The Hokies have one team between them and Clemson: the Old Dominion Monarchs.
With all of the buzz surrounding the Clemson game kicking off at 8 o’clock and a probable visit to Blacksburg for College Gameday, it is easy to forget that Virginia Tech still has Old Dominion to deal with. None of the buzz matters if the Hokies slip up on Saturday.
If you look up “trap game” in the dictionary, you’ll see this game. While it is easy for fans to overlook the Monarchs, it is imperative that the Hokies not do the same. We have seen them struggle on both sides of the ball, and even if they win against ODU, it is important that this team goes into the Clemson game firing on all cylinders.
Know Your Opponent
The story of the ODU offense starts with the quarterback position. Against North Carolina, it was a game of musical QBs. The music finally stopped on 17-year-old freshman, Steven Williams. Williams took the Monarchs down the field on the first drive of his college career, ending with a fumble on the 1-yard line near the end of the first half.
Williams picked up where he left off in the second half. He hit receiver Travis Fulgham with a perfect pass resulting in a 71-yard touchdown strike. The freshman also busted off a 19-yard run, proving himself to be a capable runner as well.
Williams finished the day completing 9 of 20 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Not bad for someone who is not yet a legal adult. He will undergo a trial by fire on Saturday, as he makes his first-ever start in Lane Stadium against the Lunch Pail D.
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Another player the Hokies will have to be mindful of is running back Jeremy Cox.
Cox receives almost all of the touches out of the backfield and is tied for the team lead in receptions. He hasn’t quite gotten it going on the ground yet, averaging just 3 yards per carry so far this season. But after averaging over 5 yards per carry the previous two seasons, Cox has proven he has it in him to run it well.
Where Cox may be the most dangerous is in the passing game. He is averaging ten yards per reception through three games and is someone the linebackers are going to have to be on top of all day.
If the average fan was given unlimited guesses as to what team leads the nation in sacks, it would be awhile before they got to Old Dominion. Their sixteen sacks, however, do lead the country; one ahead of the Hokies’ next opponent.
The Virginia Tech offensive line looked worlds better against ECU, but they are in for a real test, albeit from an unlikely source. A good pass rush can keep any team in a game, so the Hokies O-Line must be ready on Saturday.
Despite the sack totals, Old Dominion is a middle of the road team against the pass and the run. North Carolina’s offense had their way with the Monarchs, so there is no reason why the Hokies cannot do the same.