The Virginia Tech football team has a lot on the line against Virginia in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon in the Commonwealth Cup showdown. Not only are bragging rights on the line but for the Hokies, a sixth win and becoming bowl-eligible is also on the table.
It’s not going to be easy for the favored Hokies against the 3-8 Cavaliers, but it certainly is doable. Here are three bold predictions for the regular-season finale.
Kyron Drones & Bhayshul Tuten combine for over 200 rushing yards
Last week against North Carolina State, running back Bhayshul Tuten just got two carries and that can’t happen. Offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen needs to find a way to get him the ball and run it effectively. Same with quarterback Kyron Drones.
Virginia’s defense is 117th in yards per rush a game, which means the main focus of the offense earlier should be to run the ball. It’s likely going to be that way and the offensive line needs to open up some holes on the road like they have at home this season. You get the feeling that both Tuten and Drones are primed for big games rushing the ball.
Kyron Drones throws for over 250 yards over 2.5 touchdowns
As bad as the Cavaliers’ run defense is, the rest of their defense is not very good either. They are 91st in yards per play and rank 132nd in sacks per game. Those numbers should make it simple for Bowen to have confidence in throwing the ball as well as running it.
In the second half against NC State, yes, the score may have played a role in it, however, Drones looked very comfortable throwing the ball, and aside from just two throws, he looked very good. Wide receivers Jaylin Lane and Stephen Gosnell have been making plays and there is no reason that Drones can’t have himself a game against a Virginia team that struggles to get to the quarterback. Of course, it’s a rivalry game and you throw everything out the window, but this has the potential to be a big offensive game for Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech wins Commonwealth Cup and becomes bowl-eligible
You might be wondering why this is a bold prediction. Just take one look at the performances on the road this season for Brent Pry’s team and a win is not guaranteed. Despite being a 3-point favorite according to DraftKings, playing away from Blacksburg has been an issue for the Hokies.
Their last performance on Nov. 11 at Boston College gives Virginia Tech fans hope after a dominating 48-22 victory. It’s going to be different in Charlottesville as Scott Stadium will be full, and loud, while historically, Alumni Stadium in Boston is rarely half full and the crowd really isn’t an issue. Going back to the two previous predictions, Virginia’s defense is capable of allowing a lot of points, and the Hokies need to take advantage and the gut feeling is they do and win the game to become bowl-eligible to take the next step in the rebuild.
After starting 1-3, it was hard to envision Virginia Tech being in this position but here we are, one win away from getting valuable extra practices and one more game in December. Time to go on the road in a hostile environment and get it done in the battle for the Commonwealth Cup.