Virginia Tech football vs. Virginia: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score
Hokies battle Cavaliers
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The end of defensive coordinator Bud Foster's career couldn't have played out any better. The leader of the defense for the past 23 years, Foster has directed consecutive shutouts for the first time since 2005 and will try to stop in-state rival Virginia for the 16th consecutive time when the two meet in Charlottesville on Friday night with the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal title on the line.
TV: Noon ET, ABC. LINE: Virginia Tech -2.5.
With a drastically improved defense - one that held Pittsburgh to a season-low 177 yards in a 28-0 win last week - and a change at quarterback to Hendon Hooker, Virginia Tech picked itself off the mat after a 45-10 loss to Duke and has won six of seven since with a winnable game against Notre Dame the only blemish. "You couldn't have scripted it any better, I don't think, when it's all said and done. As far as down the stretch, the Wake game (a 36-17 win), and then to go to Georgia Tech and play the way we did (a 45-0 victory) … and then it was a playoff game today, basically," Foster said after the Pitt win. "To play the way we did, we didn't play tight, we played with confidence, we executed, we made plays, and to see that from a coaching perspective is very gratifying." That defense will be tested this week by Virginia's Bryce Perkins, who joins Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts as the only two FBS quarterbacks to pass for at least 2,625 yards and rush for at least 520 this season. The Cavaliers should be well-rested, having a bye week before getting touchdowns from seven different players in a 55-27 tune-up over Liberty last week.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (8-3, 5-2 ACC)
Hooker, who completed 10-of-13 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns against Pitt, has thrown 110 passes without an interception to begin his career - the best streak since Grant Noel went 108 passes without an interception from 1999-2001. The 6-4 sophomore is completing 63 percent of his passes with 10 TDs this season and has a passer rating of 179.3 in six starts - all wins. Linebacker Rayshard Ashby had seven total tackles versus the Panthers, has led the team in tackles seven times this season and is tied for fourth in the conference with an average of nine stops per game.
ABOUT VIRGINIA (8-3, 5-2)
Perkins, who ranks 16th in FBS with a conference-high 3,161 yards of total offense, completed 18-of-30 passes for 199 yards and two TDs last week and ran for 30 yards and a score. The Cavaliers can be stingy on defense, holding their first eight opponents under 360 yards with only North Carolina topping 400 yards all season (539). Jordan Mack is sixth in the ACC with 7.5 sacks and first among the league’s linebackers (No. 7 among the nation’s linebackers), while fellow linebacker Zane Zandler leads the team in tackles (79) and tackles for loss (10).
1. Virginia Tech rallied from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit last season and pulled out a 34-31 overtime win when the Cavaliers fumbled on their one possession in the extra period. Perkins completed 14-of-29 passes for 259 yards with three TDs and added 112 more yards on the ground.
2. The Hokies have blanked conference opponents in back-to-back games for the first time since 1935 and held their past three opponents to 301 total yards or less with none rushing for more than 63 yards.
3. Virginia's Joe Reed has 2,989 career kick return yards and is averaging 29 yards per kick return - the only player in FBS history with 2,700 career kick return yards and a career average of at least 28 yards.
PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 24, Virginia 10
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