Virginia Tech Hokies and Virginia Cavaliers Clash for ACC Coastal Crown in Charlottesville

#5 Virginia Tech Hokies at Virginia Cavaliers
Scott Stadium – Charlottesville, Virginia
Saturday, November 26, 2011, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC or ESPN2
Opening Line: Virginia Tech -6
Current Line: Virginia Tech -5 1/2
Opening Total: 44 1/2
Current Total: 45 1/2
Opening Money Line: Virginia Tech -220 / Virginia +180
Current Money Line: Virginia Tech -200 / Virginia +170

Virginia hosts instate rival Virginia Tech Saturday in a battle to decide the ACC Coastal Division. The Hokies are 5 1/2 point favorites.

Virginia Tech and Virginia are playing for the 93rd time Saturday, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. The Hokies are 10-1 and ranked #5 in the BCS standings as they take on their arch-rival, the 8-3 Virginia Cavaliers. The winner will clinch the ACC Coastal Division title and take on Clemson in next week’s ACC Championship game. Virginia Tech also has an outside shot of playing for the national title, if Alabama and Oklahoma St lose their remaining games and the Hokies win out. The Hokies are coached Frank Beamer, and have won 6 straight games. Virginia is coached by Mike London, most likely the ACC coach of the year and a contender for national coach of the year. Virginia Tech leads the series 50-37-5, and has won seven straight including 37-7 last year in Blacksburg.

Virginia Tech was a 9.5 point favorite last week at home against North Carolina on the college football betting line. The Hokies were up 10-7 at halftime and 24-7 at the end of the third quarter. North Carolina scored 2 late fourth quarter touchdowns to get the back door cover, but Virginia Tech won 24-21. Each team had a turnover. The Hokies had 340 total yards including 195 passing yards from quarterback Logan Thomas, who threw 2 touchdown passes and no interceptions. Thomas also rushed for 32 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. Running back David Wilson has 21 carries for 82 yards. Receiver Jarrett Boykin had 10 catches for 106 yards. Chris Drager and D.J. Coles each had touchdown catches. The Tar Heels had 358 total yards including 224 passing yards.

The Hokies are averaging 424.1 yards a game including 201.3 rushing yards and 222.8 passing yards a game. Virginia Tech is scoring 29.4 points a game. The Hokies have allowed 12 sacks and have 13 turnovers. Tech is 81/174 on third and fourth down conversions, and 43/57 scoring in the red zone with 31 touchdowns. Virginia Tech is holding opponents to 307.5 total yards, including just 104.9 rushing yards a game. The Hokies are only allowing 16.9 points a game. All 3 are ranked in the top 14 nationally. The pass defense allows 202.6 passing yards a game. Virginia Tech has forced 18 turnovers and 33 sacks this year. Hokie opponents are 55/171 on third and fourth down conversions, and 22/31 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns. Virginia Tech has one special teams touchdown this year on a punt return.

Thomas is 180/298 passing (60.4% completions)  with 2,338 yards, 16 touchdowns and 7 interceptions along with 118 carries, 387 yards, and 9 touchdowns.  Wilson has 231 carries, 1,442 yards, and 7 touchdowns, along with 17 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. He has 1,925 all-purpose yards. Josh Oglesby has 78 carries, 308 yards, and 6 scores, and 5 catches for 29 yards. Receiver Danny Coale has 48 catches, 761 yards, and 3 touchdowns.  Boykin has 50 catches for 629 yards, and 4 touchdowns.D.J. Coles has 26 catches, 331 yards, and 2 scores. Marcus Davis has 20 catches, 330 yards, and 4 touchdowns.  Receiver Dyrell Roberts is out for the season with an arm injury. Kicker Cody Journell is 37/38 on extra points and 12/15 on field goals with a long of 41 yards. The Hokies have 5 defensive players listed as questionable or out.

