WVU - Virginia Tech Preview

The ACC-bound Hokies travel to Morgantown on Wednesday night to tangle with the upset minded Mountaineers.

BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series: 27-20-2 WVU
When: 10-22, 7:30
Where: Touchdown City.
Stadium: Mountaineer Field
Record: 2-4
Rank: 65
Last Week: Rutgers
Returning Starters: 8
Defense: 4
Offense: 4
Click for Touchdown City, West Virginia Forecast
Record: 6-0
Rank: 6
Last Week: Syracuse
Returning Starters: 18
Defense: 8
Offense: 8
Rosters/ Bio's
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2003 Schedule
First Meeting: 1912
Last Meeting: 2002
Rosters/ Bio's
Press Release
Season Stats
2003 Schedule

Common Opponents to Date: VT 48 - Rutgers 22 , WVU 34 - Rutgers 19


WVU - Tim Brown (Achilles) Out, Jahmile Addae (Shoulder) Out, Ben Timmons (ankle) Questionable.

Virginia Tech - Jim Davis (Pectoral) Out, Ryan Hash (Shoulder) Out, Richard Johnson (Knee) Questionable, Keith Willis (Toe) Questionable.

Game Outlook:

Game Info
WVU 2-4, 1-1
VT 6-0, 2-0
Wed: 10/22 7:30 pm
Mountaineer Field
Series: WVU 27-20-1
Sagarin: WVU-65 VT-6
Line:WVU +14
Stats & Trends
WVU offense vs. Hokies defense

This will be the key matchup for the Mountaineers. If WVU is unable to have an effective running attack, it will be a long night for the Gold and Blue faithful.

The Hokie defensive line is lead by Jonathan Lewis with 34 tackles, 2 of them for a loss. Lewis is joined by a dominating trio of defenders in Cols Colas, Kevin Lewis and Nathaniel Adibi. They have combined for only 46 tackles, but 10 have been behind the line of scrimmage.

The Hokie linebackers include three of the top defenders in the Big East. Vegas Robinson will play at the next level while Brandon Manning and Mikal Baaqee have been very solid. Robinson has terrorized opposing offenses with his speed and tenacity, which has culminated in 37 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception and 7 quarterback hurries. Manning and Baaqee have complimented Robinson very well by totaling 77 tackles.

Virginia Tech's backfield has also dominated opposing signal callers. The Hokie rover, Michael Crawford, has had a spectacular season, recording a team leading 56 tackles, 1 sack and 3 pass deflections. WVU quarterback Rasheed Marshall will need to know where Crawford is located all times as he attempts to spark the Mountaineer offense. Jim Willaims, DeAngelo Hall and Garnell Wilds round out the Hokie secondary.

By the numbers:
WVU ranks 83rd in total offense (344.17 yds/game), 19th in rushing offense (197.5 yds/game) and 108th in passing offense (146.67 yds/game).

Virginia Tech ranks 11th in total defense (279.33 yds/game), 15th in rushing defense (88.83 yds/game) and 39th in passing efficiency defense (113.86 rating).

Advantage: VT

WVU defense vs. Hokies offense

On defense the Mountaineers will need to concentrate on stopping All-American candidate Kevin Jones while limiting quarterback Bryan Randall's big plays.

Randall's style of play can be compared to WVU's Rasheed Marshall in that both have the ability to run, but at this point in their careers Randall has the edge passing the ball. Randall has completed 65% of his passes (72-111) for 896 yards, 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Leading the Hokies on the ground has been Heisman Trophy darkhorse Kevin Jones. Jones has averaged 5.9 yards per carry, totaling 682 yards and 9 touchdowns. Backing up Jones has been Cedric Humes. Humes has showed the Hokie faithful that he is more than capable of toting the ball for the Gobblers. Humes has averaged 6.5 yards per attempt while reaching paydirt 5 times.

Catching Bryan Randall passes for the Hokies has been a plethora of receivers. Randall has completed passes to 15 different Virginia Tech wideouts. Eight of those fifteen have caught touchdown passes. Without doubt the leading Hokie pass catcher has been Ernest Wilford. Wilford has averaged 13.2 yards on 24 receptions and scored one touchdown.

By the numbers:
WVU ranks 76th in total defense (384.5 yds/game), 71st in rushing defense (158.67 yds/game) and 41st in passing efficiency defense (114.40).

Virginia Tech ranks 20th in total offense (439.17 yds/game), 4th in rushing offense (249.33 yds/game) and 80th in passing (189.83 yds/game).

Advantage: VT

WVU special teams vs. Hokies special teams

Year in and year out the Hokies field one of the best special teams unit in the country, and this year is no different. West Virginia will need a big play from their special teams to have a shot at pulling out a victory.

Handling the kicking duties for the Hokies will be Carter Warley. Warley has connected on 8-10 field goals and 32-35 extra points. Vinnie Burns, the Hokie punter, has averaged 42.3 yards on 20 punts with 7 of those placed inside the 20 yard line.

Returning kickoffs and punts will be Cedric Humes and DeAngelo Hall, respectively. Humes has averaged 19.8 yards with his long being 33 yards. Hall could be the most dangerous punt returner in the county. He has averaged 16.6 yards per return, returning two for touchdowns.

By the numbers:
WVU ranks 68th in net punting (35.59 yds/punt), 29th in kick returns (24.07 yds/return) and 104th in punt returns (5.83 yds/return).

Virginia Tech ranks 24th in net punting (38.55 yds/punt), 21st in kick returns (24.64 yds/return) and 3rd in punt returns (17.24 yds/return)

Advantage: VT

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Picks to Click:

On Offense: Chris Henry

On Defense: Grant Wiley

Useless Facts:

* The last time that Virginia Tech was shut out was by the Cincinnati Bearcats in 1995 (16-0).

* Virginia Tech is 27-12-1 the week after their offense scored 50 or more points.

* The Hokies are 135-135-14 against the original ACC teams.

* Virginia Tech's last losing season was 1992 (2-8-1).

* Virginia Tech's original name was Virginia Agriculture and Mechanical College.

Be sure to check out our Stats & Trends section for lots more matchup information!


Are the Hokies as good as their #3 ranking? Maybe. Are they a Top 10 team? Definitely. Although Virginia Tech's strength of schedule ranks as the 102nd in the country the Hokies have been impressive early on this season. The Mountaineers will need to be on the receiving end of a few Hokie turnovers while keeping the Hokies from making the big play. A rowdy crowd will see a great game on Wednesday night but unfortunately will not go home with a victory.

WVU - 13 Virginia Tech - 22

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