Game Preview: Virginia Tech hosts William & Mary

virginia tech athleticsRemember the last time Virginia Tech won a big prime-time game on Labor Day? Yeah. JMU happened.

That was back in 2010, and you might not remember this part, but it wasn’t even a good JMU team that shocked the world with that 21-16 win in Lane Stadium.

The Dukes would get out to a 3-0 start, but then wilt, losing four straight at one point on their way to a middling 6-5 finish.

This is relevant in the context of this weekend’s Virginia Tech-William & Mary matchup.

The Tribe (1-0) was picked 11th in the 12-team CAA in the preseason, coming off a 2-9 season a year ago.

William & Mary did get a nice road win in its opener this past weekend, a 14-7 final over Bucknell.

The issue for the Hokies (1-0) is twofold: the short week, after the 24-3 win at Florida State on Monday night, and coming down off the high of beating down FSU on national TV.

The offense did its job in the win. Josh Jackson avoided the big mistake, throwing for 207 yards, completing 16 of his 26 pass attempts, with two touchdowns.

Deshawn McClease (13 carries, 77 yards) and Steven Peoples (13 carries, 44 yards) anchored the run game.

Eric Kumah (4 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD) put up big numbers through the air. Jackson connected on passes to seven different Hokie receivers.

The story of the FSU win was defense and special teams. The Hokies limited the ‘Noles to 327 total yards and forced five turnovers, and kept them out of the end zone.

The special teams contributed to the bottom line, blocking an FSU punt for a second-quarter touchdown.

For William & Mary, the win at Bucknell was also about defense, as the Tribe limited the Bison to just one score and 257 total yards. Additionally, the Tribe forced two turnovers and held BU to just 11 first downs.

After missing nearly the entire 2017 season due to injury, senior wideout DeVonte Dedmon made a tremendous return to lead the offense and recorded 125 receiving yards, highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory.

Game Details

Preview by Chris Graham


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