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Virginia Tech at Virginia: Frank Beamer’s Final Game?

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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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Virginia Tech Hokies Holiday Gift Guide 2015

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Get the Ice Buckets Ready for Virginia Tech vs BosCo Slugfest

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Many Virginia Tech fans probably wish they could rewind the season to halftime of the first game, when the Hokies led the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 17-14 in Blacksburg. But Ohio State came out firing in the second half, Braxton Miller executed a spin move that will make highlight reels for decades to come, and less than two months later, Va Tech is 3-5 and staring down the barrel of bowl ineligibility.

They now travel to Massachusetts to face a Boston College squad singing similar tunes. After a 2-0 start, the Eagles have dropped their last four, including bizarre back-to-back losses at Duke and against Wake Forest earlier this month. The game against the Demon Deacons was an especially bizarre 3-0 finish that hearkened back to the days of leather helmets.

It is also very bizarre that the Eagles are only 3-5 given that they have the second-ranked defense in the nation statistically. They’re giving up just over 60 yards on the ground per game, a total that can stack up to some of the most dominant college defenses in the last 20 years. Virginia Tech comes in with some solid defensive numbers of their own.

So what will happen Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium? Fans can gear up for an old-fashioned, hard knocking, low-scoring battle that will leave both sides bloodied and bruised.

It is no secret that the Eagles will be looking to run the ball early and often and seek to control the matchup via time of possession. The Hokies would love to do the exact same thing, and in a game where yards are at a premium, the most valuable players on each side could end up being the place kickers.

Tech has a noticeable avenge in the kicking game, as 6-1″ sophomore Joey Slye has proven to be very reliable inside of 50. He has connected on 11 of 13 attempts in that range, although he is 0-3 from outside of 50 yards. Simply put, if the Hokies can get the ball inside of BC’s 30 yard line, they’re going to be cashing in for at least three points.

The kicking statistics for Boston College read more like a spreadsheet, as they have auditioned four different players for the role throughout the season. Alex Howell and Mike Knoll will likely be called upon this weekend during field goals and extra points, but the Eagles have only attempted seven field goals in eight games this year. Expect one of these three kickers to be lining up a 3-pointer in the final moments that will determine the outcome of this battle. Prediction: Va Tech 16 Bosco 13

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Virginia Tech Hokies 2015 Schedule Preview

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The bizarre 2014 football season is officially in the rearview mirror for Virginia Tech, and they will be focusing all off-season on properly preparing themselves for their season-opening home game, easily the biggest on their 2015 schedule.

The defending National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes will be coming into Blacksburg looking to avenge their only loss in all of 2014. Impressively, the Hokies beat OSU by 14 in the second game of the year before stumbling over themselves against much easier opponents and fishing with a 7-6 record.

While it would be far too bold and daring to predict a victory against Ohio State in Week 1 of the 2015 season, passionate fans are daring to believe. From there, Virginia Tech will have five consecutive entirely winnable games before a matchup down in Miami against the Hurricanes. The Duke Blue Devils will come to Blacksburg the following week, and the squad will finish October with a game at Boston College on Halloween.

All three of these games could be either won or lost, meaning that Virginia Tech’s record heading into November could be as solid as 7-2, or as dismal as 2-7 in a worst-case scenario situation. What is crystal clear is that Frank Beamer and the Hokies will have to improve upon their 93rd overall-ranked offensive output from 2014. Virginia Tech returns nine of their starters on offense, and will benefit from the recruitment of mammoth five-star offensive tackle Austin Clark out of Lexington, Virginia.

The second most challenging game on the schedule will be a trip into the heart of Atlanta to play Georgia Tech on November 12. The schedule finishes with a home game against North Carolina on November 21 and a road trip to Virginia to play the Cavaliers on November 28.

Sep 7 Ohio St. #1

Sep 12 Furman 3:30 pm

Sep 19 @Purdue

Sep 26 @East Carolina

Oct 3 Pittsburgh

Oct 9 NC State

Oct 17 @Miami (Fla.)

Oct 24 Duke

Oct 31 @Boston College

Nov 12 @Georgia Tech #8

Nov 21 North Carolina

Nov 28 @Virginia

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