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THE COLUMN: Virginia vs Virginia Tech Complete Preview

Virginia vs. that other school in Virginia


TIME: 8:00 PM (EST)

DATE: November 24th, 2017

LOCATION: Scott Stadium - Charlottesville, VA




by Paul Wiley

Thanksgiving is our annual occasion to pause and give thanks for all that we have, for all the things that have blessed our life, and for the million little things we may not recognize as gifts throughout the year. In my family, as it probably is in yours, one blessing stood out above the rest: We aren’t Tech fans.

Think about what that means. We get to enjoy sports more than three months a year. We get to enjoy national championships. We can spell “national championships.” We live each day free of a crushing inferiority complex.

And no one celebrates a holiday by killing, stuffing, and cooking our mascot.

So pile the plate full. Slap some pieces of Hokie between slices of rye bread with cranberry sauce, and get ready for our Hoos to feast in primetime.


Provided by Danny Neckel

The Good For UVA

Category UVA Category Navy
Category UVA Category Navy
Passing Defense 15th (179.6) Passing Offense 128th (83.8)
Turnovers Lost 41st (16) Turnovers Gained 109th (13)
3rd Down Offense 68th (39.8%) 3rd Down Defense 101st (43.5%)

The Not So Good For UVA

Category UVA Category Navy
Category UVA Category Navy
Team Sacks 50th (2.5) Sacks Allowed 6th (1)
Rushing Defense 81st (178.3) Rushing Offense 2nd (343)
Rushing Offense 125th (98.8) Rushing Defense 65th (164.9)


Bronco Mendenhall
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Bronco Mendenhall - HC

This is the game. Yeah, winning against a third ranked Miami would have been nice. But, you know what’s nicer? Beating Va Tech in football for the first time since 2003. It must be said that Mendenhall has probably already exceeded expectations for the year by qualifying for a bowl game. But, this win would be a true tone-setter for the next chapter in the Mendenhall era. This Wahoo squad is more than capable of beating Va Tech and a lot will rest on Mendenhall to prepare the team for the big game.

Kurt Benkert
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Kurt Benkert - QB

Benkert had a stellar game last week against Miami. In the first half, he had 262 yards passing on a staggering 17-of-18 completions. This was marred, however, by a momentum-killing pick six when the Hoos were up 28-14. Throughout the season, Benkert has shown moments of perfection but also moments of mental lapse. This Friday is his last collegiate game and Benkert will have to wrinkle out his mistakes.

Quin Blanding
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Quin Blanding - S

It’s only fitting that another one of the Fourth-Year stalwarts deserves to be highlighted this week. Blanding has been awesome throughout his time as safety at UVa. This year, he passed Jamie Sharper as UVA's all-time record holder in career tackles. Sharper had held the record for 21 years before Blanding surpassed him. Currently, Blanding has amassed 462 tackles and this week he’ll get to add to that and his legacy against Va Tech.

Josh Jackson
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Jackson - QB

Not to be confused with Iowa’s Josh Jackson (who leads the nation in interceptions), Virginia Tech’s Josh Jackson is a quarterback - and a pretty good one. However, the three-star redshirt freshman didn’t make initially make waves when he signed with the Hokies. Now, in many ways, Jackson writes the beginning of the Justin Fuente era. So far this year, Jackson has thrown for 2600 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions. There still have been growing pains though. Over the last three weeks, Jackson has only thrown one touchdown and has three picks. After barely edging out Pittsburgh last week, we’ll see how much Jackson has truly progressed this year.

Cam Philips
Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Philips - WR

Virginia Tech’s receiving corps is spearheaded by Cam Philips. The Senior stands out in a young corps. Philips has 918 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. The next best is Sean Savoy (a freshman) who has 454 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Last week, we heard Bryce Hall’s name called out a lot and it looks like the young corner will get tested heavily again this week.

Greg Stroman

Greg Stroman - CB

Senior Greg Stroman has been the consistent presence in the secondary for Bud Foster’s defense this year. He has four picks on the year and will be tasked this week to shut down UVA’s #1 receiver, Olamide Zaccheaus. While Kurt Benkert had a great game against Miami and spread the ball efficiently, it might take a big day from OZ for the Hoos to win the game.



VT fans prefer school to be called?

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Virginia vs. Va Tech | November 29th, 2003 | UVA 35-21 Va Tech