Bowl bid, the Hokies need to take care of their business.

UNC (6-4, 2-4) has struggled this season.  The program is under fire from allegations of wrong-doing and sanctions coming down in bunches, but the team has been competitive.  Before their bye last week they had what was their worst game of the season, losing 13-0 at NC State.  Well rested, healthy, and eager for a win, UNC will have their hands full at night in Blacksburg.

A rainy night game for Hokie fans could conjure up flashbacks of Matt Ryan leading his Boston College Eagles back in the final minutes for the upset, this time their hoping the win will be secure by the fourth quarter.

The Hokie offense has surprisingly amassed more than 400 yards in the last five games.  They hit their stride at the right time, and everyone now knows what’s at stake.

“When you get to November, you want to be playing for something,” coach Frank Beamer said. “You want to be playing for championships. And these guys have put us in that position.”

For the Hokies to win they need to take care of the football.  In games passed the Hokies have moved the ball very well up and down the field, only to turn the ball over or miss easy field goals.  Virginia Tech knows what’s at stake, they’re at home, and are chomping at the bit for a rematch with Clemson.

Prediction: VT 33 – UNC 20

Game Notes

Give David Wilson props.  Not only is he the leading rusher in college football (1360 yards) but he’s also on pace to break VT’s single-season rushing record of 1655 yards set by Ryan Williams in 2009.

We’re likely watching the two best wide receivers in VT history.  Jarret Boykin has already broken Ernest Wilfords career catches record, now Danny Coale is only 12 snags away from the single season record (56) also set by Wilford.  Oh yeah, Boykin is only four catches behind Coale this season as well.

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