The Virginia Tech Hokies look to rebound this week after their first loss of the season last week at West Virginia. On the docket this week is the Richmond Spiders. Before you automatically think this is a get-right game for the Hokies, never forget James Madison and Old Dominion.
For whatever it’s worth, the Hokies should win on Saturday. The Spiders are a solid team led by talented senior quarterback Joe Mancuso. Richmond also has some talent at the skill positions and enters this game with a 2-1 record — the same as Virginia Tech.
Now, here are the staff predictions for Saturday’s in-state battle between the Hokies and Spiders from Lane Stadium.
This is an excellent time to experiment some on offense. Look, I don’t want to take anything away from Richmond, but the Hokies should win this game with ease. I don’t care if it’s Braxton Burmeister, Knox Kadum, Michael Brewer, Don Strock, or Bruce Arians; the Hokies are going to need to throw the football down the field to win games. Yes, the play-calling is terrible, but the Hokies need to win one-on-one matchups, and Burmeister needs to be more aggressive.
This will be a good game for Justin Hamilton’s defense. I think we see at least two interceptions from ‘DBU’ in this one. Offensively, I think Tech runs the ball well and doesn’t try to get too cute — even though I believe it needs to work the kinks out of the passing game.
Hokies 34, Richmond 13
Look folks this is the Richmond Spiders, and the team is in Lane. It’s a noon game with a quick morning start for the team and fans alike. I am not promising anything other than I’ll be in my nice comfy club seats with my big Maroon VT Boonie hat, and probably a hoodie because the game time temps are going to be in the high 50’s to mid 60’s. The offensive line is diced and battered, which probably accounts for the final failure to score and win the game last week. Of course some flexibility and imagination in play calling would be a bit helpful, but this is Richmond, and even a patchwork O-Line is going to be backed up by a surprisingly stout and flexible defense. Tech wins this, but I want to see more than just a win. I want to see some development of some personality and purpose to this team. Right now the Hokies seem to be looking for something, and a good game tomorrow might help them focus on getting better.
38 - 10 Hokies
The Richmond Spiders are not a bad FCS squad. They’re sitting at 2-1 on the season, only losing to an undefeated Villanova team that has been devastating other FCS programs this year. Let’s not forget that UVA dropped a game to Richmond back in 2016. Regardless, the Hokies should have little issue defeating the Spiders in the first of four straight home games. There are certainly some struggles on the offensive side of the ball, but nothing that should prevent them from dominating Richmond. The defense has shown it is capable of halting high-level offenses and adjusting when necessary. Hokies win big.