If the college football schedule makers had known that this would indeed be legendary head coach Frank Beamer’s final year at the helm of the Virginia Tech Hokies, it is likely that they would have scheduled his final few games in Blacksburg. As it turned out, he coached his final game in front of a proud and appreciative home crowd last Saturday, falling by a field goal to a feisty North Carolina squad in the final moments.
Forgive me for tearing up a bit as I write this sentence, but Saturday will be Frank Beamer’s final regular-season game. If Virginia Tech is unable to emerge with a victory, they will likely be ineligible for a bowl game, making this Saturday’s affair Beamer’s final game ever. As a result of all of this, this is one of the biggest games in a very long time for a squad that comes into the matchup with a lukewarm 5-6 record.
So how will Tech figure out a way to win? It doesn’t take a genius to know that they will lean heavily on the running game and hope to control the time of possession. But Michael Brewer’s performance against North Carolina, coupled with Isaiah Ford’s best game of the year will likely tempt Beamer and his coaching staff to let the ball fly more than usual. After all, why hold back in what could possibly be the final game of both the season and a legendary coaching career?
The Virginia Cavaliers come into the game at 4-7, but they have had a gauntlet of a schedule that features perhaps the most impressive resume of non-conference opponents. The Cavaliers have played the UCLA Bruins, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Boise State Broncos.
It would be dangerous to underestimate the team based on their record and relatively meager output statistically on both sides of the ball. Virginia has the 84th overall ranked offense and 83rd overall ranked defense, but this is simply a result of playing some of the toughest squads in college football on a weekly basis.
It really feels like this one will come down to a field goal in the final minutes, and experts in Las Vegas seem to see it the same way. Virginia Tech is between a three and four point favorite as of press time. Prediction: Virginia Tech 27, Virginia 26
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