2009 Virginia Tech Football: What to Watch vs. UVa

The Team

  • UVa has nothing to lose and it's the last game in Hooville for its seniors and its coach. I expect a motivated Wahoo team playing at its highest level.
  • If the Hokies can't match that intensity level, it's very possible for them to lose. UVa is better than its record indicates and has a defense that will keep it hanging around. That's a dangerous proposition for the Hokies.

Virginia Tech Offense vs. Virginia Defense

  • The Wahoos have a surprisingly good defense this season, especially against the pass.
  • It will be up to Ryan Williams to lead the charge against UVa in this game. If he goes off, Tech will win easily. If he is stymied by the Wahoo defense, this game will be a dogfight.
  • The Hokies have had success against teams that run a 3-4 defense (at least ones that aren't Alabama). Last year Tech ran for 216 yards against UVa, including 137 yards from Tyrod Taylor.
  • Hopefully Taylor can again have success breaking containment and getting yards with his feet against the Hoos. While he didn't run for many yards against UVa the last time the teams met in Charlottesville, he did have two rushing touchdowns.
  • The Hoos last out-rushed the Hokies in 2004, when Andrew Pearman ran for 147 yards in a 24-10 VT win. If the Hokies can continue their success on the ground against UVa, it should be a sixth consecutive Commonwealth Cup win.
  • If the Hokies have success through the air, I think it will be on shorter routes to the tight ends or flankers like Danny Coale. Coale grew up a UVa fan and this will be his first chance to play in Charlottes while wearing orange and maroon. I think he'll have a big day getting the ball in the middle of the field.

Virginia Tech Defense vs. Virginia Offense

  • Last year it seemed like every one in the Commonwealth knew Vic Hall was going start at quarterback for Virginia except the Hokies and their coaching staff. Hall came out and ran the single wing offense to perfection and led the Hoos to a 14-7 halftime lead.
  • The Hoos introduced another single wing wrinkle last week with running back Mikell Simpson taking direct snaps. However, Simpson's status for Saturday is up in the air. If he plays, I think you'll see him under center at times. Hopefully the coaching staff has been dissecting film to come up with a way to defend what the Hoos have done out of the single wing this year.
  • Two guys that will have a lot of say in stopping the single wing attack are Barquell Rivers and Kam Chancellor. If those two guys can take care of the inside run game, guys like Cody Grimm and Jason Worilds can focus on stringing plays to the outside where the Hokies' cornerbacks can make tackles.
  • Tech's cornerbacks have been solid against the run this year and if Tech is going to stop Virginia's single wing plays, they'll need to be on their game.
  • The Wahoo passing attack has been pretty bad this year, whether it's Jameel Sewell, Marc Verica or whoever at quarterback. If the Hokies are going to give up points to the Wahoos, it's going to be on the ground, just like last year.

Outcome

  • Someone is going to make a play on defense or special team that completely changes to momentum and possibly outcome of this game. Hopefully it's one of the good guys.

Watch the Box Score for:

  • Turnovers
  • Ryan Williams rushing yards
  • UVa third down conversions
  • Non-offensive points

Virginia Tech Players to Watch:

  • 34 - Ryan Williams, Fr., RB
  • 19 - Danny Coale, So., WR
  • 52 - Barquell Rivers, So., LB
  • 17 - Kam Chancellor, Sr., FS

Virginia Players to Watch:

  • 4 - Vic Hall, Sr., QB/DB/KR
  • 31 - Rashawn Jackson, Sr., RB
  • 98 - Nate Collins, Sr., DE
  • 19 - Ras-I Dowling, Jr., CB

Final Score

Virginia Tech 24, Virginia 19

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