Virginia Tech-Virginia: What to Expect In Charlottesville

Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent INovember 28, 2009

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 17:  Ryan Williams #34 of the Virginia Tech Hokies against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 17, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When Virginia Tech and Virginia face off on Saturday the two teams will be playing for very little, other than pride of course. 

Virginia Tech is trying to solidify a second-tier bowl, such as the Chick-fil-a or Gator Bowl, and Virginia is likely to move in a entirely new direction starting with a new head coach after this game.

Virginia started the season with an embarrassing loss to say the least.  William & Mary came into their house and dominated.  This isn't excusable, but every team in college football is different at this point in the season compared to the beginning.

That being said, Virginia has lost five straight games with their last win coming against the worst team in the ACC, Maryland.

None of these facts should bode well for the Cavaliers when they have to take on the second-best team in the ACC. Yes, Virginia Tech is the second-best team in the ACC.

The Hokies have once again had an interesting season. It has looked a lot different on paper as far as team statistics go.

Virginia Tech's offense has been their strongest asset at times and the defense has struggled.  At the same time, the offense is the reason the Hokies lost to North Carolina and both the offense and defense can be blamed for Tech's other two losses (Alabama, Georgia Tech).

Alabama was a better team than the Hokies and that's why the Crimson Tide were able to come out on top in the fourth quarter.  The other two losses Virginia Tech had came in back-to-back weeks and the Hokies seemed to be in a bit of a slump.

Why?  I don't know. It always seems to happen with the Hokies. The slump lasted three weeks and they were able to sneak by with a win against East Carolina despite an abysmal offensive performance.

Since the Hokies last loss, they've won three in a row. Two of those wins came against two of the worst teams in the ACC.  On Saturday they will finish their streak of weak conference opponents as they take on Virginia.

But this game means a little more than the other two.  These are big time rivals and the rivalry has taken a hit over the past few years because of Tech's dominance.  Al Groh is 1-7 all-time against Virginia Tech and Frank Beamer is 13-9 against Virginia.

It's fair to say that the two schools, at least fans, alumni and students, don't like each other, but the respect factor is their.

The two have completely different styles.  Virginia Tech is typically a hard-nosed, tough football team, whereas Virginia is a bit more soft, but they typically have pretty strong defenses.

Although the Hokies have struggled on defense this year, they still have the 13th best defense in the nation in both total defense and points allowed.  Virginia's defense ranks 47th in total defense and 62nd in points allowed.

However, the Cavaliers rank 118th in total offense and 105th in points scored.  One word can describe these numbers: pathetic.

However, Hokie fans know the feeling all too well.  Virginia Tech's offense was ranked 100th or worse for three straight years, but they've finally been able to break away from that this season.

So, what does all this mean for Saturday's game?  On paper, Virginia Tech should blow out their rival, but it's a rivalry game.  No matter how bad teams have played all season they will sometimes play their best game against their bitter rival.

I think the game will be close for a couple of quarters, but Ryan Williams will be way too much for the Virginia defense to handle.  Tyrod Taylor has also been extremely efficient of late and hasn't thrown a pick in 98 pass attempts. 

As long as the Hokies rush defense can limit the damage, everything should go smoothly for the Hokies.  I would be surprised if Virginia Tech were to lose this game, because the talent on these two teams isn't even close.

Virginia Tech 38, Virginia 13