Virginia Tech had a few extra days to recoup and recover from its 38-17 loss at Clemson with last week's bye. A lot is riding on tonight's game at Miami, including prolonging hope for the ACC championship. Can the Hokies get past Hurricanes and finally show some kind of consistency?
We take our shots at calling what will happen at tonight's 7:30 ET kickoff.
Jason Stamm, publisher
It's hard to know which Virginia Tech team will show up. We've seen the good, most notably a 41-20 comeback win over Duke where freshman running back J.C. Coleman rushed for 183 yards.
Then, we've seen the bad, losses to Pittsburgh and North Carolina where the Hokies allowed over 500 yards of total offense. Cincinnati fell just short, with 495 total yards in a 27-24 win at FedEx Field in September.
On Oct. 20 at Clemson, we saw good and bad. Virginia Tech's defense allowed 295 yards of total offense to the Tigers, their lowest output of the season. But the mistakes that have killed the Hokies' hopes this season again crept up. An interception by junior quarterback Logan Thomas that was returned for a touchdown, being stopped in the red zone on a critical fourth down play and the nail in the coffin, an interception by senior wide receiver Marcus Davis on a lateral.
Which team will show up tonight?
If Virginia Tech's defense continues its ruthless play, the offense can get moving like its shown it can and the mistakes are kept minimal, the Hokies can easily defeat Miami. But that's anything but a guarantee.
The Hurricanes have had their struggles as well and are also 4-4. Both teams should get going offensively, but it will again come down to costly mistakes by Virginia Tech.
Doug Bowman, senior writer
This one is going to a close game in the twenties. Both teams are a bit inconsistent and have their flaws, but they also have some significant strengths.
For the Hokies, it is the big-play ball down the field. For Miami, it's whenever junior quarterback Stephen Morris is in a rhythm. I expect the home crowd will give Miami a little bit of a boost at the beginning before it turns into a classic Virginia Tech/Miami slugfest.
Neither of these teams is as good as they have been in past matchups, but that won't take away from the excitement in this one. This one will go down to the wire and I see a big turnover or a big special teams play late deciding it.
PREDICTION:Virginia Tech 26 - Miami 24
Roger Gonzalez, staff writer
On a big state on Thursday night, Coleman and Thomas put on quite the show, combining for five touchdowns as Tech rights the ship, momentarily.
Expect a statement game from the Virginia Tech defense, as it gets after Morris all game long. The Hokies finally get a big win on the road.