Last week, Virginia was a 17 point underdog at Florida St. The Cavaliers scored first to take a 7-0 lead. Florida St scored 13 unanswered points to take the lead going into the fourth quarter. Virginia scored with 1:12 remaining on a 10 yard run from Kevin Parks to take a 14-13 lead. Florida St got the ball back and went to midfield. It was fourth and one and Virginia stuffed the play. However, the Cavaliers were called for a controversial face mask penalty. Florida St used their last time out with 20 seconds to play. On third and 5 at the Cavalier 30, FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel threw a pass to Bert Reed. Reed was unable to get out of bounds and the clock ran out. Virginia celebrated the upset and begin to head to the locker room. However, replays showed the pass was incomplete. The replay took at least 5 minutes, and the referees said since the pass was incomplete there was still 8 seconds left. Virginia was called for offsides moving the potential game winning field goal 5 yards closer. However, Florida St kicker Dustin Hopkins missed the 43 yard kick setting up the winner take all match-up between Virginia and Virginia Tech. Virginia had 7 penalties and no turnovers. Florida St had 11 penalties and a turnover. Virginia had 316 total yards including 238 passing yards from quarterback Michael Rocco who threw a touchdown pass. Running back Perry Jones rushed for only 14 yards on 8 carries, but had 9 catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. Parks had 9 carries for 28 yards and the game winning touchdown. Receiver Kris Burd had 6 catches for 80 yards. Florida St had 386 total yards including 186 rushing yards.

Virginia is averaging 410.8 total yards a game and 25.3 points. Virginia is averaging 177.5 rushing yards and 233.4 passing yards a game. They have 22 turnovers and have allowed 11 sacks. The Cavaliers are 78/188 on third and fourth down conversions, and 31/38 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns. Defensively, the Cavaliers are giving up 337.1 yards a game and 20.8 points. Virginia is holding opponents to 123.4 rushing yards and 213.7 passing yards a game. Virginia has forced 21 turnovers and 18 sacks. Cavalier opponents are 63/186 on third and fourth down conversions, and 27/39 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns. Virginia has one defensive touchdown this season.

Rocco is 180/298 passing (60.4% completions) with 2,148 yards, 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Rocco has 32 carries for 47 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Back-up David Watford is 30/71 passing for 346 yards with 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 20 carries for 41 yards. Jones has 170 carries for 870 yards and 5 touchdowns, and is also the teams’ third leading receiver with 41 catches for 416 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also has a touchdown pass this season. Parks has 134 carries, 644 yards, and 8 touchdowns, and 9 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. Clifton Richardson has 63 carries for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus a receiving touchdown. Burd has 53 catches, 710 yards, and 1 touchdown. Tim Smith has 31 catches for 523 yards and 3 touchdowns. Matt Snyder has 19 catches for 220 yards. Snyder is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Kicker Robert Randolph is 29/29 on extra points and 15/21 on field goals with a long of 48 yards. Seven Virginia defensive players are listed as questionable or out including 4 defensive players and 3 receivers.

Virginia is 6-5 against the spread this season and the total is 2-9 in those games. Virginia Tech is 3-8 ATS and the total is 4-6-1 this year. The Hokies have covered 4 of the last 5 against the Cavaliers. Virginia Tech 7-2 ATS as a road favorite of between 3.5 and 10 points, 21-6 in November, 21-7 in road games against teams with winning home records, 20-8 as a road favorite, 9-4 in road games, 42-20 in conference games, 41-20 against teams with winning records, 2-5 after failing to cover, 2-8 as a favorite, after a straight up win, and overall, and 1-7 on grass. The Cavaliers are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 conference games, overall, and on grass, 4-1 after a straight up win, 4-1 in November, 12-5 as a home dog of between 3.5 and 10 points, 7-3 after scoring 20 points or less, 3-7 as a home underdog, and 1-4 after allowing less than 20 points in the previous game.

If you have never seen Virginia play, you might wonder why Virginia Tech is favored by so few points. Well, Virginia is a good team that plays excellent defense and doesn’t turn the ball over very often. Virginia has won four straight games, and won’t roll over against Virginia Tech. The only three losses for the Cavaliers are against North Carolina, Southern Miss, and North Carolina St. i give The Cavs a fighting chance to pull off the upset against the Hokies.

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