So, here goes the sum total of the gloom, hope, and frank opinion’s of the Gobbler Country Staff. Some of us are in the hope category, and some are slightly less sanguine.
Jawhar Ali - 1-2
The Hokies haven’t exactly lit up the Blue Devils during Fuente’s tenure in Blacksburg, scoring 24 points in each contest (although last year’s game was in a monsoon). With Duke only conceding a meager 15.2 points per game, I don’t expect Tech’s offense to take off with a backup quarterback against that defense. So I expect Tech’s defense to be the game defining unit on Saturday. I think they respond positively to the stinker last Saturday, but as a young team I do worry about their confidence should things go south. This team can’t afford an avalanche falling on top of their heads on the road. I’ll pick Duke in a tight game, but with Tech as a 4.5 point underdog per Bovada, I’ll take the points.
Bryan Manning - 2-1
The trendy pick would be go with the Blue Devils after Virginia Tech’s disgusting performance from a week ago. After all, Duke is 4-0 and back in the top 25 for the first time in a few years. But it’s not that simple. Justin Fuente is 7(6?)-1 after a loss at Virginia Tech. And he hasn’t suffered a loss as embarrassing as the one he endured last week regardless of where’s he coached. Bud Foster has a lot to prove, too. As does new quarterback, Ryan Willis. There’s an unknown variable with Willis. And that could be a good or bad thing. Duke has a strong defense, but let’s be honest, they haven’t played a murderer’s row of opponents. One thing is for sure, they are well coached.I say the Hokies get back on track and put a rough week firmly in the rearview mirror and move to 2-0 in ACC play.
Joshua Schneider - 1-2
I’m not going to get into recriminations about who/what/where with ODU, but it does seriously put the outcome of this game into question. I think privately a lot of us knew Tech was overrated based on beating an FCS William and Mary and an FBS team in serious reverse gear in FSU, but the problems with the ODU game weren’t merely in the execution, they were in the structure. That’s not something that gets fixed that easily. I know Justin Fuente is 6-1 after a loss at Virginia Tech, but this game just smacks of ‘team on heels reeling’. We’re replacing a quarterback- and regardless of what you think of Jackson that’s not easy- and we’ve got massive back end problems on the defense that a coach like David Cutcliffe will find ways to exploit.
Jay Johnson - 2-1
This would be a tough game even if VT hadn’t suffered such a troubling performance against the Monarchs last week. Duke’s Junior QB, Quentin Harris, is a worthy back-up to the injured Daniel Jones. Over the last two weeks he has thrown for 388 yards (49.2% completion), six touchdowns, and zero interceptions. On the ground he has also shown that he is a valid threat running for 141 yards on 26 attempts (5.4 yard per carry average), and one rushing TD. I believe that Harris is the key to the offense, though there are other weapons available, if the Hokies can make life difficult for the Blue Devil QB they will win this game. Personally, I think the Hokies spent the week cleaning house, refocusing, and experiencing some humbling practices. I very much liked what I saw from Ryan Willis and believe the offense is going to be potent. Those of you that read my article about the bright future facing the program won’t be surprised by this, but I say the Hokies win!
31-24, Virginia Tech
John Schneider - 2-1
Last week was so embarrassing that the program flew largely under the radar for the entire Duke runup. Willis is pretty firmly at the helm of the offense for the foreseeable future. He’s probably a step up in skill level. What remains to be seen is his leadership quotient. We know about Duke. They are good regardless of who starts at QB. Their defense will be stout and both squads prepared. This is a tough one.
So it’s time for y’all to chime in.
So what do you think will happen versus Duke?
This poll is closed
The team gets its collective back up, the Defense remembers who it is, and Willis runs the O. Hokies Dominate.
The Hokies hit a huge chuck hole and the tractor flipped. We are wounded and searching. Duke Walks in.
Both teams are well coached, know each other, and the history says we battle it out from start to finish but Duke inches by.
It’s a knock down drag out of the bulls in the trenches with Duke’s D and the energized Hokie D controlling the game. Willis makes a difference and the Hokies nip the Devils.
It’s really a tough call, we are sort of starting from ground zero when we should have been 3-0 at this point.