Virginia: The Cavaliers suffered a meltdown a week ago against North Carolina, losing 37-13. The game was actually pretty competitive until a comedy of errors ruined Virginia's chances and put this game out of reach. The Tar Heels opened up the scoring midway through the first on a 9-yard pass from Bryn Renner to Erik Highsmith to put the visitors up 7-0. The Cavaliers responded near the end of the first frame, but could only muster a Drew Jarrett field goal. But less than two minutes later, North Carolina expanded their lead on a 3-yard A.J. Blue run, putting the Heels up 14-3. Virginia responded midway through the second with a 9-yard touchdown pass of their own, from Phillip Sims to Darius Jennings, to make it 14-10. But North Carolina got on the board again before half, courtesy of a 36-yard interception return by Tre Boston, though the 2-point conversion attempt failed, making it 20-10 in favor of the Heels. Virginia added another Jarrett field goal early in the third, sending it to the fourth a one-touchdown game, 20-13. But the wheels came off for the 'Hoos in the last quarter and a half, stalling out twice inside the Tar Heel's 5-yard line. Their last four possessions included a punt, and three turnovers on downs. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels took advantage of Virginia's plight, throwing for touchdowns to Giovani Bernard and again to Highsmith, and tacking on a Thomas Moore field goal from 30 yards to provide the final margin, a 37-13 Tar Heel win.
Trends: The Hokies beat the Cavaliers in their last meeting, a 38-0 win in Charlottesville in 2011. In that game, the Hokies got of the schneid first with a 14-yard Logan Thomas touchdown run midway through the first quarter to put the visitors up 7-0. The Hokies then doubled the margin when Thomas found Jarrett Boykin for a 16-yard touchdown pass early in the second to give the Hokies a 14-0 lead that would hold through halftime. On their first possession of the third quarter, Tech drove the ball 79 yards and scored again, courtesy of a 27-yard David Wilson run. Wilson then tacked on a 38-yard touchdown run early in the fourth to give the visitors a four touchdown lead. Two minutes later, Thomas connected with Marcus Davis for a 7-yard touchdown pass to put the Hokies up 35-0. Midway through the fourth, Tech had a touchdown called back on a phantom holding call, resulting in a Cody Journell field goal, ending the scoring at 38-0. In the game, the Hokies netted 410 yards to the Cavaliers 241. They also forced four turnovers and committed none. The Hokies sacked Cavaliers quarterback Michael Rocco 4 times. Individually, Tech was led by David Wilson's 153-yard, 2 TD day, while Logan Thomas 187 yards and 2 TD's. Marcus Davis led the Hokies in receiving with 119 yards on five catches and a TD. Tech has won the last eight games in the series and 12 of the last 13.
History Lesson: The following information is all provided via Hokiesports.com. Virginia Tech has played Virginia a total of 93 times, 25 of them under Frank Beamer. Beamer holds a 16-9 record against the Cavaliers and a 2-0 record against third-year head coach Mike London. The Hokies hold the advantage in the series 51-37-5. The series began in 1895, a 38-0 shutout by the Cavaliers. Virginia shut the Hokies out three consecutive years and seven of the first eight meetings in the series. Tech has played hosted Virginia 30 times, going 20-9-1 in those games, and 14-6-1 in games played in Lane Stadium. Tech is 21-14-1 against Virginia when neither team is ranked (dating back to 1950, the earliest year of Hokiesports' poll of choice, the Coaches' Poll).
What to Expect
Offensively, the Cavaliers run a Pro-Style offense.
On defense, Virginia runs a 4-3 scheme.
Virginia ranks No. 56 nationally in total offense with just under 413 yards per game.
The Cavaliers rank No. 36 in the nation in passing offense with just over 275 yards per game.
The Cavaliers are No. 89 nationally in rushing offense, with 137 and change yards per game.
The Cavaliers rank No. 34 nationally in total defense, giving up just under 358 yards per game. They are also tied for No. 80 in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 30 points per game to their opponents.
The Cavaliers also rank No. 41 nationally in rushing defense, giving up over 142 yards per game on the ground, and No. 38 nationally in passing defense, giving up nearly 216 yards per game.
Virginia is led by quarterbacks Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims. Rocco has thrown for 1,740 yards and 12 touchdowns and 9 interceptions while completing 62 percent of his passes, while Sims has thrown for 1,253 yards and 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, completing 57 percent of his passes.
The Cavaliers are led on the ground by sophomore Kevin Parks, who is putting up nearly a statistically identical season as his 2011 campaign with 713 yards and 5 TD's, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
Hokies Win If: They bring it. It's as simple as that. Otherwise...
Cavaliers Win If: The thing above doesn't happen. Also if the refs give in to the demands of one of Mike London's whiny fits.
Dot-dot-dots: With the win against Boston College, Frank Beamer moved into sole possession of seventh place all-time in wins among FBS coaches with 256, passing former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne. With a win over Virginia, he would be tied for sixth place all-time with the legendary LaVell Edwards. The average score in the series is a 17-15 Virginia Tech advantage. The Hokies have been shutout in the series 19 times (none since 1991), while the Cavaliers have been shutout 16 times. The Hokies current streak of eight consecutive wins over the Cavaliers is tied for the longest in the series with the Cavaliers' eight-game stretch to open the series. A win on Saturday would represent the longest streak in the series. Individually, Logan Thomas needs just 142 passing yards to pass Will Furrer to take over fourth place in the all-time Hokie annals, and just 236 to pass Don Strock for third place. He also needs only 346 yards to become the Hokies' first-ever quarterback with multiple 3,000-yard passing seasons. Marcus Davis needs just 105 receiving yards to best the Hokies' all-time single season mark of 962 yards set by Andre' Davis in 1999, and only 142 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark, a feat that has never been accomplished before at Virginia Tech. If the Hokies win Saturday, it would presumably be their 20th consecutive bowl appearance, a school record and third among schools with currently active streaks (Florida State and Florida respectively).