The Virginia Tech Hokies are back on the road this week after three consecutive home losses at Lane Stadium as they travel to Atlanta to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. This is a matchup between two 3-4 teams that feel headed in opposite directions.
The Hokies are terrible on offense, while the Yellow Jackets are bad defensively. Which team has the advantage?
Here are Gobbler Country’s staff predictions for this week’s game.
I don’t have any confidence in this Virginia Tech team. It feels like the Hokies are just playing out the string. Unbelievably, there are still four games remaining this season after Saturday’s battle in Atlanta.
So, as you could probably tell, I believe Georgia Tech wins this game. At this point, it’s almost daring the Hokies to prove us wrong. The effort is still good, but these kids are poorly coached on offense and limited at the quarterback position. The emergence of Malachi Thomas was a bright spot last week, and I would expect him to have a big game again on Saturday.
But this will be another big game for an opposing quarterback. Jeff Sims can play. Sims has passed for 1,091 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 320 yards and four scores. You know where this is heading.
I think this game follows a similar script as last week, but Georgia Tech takes over early in the fourth quarter and pulls away late.
Georgia Tech 31, Virginia Tech 23
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, a team still making the transition from a triple-option offense, have significantly more passing yards than the Hokies. GT has put up 1,710 yards to VT’s 1,261. They are averaging 30.1 points per game while the Hokies average 23.4. The Yellow Jacket defense isn’t the stoutest, but they don’t need to be against one of the ACC’s worst offenses. For the third time in four seasons, VT is rocking a three-game losing streak. The previous two (2018 and 2020) were four-game slides before they recovered. I see no reason the current season statistic won’t be updated to read, “the third four-game losing streak in four seasons.” Perhaps the ability and electricity that Malachi Thomas brings to the field will be enough to get the Hokies past Georgia Tech. Unfortunately, the coaching staff seems incapable of finishing a game, and Virginia Tech has established a trend of losing to Power Five squads. Sadly, I believe the Hokies drop four in a row.
35-17, Georgia Tech
The fork in the road took us in the wrong direction. We are now left with a team that’s getting fire our coach chants at the end of home games. Maybe the best thing to happen to this squad is to go on the road for a while and galvanize as a team. Maybe it’s also much more difficult to play on the road.
I honestly don’t know what more the coaching staff is going to be able to do. I would like to think that they can come up with a new plan that uses our new found running game and meshes that with the defense we saw in the first few games this season. But I honestly don’t trust that’s going to happen. A tough season gets all the more tough as the dream of a bowl starts looking more and more impossible.
Georgia Tech 31 - Virginia Tech 24
So, here we are nearing the final stretch run of the end of the road. What road that is, and what end is still not totally known. There are a large number of Hokie Nation devotees who have already made up their minds, most of the Hokie Alumni and Students could give a rip. You’d be surprised at the dwindling number of college students and alumni who care too much about football, and really college sports. But we have come to Yogi Berra’s fork in the road. Do the Hokies take it or not?
My best guess is that this team is pretty much over. The season is a shambles and the players just can’t find it in themselves and each other to finish out games. The Hokies have lost 4 games in the last few minutes, now. That’s not a sign of a healthy program from a leadership, planning, and execution stage. There was the talent to get there, but not the imagination to stay. So, the team is probably in Atlanta wondering just exactly what it’s supposed to do. Georgia Tech is not particularly good this season, but neither is Syracuse. AND more importantly, neither is Virginia Tech.
I predict that the offense will be inconsistent, struggle, and be only marginally effective. I predict the defense will have to step up. It will spend too much time on the field, and it will be totally out of gas by the middle of the 4th quarter. The score will probably be within a single touchdown, and either the Hokies either hold or fail. There are lots of folks betting on the fail side of things. The spread is like 4.5 points in Georgia Tech’s favor, and the O/U is unimpressive.
If Virginia Tech actually wins, there is still a live chance for a mediocre season and a booger bowl. Miami and Duke are in no better shape than the Hokies are. If Tech loses, they might as well pack up the van and head for the showers for the season. It wouldn’t be worth continuing.
My gut says that the Hokies find some sort of pride in themselves and pull this one out. But this season says otherwise. I hope that I am wrong, but this one goes to the Yellow Jackets: 28-24.
I said it last week: either we’d get a wake-up call, or it’d be a long tough end to the season. And after last week’s result, I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. Granted, we’ve seen a Fuente-led team rebound before, but this feels different, almost like a prophecy being fulfilled. We’ll likely have a new coach at the end of the year, and at this point, I think a lot of us are just hoping to not be embarrassed.
As for the game itself, this is the start of a rough “home” stretch (we only have one home game remaining). Will the team be able to find the intensity on the road, especially with the rumors swirling? Time will tell, but against a Georgia Tech team that dismantled the UNC team we barely beat (and that was never all that good), I’m not super confident.