The matchup between the Orange and the Hokies will be the first one since 2016. In 2016, the Orange knocked off the Hokies 31-17 in the Dome. Nowadays, both teams are middling in the ACC after tough losses the week prior. For the Orange establishing the run game would work wonders for them as they may cruise to victory. However, deciding to pass the ball would be a huge mistake because the Hokies rank number two in pass defense and have seven interceptions on the season.
Win the Defensive Battle
Virginia Tech has one of the worst offenses in the ACC. The Hokies are last in rushing offense with only 787 yards and are ranked 12th in passing with only 1,084 passing yards. Although the Hokies offense is abysmal, they have occasional playmakers in quarterback Braxton Burmeister, wide receivers Tayvion Robinson and Tre Turner . These three are the only threats this offense has which should not necessarily be hard for the Orange to stop. The Hokies run their offense through Burmeister as he accounts for 1,499 of the Hokies 1,871 yards on offense this season. This game should be simple for the Orange. Take away Burmeister’s weapons and force him to beat you on the ground which he won’t.
Feed Sean Tucker
The Orange pass offense which has been trending upwards throughout the season may give them a hint to throw the ball. However, this Hokies secondary is very good at defending the pass. Virginia Tech ranks second in the ACC, only allowing 197 yards per game through the air. The Hokies secondary is led by Jermaine Waller, who leads the ACC with five interceptions. The Hokies are average in defending the run being ranked in the middle of the pack at 156 yards per game. If the Orange want to win this game, attacking the Hokies in the rushing attack would seem more reasonable. The Hokies are more susceptible to giving up big runs and tiring themselves out if they can’t stop the churning legs of Sean Tucker and Garrett Shrader. Choosing to throw the ball would be a huge mistake for the Orange and can cost you the game.
Play Syracuse Football
The past three weeks the Orange have failed to play Syracuse football. The countless amount of opportunities to make plays has simply lost them games. If the Orange made plays the past three games, they would be sitting at 7-0. However, their lack of play making ability has them below .500. A win against Virginia Tech would boost team morale, get you your first win in conference, and keep bowl hopes alive. A loss to Virginia Tech would put a dagger in the heart of your season, especially if it’s another close loss. To win this game the Orange need to focus on being better football players than the Hokies.