Well it’s that time of the week (a day earlier, actually) where the Gobbler Country Staff puts up their current picks for tonight’s game. No one is really feeling "good" about this game. There just doesn’t seem to be a real feel for which Hokies squad will show up this evening. The town is beginning to fill up, tailgaters are orbiting around; waiting for three o’clock when the parking lots will be open for Game Day occupation. There just doesn’t seem to be a huge level of excitement in Blacksburg, though. Everyone is mostly going about their business getting to work or class. Things will change by noon, though. Hokie Nation will be here, Thursday Night Game Day is the main event.
As for predictions, I think that everyone is stuck at 4-2, for various reasons but no point in belaboring past miscues too much:
Picking this game is worse than picking the last few games. I still have no feel for this team or who or what will show up, and last week only made it worse. Somehow I envision a shootout because Miami's defense is wracked with injury, and Kaaya could still be rather beat up, but again, who knows what team shows up for either side? I throw up my hands on this one. Tech goes down to the "U"; zero confidence in it, though. 28 – 24 Miami
Were the Hokies a little overrated heading into last week? Maybe, a little. Were they as bad as they played last week? No. Justin Fuente showed in the team's only previous loss he could get them back on track. This one is a bit different as it is Miami. But let's not kid anyone, these aren't the 2001 Hurricanes. The national media was quick to jump on the Miami bandwagon after new coach, and Miami alum, Mark Richt, got them off to a fast start. However, that proved to be fool's gold as the 'Canes were exposed in each of the past two weeks. Does Miami have talent? Yes. Is Miami back to being "The U?" No. The 'Canes have some talent, but the Hokies are a better team. This one will be close. Perhaps come down to the final possession, fortunately the Hokies will be on the good end of this one. 31 – 27 Hokies
If you look at the Hokies' two losses so far, the common theme is shoddy tackling and a mobile quarterback (Dobbs and Dungey). And on offense, they weren't able to run the ball consistently up the middle. This game comes down to blocking and tackling, and the Hokies have been inconsistent in doing both this entire season. Luckily for them, Miami has not played well either. The subpar UNC defense held the Hurricanes' offense to a measly 13 points. Picking a game with two inconsistent teams is tough, but I'm going with the home team here. Something tells me Fuente is more than slightly irked at the disappointment last week in Syracuse, and he will have his boys ready to play hard, sound, and smart.
30 – 24 Hokies
Miami has dropped two straight to ACC foes, and is realistically not in the Coastal fight. Regardless, they have beaten Virginia Tech for two years straight and won three of the last four. VT looked poor in all aspects of the game, last week, against Syracuse. I’ve said this in other articles, apologies if it is redundant, book-ending a loss against a struggling ACC team with wins against solid conference opponents is the most Virginia Tech thing I can think of. So far the Hokies have been a team of extremes. When they win, they win huge. When the lose… well, it’s convincing. I believe the Hokies are more represented by their wins than their losses. I also believe that the Hokies are a better team than Miami. VPI takes Miami down: 34 - 21 Hokies
I'm still haunted by Duke Johnson running all over the Hokies on a Thursday night. Johnson has moved on to the N.F.L., but Miami still scares me. Brad Kaaya and the offense were shown the blueprint last week how to confuse the Hokies' defense. The Virginia Tech offense sputtered against Syracuse, and Miami has better talent. Not sure if Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde will be showing up this week for the Hokies, but I do think the team will not be flat. Miami in a close ball game. 34 - 30 Miami
There are days when the bear just gets you. Miami is overrated. It's more so this season. Both teams showing up tomorrow evening are both in the early stages of a rebuild. Of course our potential success depends on which Hokie team shows up. If the BC-ECU SQUAD shows we win; if last week's impostors run on to the field, we lose. I'm not convinced we have recovered from the Syracuse disaster. Let me be wrong. 26 - 24 Miami (but it could be 28 - 21 Hokies). I don’t know which.
So those are the Home Game #4 predictions. This is the first game of the second half of the season. We have a long and difficult road ahead of us. Thinking too far ahead won’t win us anything.
One Game. One Team. Right Now. It was ignored last week. Please let the Hokies remember it this week.