Three Reasons Why Virginia Tech Could Beat NC State
As Virginia Tech has weathered the most bizarre and seemingly endless offseason in school history, it finally appears as if the Hokies will finally take the field for their first game this Saturday.
The opponent for that opener has seen numerous changes, as it has gone from Liberty to NC State to UVA and now back to NC State. After all the COVID-19 snafus, the Hokies should now have their chance to face off against the Wolfpack.
Here at the Sons of Saturday, we will be taking a look at how VT can win and lose each game they play this season.
Mike McDaniel will be explaining how the Hokies can lose (see his take on the Wolfpack here:) and I will be looking into how the Hokies can win each game.
With that said, here are three reasons why Virginia Tech could beat NC State:
1. The Hokies are able to put an adequate roster on the field
Let’s just get this straight first and foremost: Virginia Tech at full capacity is a significantly better team than NC State.
With the Hokies’ roster being so depleted by COVID-19 protocols, however, we truly have no idea how many guys will be running through the tunnel in Lane Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Fuente even joked with the media about what the definition of a “full roster” is during his Monday press conference.
While that is certainly grounds for fans to feel nervous, I believe this is a game where the Hokies can manage if some of their top players are out. NC State will be hovering around the bottom of the ACC standings this season while the Hokies should contend for a top spot.
So long as the Hokies are able to put a team on the field and that team is not devoid of every significant player, they should handle the Wolfpack well.
2. Justin Hamilton’s Defense comes up strong against the run
NC State opened some eyes last weekend when they dropped 45 points on Wake Forest.
That offensive outpour was led by a powerful rushing attack, as the team combined to rush for 285 yards. Tailbacks Ricky Person, Jr. and Zonovan Knight both fell just short of eclipsing 100 yards, rushing for 99 and 97, respectively.
With the Wolfpack averaging 6.2 yards per carry against Wake, it is pretty clear Justin Hamilton’s first game as defensive coordinator must be focused on stopping the run.
This run-stopping must center around a strong performance from the defensive line. Though they may not be the most talented group the Hokies have ever seen, all four starters are expected to be seniors.
Grad transfer Justus Reed will spearhead a defensive line led by Jarrod Hewitt, DaShawn Crawford and Emmanuel Belmar. It will be pivotal for these four veterans to play strong, disciplined football to stop this rushing attack.
If the Hokies can do this, it will be hard for the Wolfpack to score points relying on a still unproven arm in QB Bailey Hockman.
3. The Hokie offense shows its superiority against a mediocre-at-best defense
While Mike believes the Wolfpack’s defense is better than it looks, I still believe it is one of the more lackluster in the ACC.
Wake Forest’s offense, which is playing with nine new starters after losing most of its offensive production in the offseason, managed to score 35 on the Wolfpack, which is downright pathetic.
Without Jamie Newman and Sage Surratt, there was no reason for Wake to score that many points, especially this early in the season. Yet the Pack let it happen anyway, and they almost squandered their own strong offensive performance.
I believe Virginia Tech’s offense is worlds better than Wake’s right now, so it should be pretty easy for the Hokies to score just as many points if not more.
This Hokie offense has every capability of being one of the best in the last decade, with a juggernaut offensive line, three highly-capable QB’s, a stable of running backs and numerous playmakers catching passes.
Brad Cornelsen’s offense should roll through the Wolfpack defense pretty easily.