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Duke at Virginia Tech: Official Gobbler Country staff predictions

We like the Hokies on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Duke Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Senior Day at Lane Stadium for the Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5) on Saturday as the Duke Blue Devils (3-6) come to town.

Duke is winless in ACC play, but as we’ve seen in recent losses to Syracuse and Boston College, the Hokies don’t mind giving their opponents their first ACC win. Could the Hokies actually lose to this Duke team?

This is one of the worst Duke teams in recent years. Head coach David Cutcliffe is a good coach, but he doesn’t have a lot to work with this season.

The Hokies won last year’s meeting in Durham, avenging the 2019 blowout loss to the Blue Devils at Lane Stadium. That was one of several brutal losses in the Justin Fuente era. But, even with last season’s win, the players haven’t forgotten that loss when Cutcliffe faked a punt late up four touchdowns.

Anyhow, what does our staff think?

Bryan Manning

I don’t have a lot of faith in this team right now. But, it is Senior Day and we should all thank these young men for what they’ve given us and root hard for them to beat Duke on Saturday. Yes, I still remember 2019. For me, that was when it became 100% clear this regime was done. I look forward to the days (hopefully soon) where the Hokies will destroy teams like Duke, Syracuse and other ACC bottom-feeders.

I believe the Hokies win on Saturday — and there’s a good chance it’s the last one of the season.

Hokies 31, Duke 16

Jay Johnson

This season the Virginia Tech Hokies are not playing to the level any had hoped, but they should still be able to beat the Duke Blue Devils. Statistically the Blue Devils are better than the Hokies in offensive yards (444.2 Duke, 337.6 VT), but have also allowed more offensive yards (491.8 Duke, 375.6 VT). The Hokies may find themselves in trouble if Baumeister isn’t on the field, but even then Thomas should be enough to carry the offense and the VT defense has a decent opportunity to generate some turnovers. If Burmeister and Thomas aren’t on the field, or if the Hokies defense struggles against the QB shenanigans Duke is likely to play, then it might be a sad senior day. But I am confident that VT pulls off the home win.

24-14, Virginia Tech

Joe Roy-Stewart

The Hokies are 4-5 and playing a Duke team that is less than formidable. This has been a difficult season for Virginia Tech. A season full of injuries and boos. Yet, there are 20 plus seniors who are going to be playing their last game for their chosen team and we are lucky to get the opportunity to watch them.

My hope is that Burmeister is healthy enough to play. If not, hopefully Malachi Thomas can carry the load and run this team to victory.

If not, I cannot imagine what we will be watching.

Let’s hope that we get these guys out of here with a win. In Frank Beamer style 25-0, Virginia Tech.

John Schneider

I predict that there will be a football pagent starting at about 1445 in the afternoon of 13 November 2021 in Lane Stadium. Eligible football players who have tired of the grind will be hanging it up and have their names called by the Lane Stadium announcement team. The Highty-Tighties will play something, then Sousa’s “Thunderer”... march back and forth... the Corps will march on, form up all three Battalions, and they’ll announce some of that stuff... then the National Anthem will play and a good chunk of the crowd will sing it. After that... they will fire up the drum beat stuff... the Hokie Enter Sandman Entrance will go off - with a probably 3/4 full Lane... there will be some fireworks.. and then there will be the hurried preparation to get the ball set. At that point the show will be over, and lots of folks will think about when would be the best time to leave. Maybe hang around until the 1st half is over and see if something “miracle-ish” happens... and then they’ll head for the exits and dinner over at one of the dining halls. The hard core tailgaters will be there just because they paid big money this season and you might as well burn the the rest of the fun.

That’s my prediction for the game. As for the football contest that the pageant is supposed to support. The odds are that if Burmeister and Turner are out again, the Hokie Offense will also be out. The spread is -11.5 for the Hokies. I think that’s close to an inch and a third closer to ludicrous than I’d like it. Duke is more awful than we are because they have no offense and no defense. Maybe our defense will manage to put some points on the board.

So, just for the sake of pride and for the love of the team and Seniors being honored I’ll say the Hokies Win. That’s about it. Because, frankly, that’s about all that there is left in the tank.