How Virginia Tech's Opponents Fared in Week 8

The only one of Virginia Tech's future opponents that looked good in Week 8 was Miami, which dispatched of North Carolina at home and actually looked like it had fun doing it. The Heels and Georgia Tech, which lost to Clemson, are still dangerous teams. UNC because it now has reinforcements for its depleted defense and the Jackets because their offense is always going to be dangerous and because they have responded well to losses under Paul Johnson.

After the jump, a more detailed look at our future opponents and what their results mean for the Hokies as well as results from the rest of the schedule.

Sept. 6 vs. Boise State (6-0, 2-0 WAC)
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: vs. Louisiana Tech (Oct. 26)

OBNUG: McClellin the surprising leader on D

Sept. 11 vs. James Madison (4-3, 1-3 CAA)
Week 8: Villanova 14, James Madison 7
Week 9: vs. Massachusetts

JMU Sports Blog: Another close loss for Dukes

Sept. 18 vs. East Carolina (5-2, 4-0 CUSA)
Week 8: East Carolina 37, Marshall 10
Week 9: at Central Florida

Paint it Purple: Davis gets the job done despite struggles

Sept. 25 at Boston College (2-5, 0-4 ACC)
Week 8: Maryland 24, Boston College 21
Week 9: vs. Clemson

BC Interruption: Nothing good can be said
Eagle in Atlanta: Coaches are to blame
Soaring to Glory: Time to fire everyone
BC Draft: Eagles show heart in failed comeback
Testudo Times: Turnovers give Terps ugly win
D1scourse: Maryland pulls out another late win

Oct. 2 at NC State (5-2, 2-1 ACC)
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: vs. Florida State (Oct. 28)

Backing the Pack: Offense has work cut out for it
Riddick and Reynolds: This is TOB's biggest game at State

Oct. 9 vs. Central Michigan (2-6, 1-4 MAC)
Week 8: Northern Illinois 33, Central Michigan 7
Week 9: vs. Bowling Green

MLive: Second half burns Chips
Red and Black Attack: Turnovers turn tide for Huskies
Hustle Belt: CMU downgraded to lower tier

Oct. 16 vs. Wake Forest (2-5, 1-3 ACC)
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: at Maryland

Blogger So Dear: Defense has to improve down the stretch

Nov. 4 vs. Georgia Tech (5-3, 3-2 ACC)
Week 8: Clemson 27, Georgia Tech 13
Week 9: Bye (Nov. 4 at Virginia Tech)

The Yellow Jackets were held under five yards per carry for just the second time this year and converted on just six of 16 third downs in their loss to Clemson. Joshua Nesbitt was held to two yards on 15 carries, his lowest output under Paul Johnson.

Nesbitt is always going to be the key to the offense for Georgia Tech. If he's having a bad game, it's going to be tough for the Jackets to win. Finding a way to stop him or at least force him into making poor reads will be big for the Hokies defense.

On D, the Yellow Jackets had a tough time stopping Andre Ellington, who ran for 166 yards on 20 carries (8.3 ypc). It's been noted by FTRS and Barrel of Rum that the Jackets just don't have the personnel for Al Groh's 3-4 D this season. That's something the Hokies absolutely have to take advantage of next week.

From the Rumble Seat: GT struggles against the run
Barrel of Rum: Jackets whipped physically by Tigers
Shakin the Southland: Defense executes its assignments
Block-C: Big win still doesn't save Clemson's season

Nov. 13 at North Carolina (4-3, 2-2 ACC)
Week 8: Miami 33, North Carolina 10
Week 9: vs. William and Mary

The news wasn't all bad for UNC this week as cornerback Kendric Burney was cleared to play Tuesday by the NCAA. The Tar Heels now have three of their four expected starters in the secondary (it was previously announced CB Charles Brown would miss the remainder of the season).

The passing defense hasn't struggled for the Heels this year, but hasn't been the same ball-hawking group we saw last year. After the loss to Miami, in which Jacory Harris threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns. The Heels are in the middle of the pack in the ACC in yards per attempt and opponent passer rating.

Like the Hokies, what has struggled for UNC is its rush defense. The Heels are giving up more than 200 rushing yards per conference game and 4.8 ypc in their four ACC games. This trend continued against the Canes who wore down UNC's depleted defense late.

On offense, T.J. Yates had arguably his worst game, throwing for 140 yards and two interceptions. UNC coughed up the ball three times and were an ugly 2-for-12 on third down.

Carolina March: Too much attrition on D
Tar Heel Fan: Miami better in every phase
The Fifth Corner: Yates looked like 2009 version

Nov. 20 at Miami (5-2, 3-1 ACC)
Week 8: Miami 33, North Carolina 10
Week 9: at Virginia

Miami was very efficient on offense after a slow start in its win over UNC, scoring the game's last 30 points.

With the exception of a 76-yard TD run by Johnny White in the second quarter, Miami held the Heels to 4.3 yards per play. The Canes racked up 225 yards of rushing of their own as they dominated both lines of scrimmage.

The game also highlighted the difference between Jacory Harris on the road and at home. Harris' early struggles have been well documented, but with the exception of the game against FSU, all those games have been on the road. At home, Harris is almost a completely different QB.

Against UNC, he overcame an early pick to complete 66 percent of his passes at 6.8 ypa and three touchdowns. On the road, he's thrown eight touchdowns to eight interceptions. At home, it's a 6-to-2 TD-to-INT ratio. His QB rating at home is 15 points higher than on the road. Last year, it was 21 points higher.

While Harris' play was a positive, the Hokies really need to find a way to stop the run before playing the Canes.

The Seventh Floor: Emotion a big factor
Eye of the Hurricane: Refuse to lose attitude returns
Canespace: Miami having fun again
All Canes: Canes finally rely on run

Nov. 27 vs. Virginia (3-4, 0-3 ACC)
Week 8: Virginia 48, Eastern Michigan 21
Week 9: vs. Miami

EMU scored midway through the third quarter to cut the lead to 24-21, but UVa scored the game's final 24 points to win comfortably.

The Hoos gave up a pretty ridiculous 290 rushing yards to EMU, which came into the game averaging 143 yards per game and had managed 145 rushing yards against its two previous AQ opponents, Ohio State and Vanderbilt. The Eagles averaged 7.1 ypc against the Hoos.

On offense, Marc Verica had a nice bounce-back game, completing 58 percent of his passes at 6.5 ypa for 203 yards, two TDs and no picks. On the ground, UVa averaged 5.0 ypc.

From Old Virginia: Coaches make good halftime adjustments
Dear Old UVa: Tackling still a problem
Streaking the Lawn: Hoos gave up 209 rushing yards in 1st half

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