After two weeks of postponements because of COIVID-19 positive tests there is a prime ACC matchup scheduled to kickoff on Saturday. North Carolina State will be coming off a 45-42 home win over Wake Forest last weekend, while Virginia Tech has had two postponements and three different testing sessions this week alone.
This opened up with Virginia Tech as a 10-point favorite over N.C. State. The Hokies and Wolfpack have only played each other five times in the last 16 years. Virginia Tech has won four of those contests and N.C. State's only victory came in Blacksburg in 2004.
Coach Justin Fuente told the ACC media on Monday that because of COVID-19 protocols, they will not have a full roster but are expected to be able to play on Saturday night.
The line has ticked down substantially in this contest as the week has worn on, perhaps partially due to concerns over who may or may not suit up for the Hokies. Originally, the line opened as Virginia Tech -10 but it is down to the Hokies -6.5 points. Virginia Tech is still garnering 57 percent of the ATS bets on the contest.
By a similar token, the over/under for this game has dropped during the course of the week as well. After initially coming out at 59.5 points, the total has trended downward and now can be found at 56.5 to 57 points, depending on the sportsbook. 69 percent of the bets on the total are backing the over for this contest.
Game-time Weather: All told, you couldn't ask for much better of a night for football in late September. Game-time temperature is expected to be in the mid-60s with clear skies. There is no hint of precipitation in the forecast at this point and the winds are expected to be light, coming in at less than five miles an hour from the south-southwest.
N.C. State Opens Season With a WinCoach Dave Doeren is in his eighth season as the Wolfpacks head coach and North Carolina State finished the 2019 campaign with a 4-8 mark and have lost their last five games against ACC opponents. They have the luxury of strolling into Blackburg Saturday night for a primetime matchup after already earning a victory over Wake Forest last weekend.
The Wolfpack edged out the Daemon Deacons 45-42 under new offensive coordinator Tim Beck. The offense had four touchdown drives of at least 75 yards to rack up 463 yards of total offense. The Wolfpack were able to chew off 270 yards rushing on 5.5 yards per carry.
"We've been working on this since the spring," Person told ESPN.com. "Credit to everyone that paid attention to the details. Like Coach was saying to us before the game: we need to take pride into small details."
Coach Doeren called an audible before the Wake Forest game naming left-hander junior, Bailey Hockman as the starting quarterback instead of Devin Leary. Hockman threw an interception and finished the game 16-23 for 191 yards and a touchdown.
OUT: LB Louis Acceus
Questionable: S Tanner Ingle
Tech Poised for Solid 2020 CampaignThe Virginia Tech Hokies are back on the field for a game for the first time since losing two games in a row to end the 2019 campaign. The Hokies lost to in-state rival Virginia and lost the Belk Bowl to Kentucky.
Hendon Hooker racked up a modest 1,555 yards with 15 total touchdowns in his eight starts last year as the Hokies signal-caller. The offensive line will anchor this offense as it returns all five starters from last year.
Tech's leading receiver Tre Turner is back after making 34 grabs for 553 yards on four scores. Coach Fuente will be looking for Turner to showcase the production he displayed against Virginia last season when he had 7 catches for 134 yards and a score in that game.
Virginia Tech NEEDED these big TDS from Tre Turner against Furman. pic.twitter.com/0TytFpBkYL— Stadium (@Stadium) September 14, 2019
Former Virginia Tech alum Justin Hamilton enters his first season as the defensive coordinator in Blacksburg. The defensive staff also features some rich NFL experience as Hamilton is a former player, but also Daryll Tapp played 12 years in the NFL and is co-coaching the defensive line with longtime NFL Coach Bill Teerlink. The defense returns six players who started all 13 games last season.
OUT: LS Enzo Anthony, K Zach Hoban, DB Devin Hunter, WR Jaden Payoute
Questionable: RB Terius Wheatley
- Hokies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
- Hokies are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall
- Wolfpack are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Wolfpack are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games as an underdog.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 protocols at Virginia Tech and how much of the roster will be available on Saturday night this makes the prediction a little more difficult. N.C. State is getting a lot of the action from the public on this game based on the 45-42 win last week, and the Tech's roster uncertainty. As much as I think the game last week for N.C. State is an advantage over Virginia Tech, it doesn't move the needle for me as much. Virginia Tech returns a solid offensive unit anchored by an experienced quarterback on the brink of a breakout season. The Wolfpack will make it interesting for the first quarter or so, but Virginia Tech has the advantage in all three aspects of the game. Take the Hokies to cover at home.
Prediction: Virginia Tech -7
Full-Game Total Pick
I'm absolutely loving the under in this contest. Blacksburg is one of the most difficult places to win a college football game. The Virginia Tech defense is going to play much stronger than the Wake Forest defense did last Saturday with or without a home crowd. The N.C. State defense allowed 236 yards through the air and a 100 yard rusher to an average Wake Forest offense. Points will be hard to come by for N.C. State and Virginia Tech will control the ball for most of this game with their balanced offensive attack. Take the under Saturday night in Blacksburg
Prediction: Under 58