BGS Preview and Prediction: WVU vs. Virginia Tech
We take a look at how the rivalry will take shape, and predict a final score.
We can now count the hours until the renewal of the Black Diamond Trophy rivalry between West Virginia and Virginia Tech. Not much left to say, other than predict and breakdown the matchup. So here is a quarter-by-quarter breakdown and prediction for WVU’s first game of the season.
First Quarter: The first half in general will probably be a slow one, but I expect the first quarter to be a drag outside of one or two big plays from either team. Coach Dana Holgorsen and Jake Spavital will realize after the first drive that the team will have to rely on the run game in order to be successful. The Virginia Tech Hokies have a viable defensive secondary led by Greg Stroman, Brandon Facyson, and Terrell Edmunds. Trying to test the experienced secondary of the Hokies will backfire for the Mountaineer offense as Will Grier’s first game jitters could force an early mistake.
After discovering the athletes on Buddy Foster’s Virginia Tech defense, Tony Gibson’s D.A.W.G.S send an early message to the Hokie offense. The Mountaineer defense will make life fairly difficult for Hokie quarterback Josh Jackson. Jackson a redshirt freshman will be making his first college start sunday. So just like Grier, Jackson will experience his own shortcomings, as it will take time to decipher Gibson’s 3-3-5 as well as first game nerves. The different looks from the Mountaineer defense will cause three-and-outs for the Hokies to start off the game.
With some luck and favorable turnover on downs, both teams post field goals heading into the second quarter.
End of the 1st: Tied 3-3
Second Quarter: The Mountaineers dominate time of possession as Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy are too much to keep up with early on. As the Mountaineers use most of the clock to their advantage and running backs Crawford and McKoy rack up numbers, the Hokies struggle to find themselves on offense, and can do nothing but kick field goals throughout the first half and struggle to get into the red zone.
End of the 2nd: 13-3 Mountaineers
Third Quarter: Hokie Quarterback Jackson begins to use the athleticism he has been praised for and what won him the starting QB job this summer. Tech will be able to use the read option to get pass an inexperienced defensive line in WVU who will be featuring three new starters. The Mountaineers will have to find a new way to contain Jackson and the Hokie offense. On offense for the Mountaineers, Will Grier begins to feel comfortable throwing the ball down field and is able to put a score on the board. But! The Mountaineers will not be able to match the energy the Hokie Offense will open the half with, as Crawford and McKoy’s carries lessen in the beginning of the half
End of 3rd: 20-19 Hokies
Fourth Quarter: Both team begin to buckle down, and try to use the clock to their advantage, as leads begin to change. Virginia Tech starts up good drives in the fourth quarter, but the WVU gets into a rhythm and is not fooled by Jackson’s athleticism any longer. Then…the legend of Grier at WVU will be born. Grier will build up rapport throughout the game with his receivers, which will come in handy late in the game on the Mountaineers last two drives. In a position to control time and the lead, Grier and the Mountaineer offense will put things away late. Courtesy of some last minute gunslinging from Grier, the kicking of Mike Molina, and great running from Crawford and McKoy.
In the end the Mountaineers give a scare to the folks in Morgantown, but the Black Diamond Trophy returns to Morgantown.
End of the game: 33-27 Mountaineers