It’s time for the Gobbler Country Staff Picks. Everyone is three and zero, and no one is bucking the current conventional wisdom, either.
Jawhar Ali - 3-0
In what will probably be considered a “tune up game” for the Hokies as they host Clemson next, ODU comes to Blacksburg for the first time in program history. Essentially, all of the matchups favor Virginia Tech. ODU will start a 17-year old QB against Bud Foster’s defense, which will likely be too much for the youngster to handle. Virginia Tech’s offense should not have too much trouble against a team that allowed UNC to drop a 50-burger on them. But again, can the Hokies build up a sustainable running game? They showed that against one of the worst defenses in the country at ECU, and I would like to see good execution from the OL and RBs once more. The Hokies play well and (hopefully) stay healthy, wrap this one up early in the third quarter and win. Hokies 44-13
Jay Johnson – 3-0
In my 2017 preview I stated that ODU represented a potential trap game. After WVU, the Monarchs represent the most capable team the Hokies have faced this season. Old Dominion has defeated Albany and UMASS, but was lambasted by UNC last week, 23-53. The Monarchs currently lead the FBS with 16.0 sacks, but only one of those came against UNC. To put that in perspective, the questionable defenses of Louisville and California-Berkley both mustered 2 sacks against the Tar Heels. Last year ODU finished the season 10-3, almost making it to the C-USA championship game and winning their first ever bowl game against Eastern Michigan. This is the first meeting between the in-state rivals. The Monarchs will leave Blacksburg still searching for their first victory against a Power 5 team. Hokies 42-10.
Bryan Manning – 3-0
In the first-ever meeting between Old Dominion and Virginia Tech, don’t expect any upset. The Hokies aren’t looking past the Monarchs with Clemson in town next weekend. This will be VT’s last good chance to develop some depth before the ACC season, so expect to see plenty of the young skill players on offense get time. This won’t be close except when the game begins. Hokies 52-10
Joshua Schneider – 3-0
So. ODU. Another little brother in the commonwealth. For a new football program, they've come a long way in a short amount of time. No offense, but this is the opportunity to start crushing their hopes and dreams before they form. It would REALLY be to Tech's detriment if, in the long term, ODU grew to something important. So let's get one thing straight. A 17 year old quarterback has ZERO chance against Bud Foster and his defense. No offense to Steven Williams, but his former high school teammate (Sean Savoy) has a much higher chance of scoring a touchdown than he does- though he'll probably get at least one. Hokies 35-10.
John Schneider - 3-0
ODU is off a couple of good low level opponent games, and a really distressing drubbing by Carolina. They have a true freshman at QB, he can run - wince- but he also is just 17 years old. The ODU defense is competent, but their team is extremely inexperienced and very young as well. Short of a total Hokie Chokie, we are unlikely to lose this one. What the Manarchs could do, however is scare us and challenge us - especially in the early going. We'll see if we get off to another nail-biting slow start. Regardless, I don't think this one even has a rational spread. I am giving the Monarchs 12 and being charitable. Maybe some Garbage Time for the 3's. Hokies 55-12
Roy Hatfield – 3-0
Guys I will be at Syracuse vs. LSU. I will try to be on game thread as much as possible. Hokies early and often 57-17!