Virginia Tech vs. UNC preview: How to live stream VT-UNC, watch on TV, start time, prediction

virginia tech logoThe Virginia Tech Hokies get their 2021 season underway on Friday night in front of a sold out Lane Stadium when the No. 10 North Carolina Tarheels visit Blacksburg in one of the most highly anticipated games of the weekend. It’s a critical season for Hokies coach Justin Fuente, some would even say a make-or-break campaign, as he looks to get the Hokies back to those double-digit-win seasons the school became accustomed to under the leadership of Frank Beamer. But standing in their way is a Tar Heels program reignited by the return of Mack Brown, who will be coaching the game with a heavy heart following the loss of his brother earlier in the week. Here’s everything to know.

Where to watch?

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. ET and the match will air on ESPN. It will also be available on the ESPN app, but you must have login credentials to authenticate the app in order to gain access to the video.

What to know about VT

No Khalil Herbert after losing the talented running back to the NFL, more pressure falls squarely on starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister, a transfer from Oregon who played a bit last season but almost had as many rushes (46) as completions (48). A dual-threat at QB, he’ll have to find more consistency as a passer this season to avoid VT becoming too one dimensional. On the other side of the ball, there are high expectations for a defense that was able to force turnovers consistently at the end of last season.

What to know about UNC

They have been recruiting big-time talent and have a potential Heisman contender and top NFL draft pick in Sam Howell leading this offense. The 20-year-old North Carolina native is a junior and second-team All-ACC performer who has 68 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his career. He completed 68.1 percent of his passes last season, but the team did lose a pair of 1,000-yard rushers to the NFL in Michael Williams and Javonte Carter. Combined with the losses of Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome at wide receiver, Howell will need to try and find a new go-to target with receiver Josh Downs being one of the most likely contenders.

Prediction

Under the lights at Lane Stadium, there will be no shortage of energy. The Hokies know they can pull this off after nearly beating UNC on the road last season, and having won four of their last five against the Tar Heels, they’ll compete and keep it close. But unless that defense can force UNC into several three-and-outs, this could be another shootout. Expect UNC to get the win, though perhaps not all that comfortably.  UNC 35, VT 31

Story by Roger Gonzalez


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