Virginia Tech still has a shot at winning the ACC’s Coastal Division, but it needs to beat host Virginia for the 10th straight time first. A win in Saturday’s in-state rivalry game and a North Carolina win over Duke would cause a multi-team tiebreaker and send the Hokies to the ACC Championship game. Virginia Tech has won 13 of the last 14 meetings with the Cavaliers and leads the series 52-37-5.
“I think both sides respect each other,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer told the media Monday. “I don’t think both sides necessarily like each other. It’s not a date, where you need to like somebody. It’s a get-after-it session is what it is.” The Hokies have dropped three of four after a strong start but still feature one of the country’s top defenses. Virginia has just one win over an FBS team and has lost eight straight.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU. LINE: Virginia Tech -13.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (7-4, 4-3 ACC): The Hokies are ranked ninth in the country in points allowed (18.5) and fourth in total defense (268.2 yards). Logan Thomas can add to his school records - which include career total offense (10,064), career passing yards (8,728), career touchdown passes (52) and career rushing scores by a quarterback (24) - when he makes his record 39th consecutive start on Saturday. Trey Edmunds leads the Hokies with 582 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, including four scores against Miami - the only win during the recent slide.
ABOUT VIRGINIA (2-9, 0-7): David Watford, who has one touchdown and six interceptions in the past three games, will start but freshman Greyson Lambert, who has led fourth-quarter TD drives in the past two games, will get snaps. Anthony Harris, who leads the NCAA with eight interceptions, will miss the first half after being ejected for targeting in the third quarter of the Cavaliers’ loss to Miami. Freshman receiver Keeon Johnson has 12 catches for 187 yards and a score in his past three games.
1. Virginia is the only FBS team to have all 11 of its FBS opponents become bowl eligible.
2. The Hokies are 192-40-2 under Beamer when they gain more rushing yards than their opponents.
3. Harris has an interception in five straight games and needs one more to tie Keith McMean’s single-season school record (nine in 1987).
PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 31, Virginia 13