Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in Thursday night’s ACC Coastal battle between the Hokies and Panthers.
I like the Panthers here. We knew Pat Narduzzi would bring a strong defense to Pitt, but this offense has really been a surprise. The Panthers have a top-20 rushing offense, and are tied for No. 22 nationally in scoring. It should be a treat watching James Conner line up and try to break through Bud Foster’s stellar run defense (No. 11 nationally). While both of these teams have been a welcome surprise to this season’s much-deeper ACC, home field advantage tips the scale in Pitt’s favor. Virginia Tech has proven inconsistent when playing away from Lane Stadium.
I can’t lie. I was stunned by that loss to Syracuse. But then the Hokies smacked Miami around, and it seemed like they were right back on track. Justin Fuente has done an unbelievable job coaching this team. By the time this one’s over, Virginia Tech will have its sixth win of the season and on a clear route to a bowl game. Jerod Evans will do it all like he’s been doing, and the Hokies will come out of this with a double-digit win.
Expect the Panthers to give Hokies coordinator Bud Foster’s defense a hard time if the ground game is productive and quarterback Nate Peterman is able to have manageable third-down distances. The problem for Pat Narduzzi’s squad is it will have problems containing the dual-threat capabilities of Jerod Evans, who will move the ball with his arm and legs with relative ease against a leaky Pitt defense. VT wins the Thursday night showdown and continues on its quest to claim the ACC Coastal division.
I’m a big fan of Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi, but with the way Justin Fuente has the Hokies playing – hey look, it is a Virginia Tech offense that doesn’t put you to sleep – I am going to have to go with the Fighting Castrated Turkeys.