There is a lot on the line for the Virginia Tech football team on Saturday in Charlottesville against Virginia. The biggest thing on the line for the Hokies is a sixth win and a bowl game next month. Of course, there is also the recruiting factor among other things.
With another meeting between Virginia and Virginia Tech coming up this weekend, here is what matters when the two teams line up across from each other and what doesn’t matter.
Virginia Tech vs. Virginia: What matters Saturday?
For Virginia Tech, what matters the most is a win to become bowl-eligible. A sixth win gives head coach Brent Pry and his staff another four weeks with their team valuable practices and an extra game. It gives them a head start looking ahead to 2024.
The Hokies have some young players playing key positions and the extra practices and game carries a lot of weight going into next season. After enduring a 3-8 season in 2022 and starting the season 1-3 this season with a win over Old Dominion and losses to Purdue, Rutgers, and Marshall, what a turnaround to win a sixth game and finish 5-3 in the ACC.
Also at stake is recruiting against their in-state rivals. The Cavaliers are in a rebuild like the Hokies and landing any recruits they can against Virginia is a win off the field. The Hokies have claimed 17 of the last 18 meetings in the rivalry and it would be an easy sell for Pry in recruiting that they have dominated UVA.
In a rebuild, recruiting is a very big piece of the puzzle to fix things, and beating your rival on the field goes a long way to beating them off it.
Virginia Tech vs. Virginia: What doesn’t matter?
This one is very easy, for the Hokies anyway. It doesn’t matter how they win or buy how much they win, they just need to win. Winning by a point or by four touchdowns gets them the result they need, a victory.
Virginia Tech is not in a situation where they need style points, they just need one more point on the scoreboard than the Cavaliers. It’s going to be a tough environment for them on the road, where they haven’t had much success, but all of that is in the past and they just need to worry about the present.
If you ask Pry, I’m sure he would tell you that he doesn’t care where they would have to go to play a bowl game or who they would have to play in a bowl game, just get one more game. If there is one thing true about Hokies’ fans, they will travel anywhere at any time to support their team. A Virginia Tech bowl game will draw a lot of people to whatever stadium they end up in.
It doesn’t matter how or by how much, they just need to win on Saturday and take a big step in their rebuild.