It’s Gobbler Country predictions time, once again. There are few doubts about the potential outcome. The GC Staff is pretty convinced that the Syracuse goblin has been buried, and there is a slight but minimal chance that Duke is going to win. They could very well rear up and bit us hard, but other than their pass rush, they haven’t shown the same level of skill as the last few seasons.
The Hokies need to go into this game prepared to work hard and play their best. We got outlasted in quadruple overtime last year. We need to prevent that nasty scenario from repeating itself by having plenty of points, to the benefit of Tech, between us at the final whistle.
The last two games against Duke for the Hokies have been decided by a total of 3 points. Given the disparity in talent and coaching between the two sides this season, it's more than likely Saturday's spread will be greater than a field goal. My concerns surrounding the Hokies' inconsistencies have diminished over the past two weeks - however, none of us need to be reminded of the Syracuse disaster when we finally thought this team was coming together. Duke is a dangerous team, but the Hokies should get the job done and move to 7-2 on the season. 34 – 20 Hokies
The Hokies remember the trip to Syracuse. The last time the Hokies were ranked, the came home with a hangover. Expect Fuente and company to not let this happen again. When the 19th ranked Hokies take the field, expect some serious offensive fireworks. I am thinking big time wood shed beat down here. 49-10 Hokies.
The Cutcliffe led Duke Blue Devils should not be underestimated. Despite significant setbacks the team has shown to play every week. Although Duke has a record of 3-5 they haven't been blown out in any defeat, and they have remained competitive in every match up. That being said, they have suffered tremendously from injuries. Last week's loss to Georgia Tech cost them their leading rusher and another team captain in Jalen Duncan. Although their freshmen QB is starting to demonstrate greater comfort with the offense and playing at the collegiate level, he will be facing a very unforgiving VT defense. The Fighting Gobblers lost to Duke last year in OT. The last three meetings, between the schools, have been decided by one score or less. I fully expect the Blue Devils to bring the fight to the Hokies, but Duke simply has faced too many setbacks for Cutcliffe and company to overcome. 35 - 14 Hokies
Virginia Tech has dominated this series until the last couple of years when Duke picked up a couple of wins. The Hokies are a better team than those previous squads that lost. Offensively, it's night and day. This Tech team can put up points in a hurry and outside of one game, takes care of the football. Duke on the other hand, isn't very good in 2016. The Hokies should be able to have their way with the Devils on both sides of the ball. Be mindful of Jerod Evans' ankle injury, though. VT must be careful with him. So, if the Hokies get out to a sizable lead, expect to see Brenden Motley. I expect the Hokies to win this one going away. 41 - 16 Hokies
Since the Syracuse game I'm wary of picking Tech as a heavy road favorite, but Duke is beat up and not that great a team this year. It shouldn't be close but Cutcliffe is a good coach that will have a sound plan to do whatever he thinks his team is capable of. Tech has to be careful with Evans and his ankle, too. I'm going with the Hokies for this game, with maybe a little foot off the pedal and garbage time scoring. 34 - 20 Hokies
While we must always be mindful of a trap game, the Duke Blue Devils of 2016 are not the 2013-2015 iteration of the team. Jela Duncan is out. The passing game is middling to mediocre. Their QB runs but it's not a feature of the offense, more a necessity. Duke's defense isn't too bad, but their secondary might not be able to cover four legitimate receiving threats on the field at any one time, sometimes five. The wise guys are giving them 11, and that might be an understatement of the real odds. The Hokies need to show up focused and of a mindset that keeps them level headed and capable of dealing with any challenges. Tech should walk away with this game, if everyone does his job and no major injuries occur. 42 - 12 Hokies
Kick-off is at 3:30 the game is supposed to be on ESPNU (we’ll see if the start gets bounced around or not), the Gobbler Country Game Thread will be live and the Twitter feed will be roaring.