Virginia Tech in 2012 had their worst season in 20 years; finishing fourth in the Coastal division of the ACC, and pulling out 3 close wins at the end to finish with a positive record. This year the Hokies will be looking for redemption, and with a favorable schedule, they should be able to finish with a 10-win season. Here’s an optimistic, but realistic prediction of the first 6 games.
Week 1: vs Alabama (Chick-fil-A Kickoff)
2012 record: 13-1 (8-1 SEC) Won National Championship
Returning starters (O/D): 6/7
Recent history: Alabama beat Virginia Tech 34-24 in 2009
Virginia Tech’s opener in Atlanta will, hands-down, be their toughest game of the season. Alabama will be coming off their second consecutive national title and will be a favorite to win again this year. Although they only return a little more than half of their starters, everyone knows that they are loaded with 4 and 5 star players, many of who probably would have started last year for other teams.
In simple terms, Alabama has the best defense, the best offense, and the best coaching in college football right now, and are on their way to solidifying their dynasty status. Last year only three teams broke 100 yards rushing against the Tide, and Alabama outscored their opponents a combined 542-153, including four shutouts (two of which were against SEC opponents).
Virginia Tech’s defense will keep them in this game early on, but Alabama’s defense will be too much for the Hokies.
Alabama wins 28-10
Week 2: Western Carolina
2012 record: 1-10 (0-8 SoCon)
Recent history: First meeting between Western Carolina and Virginia Tech
After a rough week in Atlanta, Virginia Tech will be fired up and ready to take on Western Carolina in their lone FCS matchup of the season. The Catamounts won only one game last season, and were shutout in conference play.
Look for the Hokies to jump out to an early lead and never look back.
Virginia Tech wins 34-0
Week 3: at East Caroilna
2012 record: 8-5 (7-1 CUSA) (Lost the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl)
Returning starters (O/D): 9/9
Recent history: The Pirates upset the Hokies in 2008, but Virginia Tech leads the series 6-1
East Carolina gave the Hokies a scare last time they played, losing by just a touchdown. They return 9 players on both sides of the ball and won’t go down without a fight.
Although the Pirates will be looking to send the Hokies home with a loss, Virginia Tech will overpower them in every aspect of the game and come away with their second victory.
Virginia Tech wins 24-7
Week 4: Marshall
2012 record: 5-7 (4-4 CUSA)
Returning starters (O/D): 8/7
Recent history: Hokies control the series at 4-0 since their first matchup in 2002
Virginia Tech faces one more Conference USA team before beginning their ACC play. Marshall’s football program is gaining strength in their conference, but there is no reason to think they will be able to compete with the Hokies.
Virginia Tech wins 35-3
Week 5: at Georgia Tech
2012 record: 6-7 (5-3 ACC) (Won the Sun Bowl)
Returning starters (O/D): 7/8
Recent history: Virginia Tech leads the series 7-2 winning the past 3 meetings
Although the series has been lopsided since the Hokies entered the ACC in 2004, the Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech game has always been a good match. Until last season, the winner of this game has continued on to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship game, every year. This will be the Hokies’ first ACC game of the season, and arguably the most important.
Georgia Tech is hoping that with a new defensive coordinator, and their stud sophomore quarterback, Vad Lee, they will be able beat Virginia Tech on national television at home. No one can completely shut down the triple-option employed by the Yellow Jackets, but defensive coordinator Bud Foster seems to have figured out how to slow them down.
This will be a hard fought battle for the Hokies’ second trip to Atlanta, but they will pull out the victory.
Virginia Tech wins 20-17
Week 6: North Carolina
2012 record: 6-7 (5-3 ACC)
Returning starters (O/D): 6/7
Recent history: Since joining the ACC Virginia Tech leads the series 7-2
Last year North Carolina was one of the teams that was able to expose Virginia Tech, putting up over 530 yards on offense, including 340 rushing yards. The Tar Heels lost their star running back Giovani Bernard to the NFL, but they have a highly talented quarterback, Bryn Renner, returning.
The Hokies will be fired up after an eight-day rest following the Georgia Tech game, and ready for their first ACC home game of the season.
Virginia Tech wins 14-10
Look for the second half of the Hokies’ season coming soon.