Hokies Back In Top 25, Prepare for Pitt

Hokies Back In Top 25, Prepare for Pitt

After falling out of the AP Top 25 with a 31-17 loss to Syracuse on the road, the Virginia Tech Hokies have found their way back into the polls with a 37-16 blowout win over the Miami Hurricanes.

Virginia Tech will look to stay in the Top 25 for more than a couple weeks as they as the Hokies are a 4.5-point favorite at Pittsburgh, their toughest opponent.

Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times sent out a tweet received a lot of feedback about the Hokies’ record at Heinz Field. But like the Carrier Dome, Heinz Field is a similarily tough place for to play. Combined, Tech is 2-11 at both: 2-7 at Carrier Dome, 0-4 at Heinz Field.

The ACC is represented well in the Top 25, with Clemson leading the way at No. 3, Louisville at No. 5, Florida State at No. 12, North Carolina at No. 21, and the Hokies rounding it out at No. 25. Pittsburgh was the only other ACC team to receive any votes.

The official poll was released on Sunday at 2 PM. http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

With a win over Pitt, the Hokies can easily win out their schedule as they face Duke, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame (non-ACC) and Virginia. The two toughest opponents in that lineup being Pitt, who they face this Thursday, followed by Duke. The Hokies lost to both Pitt and Duke last year.

Hokies Ready for Pitt

Just 24 hours after a huge win over Miami, Justin Fuente had his team out on the practice field late on Friday night. That’s not something anyone would have seen the last couple of years, but Fuente seems to know his team, and his system is starting to work.

“It’s time to shift our focus and get ready to beat Pittsburg,” Fuente said. “When you have 85 guys playing with great emotion, great discipline, with a team first mentality cannot be stopped.”

Fuente may be the coach, but one player everyone enjoys playing with, especially Tremaine Edmunds, is Woody Baron. “Woody (Baron) is a big time player. I’m excited to be playing on the same field as him,” Edmunds said. “He’s a guy who you know is going to give it his all every time he steps on to the field.”

Primetime Again for the Hokies

The Hokies had a primetime match-up against Miami, and they will continue on the road against a tough Pitt team on Thursday, October 27th at 7pm on ESPN. Two out of the last three games played between the Panthers and Hokies, Pitt has won, with the Hokies winning 19-9 in 2013 in Blacksburg. However, in those games neither team has seen the other score more than 21 or win by a bigger margin than four points. Last year, Pitt won behind James Connor, 17-13, and in 2014 Pitt won, 21-16.

For Virginia Tech to Win

For the Hokies to win this match-up, they will need to shut down Connor, who is having a fantastic season after beating down cancer. He can easily take control of a game and rush for 200 or more yards with two rushing touchdowns. If the Hokies can stop Connor, they will come away with a huge ACC win.

For Pitt to Win

In order for Pittsburgh to win the game, they will need to force turnovers early and often either through the passing game or running game. That won’t be a easy task to do as Jerod Evans has only thrown two interceptions this year. After their bad showing against Tennessee, the Hokies haven’t turned the ball over much, but there’s always room for improvement.

“We just need to be 1-0 each week,” Fuente said. That’s been Fuente’s coaching card all season. Win each week. Win each practice. Win each game.

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