The Eagles returned home last Saturday after a disappointing loss against UNC, 34-10. Having a 3-4 record puts BC in a manageable but tough position as they seek bowl eligibility. Virginia Tech is traveling to Chestnut Hill for an early Saturday game, in which the Eagles hope to regain faith in a postseason bid by upsetting the Hokies. I had the opportunity to interview Jacob Emert, sports editor for Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Times. Jacob presents key ideas that help us get an idea of Saturday’s match-up.
(Note: Bold words represent The Gavel; regular font represents Collegiate Times.)
Suffering a much-expected loss from 'Bama in the season opener and a recent unexpected loss against Duke, is the Hokies’ current record of 6-2 surprising to you?
Looking at the Hokie's schedule before the season started, knowing about all the question marks on the offensive side of the ball, I predicted the Hokies to be 6-2 at this point in the season.
With that being said, the way this offense has been coming together in the weeks before Duke and the way the defense has played all year, I think the loss to Duke surprised a lot of people.
Being 6-2 isn’t much of a shocker. A defense as good as the one Tech has will make up for many of the offense’s mistakes. As was the case against Duke though, even a defense this good can’t cover up all shortcomings.
Logan Thomas has had a pretty consistent season with completions and yardages. However, do you think Duke’s four picks will affect the senior’s mentality going into Saturday?
Logan Thomas is one of the more confident players on Tech’s roster. After throwing six interceptions in the first four games, he threw none in the three games leading up to Duke.
Through all the adversity — whether he’s playing well or not, whether his receivers are making plays for him or not — Thomas has stayed confident. He knows how good he can be, rightfully so, and even if he does perform poorly against BC, it’s unfair to say last week’s performance or confidence has anything to do with it.
If anything, his confidence sometimes hurts him. Some of his interceptions come when he relies too much on his arm strength and forces balls that have no business being thrown.
Andre Williams has rushed for 505 yards and scored six touchdowns in the past three games. How do you think VT’s defense will handle him?
Defensive line coach Charley Wiles and others have compared this upcoming game to their recent win over Pittsburgh in the sense they know it’s going to be a really physical game on the line of scrimmage.
The Hokies’ defense let up 195 rushing yards to Marshall — the most they’ve let up in a single game this year — and 80 of those came from quarterback Rakeem Cato.
They’ve been successful all year stopping the run, and while Williams and the Eagles may pick up some yards in bunches, stats show the Hokies will be able to limit his success.
It's common knowledge that Virginia Tech has been waiting all season for the offense to alleviate pressure from the defense’s shoulders. BC will no doubt have a good fight against the Hokies defense; how do you think the Eagle’s defense will compare to the Hokies' offensive line?
I asked Tech offensive line coach Jeff Grimes Tuesday night how he thinks his unit has progressed since the season opener. He said the line — which saw two guys make their first career starts against Alabama —has improved, but not as steadily as he would’ve liked. He likened it to a roller coaster, but thought they played well for the most part against Duke.
The Hokies haven’t had as much success on the ground as they would like in 2013, instead using the short passing game to serve the same purpose. One thing worth mentioning, many guys, from the backs themselves to Grimes to running backs coach Shane Beamer, have said how close they are to experiencing serious success on the ground — just missing a block here or a cutback there.
I don’t expect the Hokies to run for 200-plus yards in Chestnut Hill on Saturday, but they aren’t far from it. I’d imagine the battle in the trenches to be pretty even between Tech’s offense and BC’s defense.
Is this guy coming up to Boston?
To my knowledge he’s on the sideline every game. That was probably his 15 seconds of fame, though.
As an avid tailgater, I can definitely say BC takes its tailgating on Shea Field seriously. In Blacksburg, what are popular food and beverage options, and other necessities for a game?
I’m old school when it comes to tailgating (though tailgating of any sort has been difficult with so many noon games this year). For me it’s about a hot dog, some wings and a cold beverage. Corn hole is a must, too.
So, what’s your final prediction?
I think Thomas and the offense takes a step forward against the Eagles. Hokies win 17-9.
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