Syracuse will try to halt a two-game losing streak when it hosts Virginia Tech at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Here is a quick look at the game:
AHEAD OF SCHEDULE: Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente has the Hokies ahead of schedule. A convincing 34-3 demolition of then-No. 17 North Carolina improved Va. Tech to 4-1, with its only loss coming to No. 17 Tennessee. Since that week two loss, the Hokies have outscored their opponents 137-20. The win over UNC was the first against a ranked opponent in two seasons, and if the trend continues, Virginia Tech is in line to play in a major bowl game for the first time since 2011. How has that happened? A blend of a new offense that Fuente has installed along with the same iron-clad defense from long-time coordinator Bud Foster. “It’s continued to be a work in progress,” Fuente said during the weekly ACC teleconference. I like our mentality as much as anything in terms of the kids getting a little bit of confidence in themselves, a little bit of toughness and grit.”
SCOUTING THE HOKIES: Fuente has attributed some of the success of the offense to junior quarterback Jerod Evans, and rightfully so. Though five games, Evans has thrown for 1,045 yards and 15 touchdowns, while being intercepted just once. He has also added 258 yards and two scores on the ground. “Jerod has done a great job of taking care of the football,” Fuente said. “I’ve been pleased with that.” The key matchup will be Syracuse’s passing offense (ranked second in the ACC at 336.3 yards per game) against Virginia Tech’s defense, which has allowed just 20 points in the last three games, and 132.2 yards through the air per game (second in the NCAA).
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse and Virginia Tech are split 6-6 in their all time series, with the Hokies winning 51-7 the last time the two teams faced in 2003. The Orange defeated the Hokies the last time they met in the Carrier Dome, 50-42, in triple overtime.
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Oct. 15 at 3:45 p.m. at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. TV: ESPNU.