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Virginia Tech Football: Week Two Furman Preview

Virginia Tech hosts the Furman Paladins at 3:30pm Saturday in Blacksburg.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, Virginia Tech will host its second football game in 5 days in Lane Stadium as the Hokies welcome the Furman Paladins to town. Furman will be representing the Southern Conference (SOCON) of the Football Championships Sub-division as they come into Lane 0-1 on the year after suffering a tough loss to Coastal Carolina in week one.

Virginia Tech enters Saturday's contest 0-1 following a tough second half against Ohio State on Monday, which left the Hokies in defeat. Following the injury to QB Michael Brewer the Hokies were not able to recover against a truly loaded Ohio State side. Brewer had successful surgery on Tuesday to repair a broken collarbone, which will keep him out of action for the next month and a half minimum. Brenden Motley stepped in for Brewer in the second half of Monday night;s game, but was not able to keep the Hokies in it down the stretch. Motley will presumably make his first career start against Furman and will look to right the ship and get the Hokies offense back on track.

Saturday's contest will be return of redshirt-freshman running back Shai McKenzie who tore an ACL against Western Michigan last season. McKenzie and his running back cohort will get plenty of carries this weekend to make up for the absence of Michael Brewer. I look for Scot Leoffler to feed his young running backs on the ground and in the passing game. In the passing game also look for fullback Sam Rogers and TEs Bucky Hodges and Ryan Malleck to be targeted early and often, as they are play-makers with size.

Furman will look to bring down the Hokies by scoring quickly and getting the ball to their talented skill players on the outside. Against Coastal Carolina the Paladin offense put up 525 yards of total offense, with 365 yards coming through the air. The Paladin QB, Reese Hannon, had a career day by hitting his talent WRs Jordan Snellings and Antonio Wilcox, which surely grabbed the attention of the Hokies defensive coaching staff. These skill guys for the Paladins are very good FCS players that could easily make many FBS squads across the country.

Defensively the Paladins are not as talented as they are offensively. They allowed nearly 500 yards to Coastal Carolina, with 328 coming through the air. However, the defense gave the Paladin offense a chance to win and it will be up to the Hokies, led by Motley, to keep the Furman offense on the sideline.

Keys to a Hokies Victory

  1. Run the football and control the time of possession.
  2. Control the field position/time of possession and make the Furman air attack drive the length of the field.
  3. Force Furman into turning the ball over when the Hokies defense is on the field and on offense get the ball to the TEs and RBs in the passing game, which are big mismatches for the Hokies this weekend.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 34 - Furman 10

Go Hokies!