Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Special teams has been an issue during every game this season for the Hokies. The last two weeks, they've missed three field goals in each game. Two weeks ago, it was redshirt senior kicker Cody Journell. With Journell suspended for violating a team rule, junior Ethan Keyserling got the opportunity and he also missed three field goals. The Hokies could have put both games away much sooner if they got consistency from the placekicker.
A bright spot in the win over Marshall was Kyle Fuller's blocked punt that led to a Derek DiNardo touchdown for the Hokies' first touchdown. Fuller almost blocked another one later in the game.
Derrick Hopkins blocked a Marshall field-goal attempt in the first overtime. It is the first time since 2006 that the Hokies have blocked both a punt and kick in the same game.
Dominate the Line of Scrimmage
Virginia Tech has a dominant defensive line. The team ranks No. 5 in total defense, and they have 16 sacks on the season. They are equally as good against the run as they are against the pass. Georgia Tech is always a tough test for Foster's defense, though.
In their first few meetings with the Jackets under Johnson, Georgia Tech ran at will against the Hokies. It opened up opportunities for plays down the field as the Hokies crowded the line of scrimmage looking to get extra defenders in the box to stop the run.
VT will rotate defensive linemen frequently. It will be important because the linemen get tired defending the run on very play. If the Hokies win the battle up front, they will limit Georgia Tech's ability to run their offense effectively.
Establish Running Game Early
The Hokies are not an offensive juggernaut. That has been established due to inconsistent play from each position on the offense. However, with an outstanding defense, they need to control the clock and keep Georgia Tech off balance.
Sophomore J.C. Coleman should be back this week. Between him and Trey Edmunds, the running game should be in good hands. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler needs to run the ball at will early in the game so he can afford to take some shots in the second half. If the Hokies can establish the run, they can win this game.