Virginia Tech needs to get off the field on third downs & create turnovers
Earlier in the season, getting off the field on any down was tough for Chris Marve’s defense. Aside from the season-opener against Old Dominion when they forced three second-half turnovers, they had struggled creating turnovers until they forced some key ones against Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.
The Tech defense has been playing well lately and they will need them to pick up where they left off before the bye week. Against Pittsburgh and Wake Forest, they did a good job of forcing them into second and third and long, which allowed them to get after the quarterbacks and get off the field. They need to continue that against Syracuse and beyond.
Virginia Tech needs to cut down allowing the big plays
This is easier said than done. Against Rutgers, Florida State, and Marshall, they allowed too many big plays and it dug them a hole they were not able to get out of. Even in their 38-21 victory over Pittsburgh, they allowed two big plays to the Panthers, but they were able to overcome it. Same thing against Wake Forest.
Teams are coming up on the schedule who have created several big plays this season. Boston College had some this past weekend against Georgia Tech and Louisville has created them all season long. How the defense plays will go a long way in determining how the final five games for the Hokies go.