There's a big difference between Russell Wilson and Dave Shinskie and/or Mike Marscovetra, the Boston College quarterbacks who struggled last week against Virginia Tech's defense. Then, there's the fact that the Hokies' running backs were held to 97 yards on 30 carries. High-wire jitters will be a concern, but State's got a lot of weapons. Pack, 28-27.
Eye on special teams
Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer has long been known for getting more out of his special teams than any other coach in the nation. But statistically, the Hokies' special teams have been ordinary so far this season. The Hokies rank sixth in the ACC in kickoff-return average, 12th in punt-return average and 10th in net punting. The only place Virginia Tech has stood out on special teams is at place-kicker, where senior Chris Hazley has made 8 of 9 field-goal attempts.
While quarterback Tyrod Taylor leads the offense, another player named Taylor has emerged as its top tackler on defense. Sophomore linebacker Bruce Taylor is tied for sixth in the ACC with 32 tackles and has three sacks. Bruce Taylor will have a chance to exploit the same weaknesses in protection that allowed Georgia Tech linebacker Brad Jefferson to sack N.C. State's Russell Wilson twice in the first half last week.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech, Jr., WR, 6-2, 210
Boykin is one of the nation's premier deep receiving threats. Last season his 20.9 yards per catch ranked fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He is averaging even more - 22.1 yards per catch - this season, and ranks ninth in the ACC in receiving yards per game, with 11 catches for 243 yards.
BY THE NUMBERS
|180.2||avg. rush yds.||145.0|
|115.5||opp. avg. rush yds.||125.8|
|186.5||avg. pass yds.||289.2|
|191.8||opp. avg. pass yds.||185.5|