The Virginia Tech Hokies [2-7] travel to Durham Saturday to face the surprising Duke Blue Devils [6-3].
The most interesting aspect of this game is it’s a battle of first-year, defensive-minded head coaches in Brent Pry [Virginia Tech] and Mike Elko [Duke]. The Blue Devils were winless in ACC only one year ago and are already bowl-eligible in Elko’s first season. Meanwhile, the Hokies are currently riding a six-game losing streak.
Elko was among the many candidates for the Virginia Tech job that would eventually go to Pry. Both Elko and Pry had numerous ties to the region and were two of the best defensive coordinators in college football.
The Hokies have played much better over the last three weeks but have blown late leads in the last two games. Tech led in the fourth quarter in each of its last two losses against N.C. State and Georgia Tech.
One of our main gripes of this season’s Virginia Tech team is “look at Duke.” How can the Hokies blame only talent for having just two wins? Entering the season, the Blue Devils were less talented. Yes, Virginia Tech has a talent problem, but the Hokies should have more wins.
Can Tech snap its six-game skid Saturday?
We make our predictions
I want to be optimistic, but there is no way I see the Hokies winning this game. Duke is a fundamentally sound team. The Blue Devils don’t make a lot of mistakes, play solid defense and can run the ball. Oh, and they have a good quarterback in Riley Leonard. Leonard is a true dual-threat quarterback, and we know the types of problems that cause Virginia Tech. There are plays to be made against Duke’s secondary. Will the Hokies make those plays? I say they make some, but it’s not enough.
Duke 31, Virginia Tech 20
The Virginia Tech Hokies will lose.
35-13, Duke Blue Devils
Oof. Bryan is right, but Jay’s comment says it all. The excuse that the Hokies don’t have enough talent has gone by the wayside. It’s just an excuse. Virginia Tech has enough talent to pick a booger in every season, in particular against their old hapless division of the nearly hapless ACC. The Hokies have spent the entire season in search of an offense, while trying to keep the overworked defense in the game for four full quarters. Nothing has worked. This offense cannot sustain drives. It cannot come from behind. It does not successfully adjust over the long term, and most of all it does not maximize its talent. That’s a coaching problem, and a bad one.
Today, does Whit Babcock find out which first year coach was the better hire?
He might get a hint. Miracles can occur.
...just not for Hokie football, anymore.