College Football News Preview 2020: Virginia Tech Hokies Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Virginia Tech Hokies Offense
Stop fumbling. The offense will have a good balance, the pass protection should be okay, and there’s enough depth to play around with the various options.
The O led the ACC in red zone production, but it could be a bit better on third downs – it led the conference on fourth downs, though.
Now the attack just has to avoid turnovers.
The crazy part about the giveaway issue? QB Hendon Hooker was almost flawless when it came to not taking chances with the passing game – he only threw two picks all year – but the team was last in the ACC in fumbles.
However, those two interceptions came in the loss to Virginia. The Hokies turned the ball over four times against the Cavaliers, gave it up five times in the season-opening loss to Boston College, and turned it over two times or more seven times on the season.
The bowl loss to Kentucky was the only time they failed to win when the offense turned it over once or not at all. The 23 giveaways were the most in the last three years – the four close losses of last year go the other way if the O was tighter.
Biggest Key To The Virginia Tech Hokies Defense
Keep up the defensive pressure. The Hokies are loaded with good pass rushers from the D that cranked up 38 sacks last season. When the D didn’t generate enough sacks, there were occasional issues.
The defense came up with two sacks or fewer six times on the season, and went 1-5 in those games – only beating Pitt. More than two sacks? 7-0.
Under Justin Fuente, the Hokies are 18-3 over the last four years when the defense comes up with three sacks or more.
Okay, fine – that seems like a bit of a random, arbitrary number – but a consistent and effective pass rush is going to be a big deal when Penn State comes to town in Week 2 and with trips to deal with North Carolina’s Sam Howell, and the downfield passing game of Louisville’s.
Key Virginia Tech Hokies Player To A Successful Season
WR Tre Turner, Jr.
It’s not like the Hokies don’t have receivers. They might have lost six targets to the transfer portal, but the 6-2, 190-pound Turner is back after leading the team with 34 catches for 553 yards and four scores. Ultra-quick, he’s able to run, too – had was good for a few carries a game – but it’ll be his job to increase his role as the No. 1 target.
He only had one 100-yard day – coming up with a huge day in the loss to Virginia – if he can blossom into more of a volume catcher, the offense should take off.
Key Game To The Virginia Tech Hokies Season
at North Carolina, Oct. 10
Beating Virginia after the long winning streak stopped last season is important, but that’s in Blacksburg. Miami will be better, but that’s a home game, too.
The road game at North Carolina in the middle of the season will be the big early test, going against what should be a jacked up team looking to make a statement in the Coastal race. Pull off the victory in Chapel Hill, and the Hokies will be the ones to beat the rest of the way in the division.
– Virginia Tech Hokies Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Virginia Tech Fun Stats
– 1st Quarter Scoring: Virginia Tech 112 – Opponents 50
– 4th Down Conversions: Virginia Tech 9-of-13 (69%) – Opponents 17-of-30 (57%)
– Penalties: Opponents 93 for 740 yards – Virginia Tech 69 for 606 yards