Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Radio, Game Time and More
In a matchup of two programs at completely opposite ends of the spectrum, the 13th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies will travel to Pennsylvania to take on the winless Pittsburgh Panthers in an ACC-Big East showdown.
The Hokies started the season off with a close call against Georgia Tech before winning in overtime. Last week was a nice, relaxing change of pace against Austin Peay. You would figure that Pitt's struggles early in the season would provide all the confidence Frank Beamer's squad will need.
The Panthers have been a disaster so far in 2012. They paid Youngstown State, an FCS school, a hefty sum of money to come to their building only to get blown out by two touchdowns in that game. If that wasn't bad enough, they were humiliated by Cincinnati five days later.
What Is More Likely To Happen?
Where: Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA
When: Saturday, September 15 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: WBRW-FM 105.3 (Virginia Tech); 93.7 FM The Fan (Pittsburgh)
Betting Line: Virginia Tech (-9), according to Vegas Insider
Virginia Tech Injury Report (via USA Today)
Questionable: DT Antoine Hopkins (Ankle); LB Bruce Taylor (Ankle); P Ethan Keyserling (Hip); LB Tariq Edwards (Leg)
Out: SE D.J. Coles (Knee); T Nick Acree (Knee)
Pittsburgh Injury Report (via USA Today)
Questionable: TE Hubie Graham (Shoulder); DB Anthony Gonzalez (Suspension)
Out: OL Juantez Hollins (Suspension)
Virginia Tech is slowly but surely making its trek up the rankings thanks to some early-season success, as well as a lot of upsets from teams previously ahead of the Hokies.
A loss to the lowly Pitt Panthers would drop them out of the rankings. Frank Beamer's team has grand designs on an ACC title and BCS berth. While neither of those goals will go up in smoke with a loss, it will be hard to take them serious as contenders.
What They're Saying
On the surface, this game looks like another victory for Virginia Tech. Pitt head coach Paul Chryst sees it as something much bigger than that for his club, especially since the Panthers are moving to the ACC next year.
"You look at it as a measuring stick in a lot of ways," Chryst said. "Obviously, we’re going into the ACC next year, and they’re in our division and I think one of the teams that set the standard in the ACC. And yet, if you just look at it just for this year, it’s a measuring stick. This is one of the best teams we'll play this season."
After two embarrassing performances, the Panthers just need to find something to hang their hat on. A win would be icing on the cake.
Virginia Tech Player to Watch: QB Logan Thomas
As hard as it is to believe, Virginia Tech does not have a player with more than 100 yards rushing two games into the season. This is not exactly a program that you associate with a dynamic passing attack, though Thomas has done a superb job when called upon.
Perhaps this is a new-and-improved Hokies offense. Thomas is only completing 59 percent of his passes, so there is work to do, but with four touchdowns and no interceptions, he is not making big mistakes that hurt the team.
Keep an eye on how he does in this game. If he continues to make progress, the Hokies could be a very interesting offense later this season.
Pittsburgh Player to Watch: RB Ray Graham
The Panthers are not going to be able to match anyone point-for-point, so it is imperative they find a way to control the clock and keep their offense on the field a lot in this game.
Graham is still looking for his first touchdown of the young season, though he was able to break through with his first 100-yard game against Cincinnati last week.
The Hokies always feature an aggressive, attacking defense, so the Panthers have to find some holes to exploit early to keep them back on their toes. A good running game can change everything about this game, and Graham is the key for the Panthers.
Key Matchup: Graham vs. Virginia Tech's DL
The Hokies have built a strong foundation because their defense and special teams are always among the best in the country.
Pitt has had all sorts of problems creating offense this season. Graham is the best player the Panthers have on offense. He found some success, as mentioned before, in the previous game. He has to take control of the game early for the Panthers to stay in this game.
As much fun as it would be to predict the upset, you can't, in good conscious, expect Pitt to be victorious in this ACC-Big East clash. If the Panthers just show some progress on both sides of the ball, that will be victory enough.
Virginia Tech 31, Pitt 14
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