The No. 15 Virginia Tech football team hits the road to Morgantown on Saturday to take on old Big East rival West Virginia for Week 3 action.
This is their first meeting since the 2017 showdown at FedEx Field, which the Hokies won 31-24, and they’ll look to hold on to the Black Diamond Trophy once again but will have to do it without star tight end James Mitchell, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
Here’s everything to know:
Where to watch?
Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. ET from Morgantown, and the game will be available on FS1.
What to know about VT
The defense is this team’s strength. Allowing just 12 points per game, the VT defense led by Justin Hamilton has played well when it matters most, especially defensively in the red zone. After dominating North Carolina, VT continued its impressive defensive play against Middle Tennessee State by stopping the run, allowing 1.8 yards per rush. Though the defense would have liked to have limited the 283 passing yards, they still managed to record an interception, while the offense did not turn the ball over. WVU has been turnover prone with five so far this season, four against Maryland, so the Hokies will be hunting for that ball in this one. Expect the play calling to be aggressive early.
What to know about WVU
The Mountaineers bounced back from the loss to the Terps by beating LIU 66-0. To put that in perspective, LIU is averaging five points per game and got smoked by Florida International University by 38 to kick off the season. That means you don’t need to take much from a game against a clearly inferior opponent. But against Maryland, we learned a bit though some miscues can be chalked up to early season rust. QB Jarret Doege lacked composure at times and turned the ball over too much, they were a bit too reliant on running back Leddie Brown and didn’t give another back a carry, and the defense seemed to improve before fading late. With Winston Wright as a returner, that’s an area where they can really make an impact and set themselves up for shorter drives. If they can do that, they can take full control of this game as the Hokies look to find stability themselves on offense..
It’s going to be a tricky environment to play in with a rivalry renewed, and that should provide a boost for a WVU team that hasn’t looked all that sharp. Tech’s defense has to come up big with the offense not being as consistent as they could like, and in the end it is enough … just barely. VT 24, WVU 20
Story by Roger Gonzalez