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Preview: What you need to know about Virginia Tech-West Virginia

virginia tech logoThe Virginia Tech Hokies will look to reclaim the Black Diamond Trophy on Thursday night when they host the West Virginia Mountaineers in a big-time, primetime showdown at Lane Stadium.

The Hokies (2-1, 1-0 ACC) are allowing just 12.3 points per game and have back-to-back wins over Boston College and Wofford, while WVU loss to Pittsburgh to open the season before a surprising 55-42 loss at home to Kansas. The Mountaineers won their first game of the season last Saturday, beating Towson 65-7.

Where to watch?

The game will air on ESPN, and kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

What to know about VT

The Hokies’ defense looks really good. They are getting after the ball and forcing turnovers, but where the team needs to improve is on offense. In the 27-7 win over Wofford, Grant Wells had 314 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. That was against one of the worst teams around, and this figures to be a different test. But while the WVU defense has suffered, it can still produce when locked in. The Hokies will need to do a good job of mixing it up to open the passing game.

What to know about WVU

In the loss to Kansas, WVU allowed the Jayhawks to convert 11 of 15 third downs. That can happen against Tech. The Mountaineers have played sloppy, and they have to be more efficient when getting into the Hokies’ side of the field. JT Daniels has looked sharp at times, but he has had issues turning the ball over. Tech will blitz him plenty, so his first read or check-down receivers will need to be ready.

Prediction

VT 20, WVU 19

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez is freelancer for Augusta Free Press. A native of Connecticut that grew up in Charlottesville, he is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He currently is a sportswriter with CBS Sports and has written for The Daily Progress, The Roanoke Times and other newspapers before getting into the digital sports journalism world.