Virginia Tech travels to Lincoln, Nebraska this weekend to take on the undefeated Cornhuskers. The Hokies are 3-1 so far this season, and Nebraska hasn't left home. Nebraska hasn't actually played a school with a legitimate football program either.
This is a big game for both programs. Nebraska is trying to return to their old form from the '90s, and the Hokies are trying to win again with an extremely young team and a struggling offense.
Tyrod Taylor will lead the Hokies into Lincoln with zero passing touchdowns on the year and two interceptions. Kenny Lewis will once again get the start over Darren Evans, but I expect Evans to touch the ball more than Lewis like he has in every other game this year.
I feel strongly that Evans should be the starter. He's the leading rusher on the team, and the offense struggles when he's not on the field. Last week versus North Carolina, Evans saw limited action in the first half. Taylor threw two interceptions in the first half, and only three points were scored.
In the second half, Evans got his touches and scored a touchdown. His production opened up the entire offense for the Hokies and allowed Taylor to have more success in the passing game.
Defensively, the Hokies must contain Joe Ganz. Ganz is a very talented quarterback who can throw, run, and catch the ball. I'm not sure we will see Ganz lining up at receiver this weekend, but the defense has to make sure he doesn't leave the pocket.
The defensive line will have to do a good job of pressuring Ganz and forcing him to move out of the pocket. When he does move out of the pocket, the defense has to make sure he doesn't scramble. The Hokie defense has struggled with this in the past, but playing against Taylor all week in practice should help them out.
Victor "Macho" Harris and Stephan Virgil will have to take away Nate Swift and Todd Peterson. If they take these two receivers away, Ganz will look a bit pedestrian on offense. Ganz hasn't been great since his first game against Western Michigan, where he had four touchdowns and two picks, but he has a pretty decent completion percentage.
Marlon Lucky hasn't had a great season so far, but he did have his best game of the season two weeks ago, when he rushed for over 100 yards on 15 carries. Tech has given up a lot of rushing yards so far this season, but most of them came against Georgia Tech in that triple-option offense.
I don't expect Lucky to have a big day, but the Hokies can't let him hurt them with a big play like Greg Little did last week for UNC.
If the special teams and defense continues playing like they have, and the offense improves on the second half from last week Virginia Tech should come out on top in a close game.
Hokies 27, Cornhuskers 24