First a bit of perspective since this is a Thanksgiving Combo-Preview and predictions article.
There isn’t a whole lot to say, at this point of the season. What started out on such high hopes and expectations (despite warnings to the contrary from many) quickly dissolved into desperation and to some even resignation. In reality it’s been within the last decade that the Hokies have found themselves in this position a couple of times.
Face it, 2012 was a disaster that required two critical wins, one at Chestnut Hill and one over the Wahoos at Lane to be bowl eligible. The 2013 year was a hair better at 8-4, but we were clobbered by UCLA in the Sun Bowl. In 2014 we found ourselves in a similar situation to 2012, though. We were struggling at 5-6, facing the Wahoos at Lane with a booger on the line (we even started out the season with the roar of defeating Ohio State). Then we bounced along to the point where the pathetic 0-0 tie with Wake was broken in overtime by the Demon Deacons. Then there was 2015 where we, again bounced along to take a 5-6 panic stricken mediocre record into the Commonwealth Cup game.
We really do tend to forget those inconvenient facts. Each of those three seasons was saved by a bowl win; but the struggle was plain, and of course finally resulted in Frank Beamer’s retirement in 2015. Justin Fuente took over a mature football team with some really good pieces but no particular energy or direction. The reset was much of one but the change was tonic for nearly a season and a half. ACC Coach of the Year and 10 wins along with the privilege of being beaten by Clemson in the ACC Championship game was actually not trivial. It also, I am very afraid, resulted in some warped expectations that we really need to talk about before we get into any more analytical tomes.
This team is really in a virtual year Zero. The fact is that Justin Fuente is paying for sub-par recruiting between the 2010 season and 2015. He’s only had two full seasons of recruiting. For those who think it’s three... well you are flat wrong... it’s been two. The 2015 and 2016 LOI push was a rescue mission where Fuente and staff spent most of their energy just trying to keep the pipeline from completely collapsing. That two years means that those recruits are now just a mix of various types of freshmen and sophomores. That’s why this team is young and inexperienced, and that’s why we need to be patient.
So let us proceed to the WAGS.
Jay Johnson - Who just surrendered
The Virginia Tech Hokies defense has not demonstrated an ability to stop a player of UVA QB Bryce Perkins dynamic ability, but UVA has not demonstrated any offensive ability beyond the play of their quarterback. If the Gobblers can find a way to hold Perkins to mere mortal numbers it would do the most to provide a VT victory. The Cavalier defense has suffered injuries which could help the VT offense sustain long scoring drives, but their secondary has performed admirably and will frustrate the Hokie passing game. Virginia Tech’s resume, particularly during the last half of the season, provides little evidence supporting a defeat of Virginia. It hurts my heart to say this, but my head is pretty clear. Barring the wildness of a rivalry game or surprises from the coaching staff it is unlikely VT will maintain their streak over the Hoos. I really hope it doesn’t happen, but…
24-35, Virginia Cavaliers
Joshua Schneider - Who is the staff Eyore but justified this season
There’s no way that this team turns this around for this game. None. They’ve demonstrated no ability to change their fate over the past few games. Bud hasn’t been able to stop running quarterbacks in good defensive years, let alone with this crew at their age. Perkins is going to run rampant and the offense will stagnate as usual.
UVA 35 VT 14.
Bryan Manning - Who has been a lifetime fan, but even that doesn’t improve his outlook
This is the year it finally ends. And maybe that’s a good thing for this bunch. Bowl streak ending, Commonwealth Cup streak ending. In no way do I see the Hokies maintaining consistent play for four quarters. On either side of the ball. If they do, they win. But has that happened? No.
UVA 24, Hokies 17
Jawhar Ali - Who is really happy that it’s Basketball season and we are really good this year
I am really glad I graduated before this year, because the outlook for this year’s UVA game is quite bleak. Perkins is the type of quarterback that will give the defense fits, Jordan Ellis is tough to tackle, and that should be enough to set the tone for a Hoos victory. If the Hokies can finally get the running game going between the tackles, this would be the game to do so, but we haven’t seen that from Tech in two years. The one thing you can be thankful for is that the line is only -4.5 UVA, which means you can make a lot of money betting against the spread on the Cavaliers.
John Schneider - Wondering where the time and season have gone.
I’d really like to take Jay’s place this game. I’d be the eternal optimist. I’d predict that Tech will get its back up, gather in some energy and spirit looking to defend a much bragged about possession of the Commonwealth Cup. I fear, however, that Nemesis approaches and she’s snearing at the self-righteous braggadocio. The team that lost on Saturday has had three whole days to prepare for this game. It’s done nothing particularly well this season. The offense consistently plays half a game, and the defense routinely stops 2 plays out of 4, until the second half when the offense goes to sleep. Then the defense passes out from exhaustion. We’ll talk about it next week when the dust settles and someone notices the darker wood that was hidden for so many years in the case, under the missing Commonwealth Cup. Sorry to say that I can’t be the old Jay. No sunny optimism is left here. The Hokies won’t be able to stop the Perkins to Zacchaeus combination. Cornelsen won’t change his flop game plans, and that’s going to end the season.
Tis a simple binary issue this time.
This poll is closed
Tech plays the same way that it has for the last six games. A decent first half followed by a frustrating total second half collapse. Hoos take the cup and we go back to the drawing board.
Hokies somehow get their backs up and repeat the 2012 miracle two game must win situation. They stop Perkins, and the offense doesn’t melt down. Hokies live to play Marshall.