Tech averaged a whopping 206 rushing yards per game but surrendered 30 sacks, even with a mobile quarterback. UT averaged 170 rushing yards but gave up just 12 sacks.
The Hokies' Tyrod Taylor threw for 2,102 yards and 13 TDs, with just 4 interceptions and a 149.3 passer-efficiency rating. UT's Jonathan Crompton threw for 2,565 yards and 26 TDs, with 12 interceptions and a 135.8 efficiency rating. Too close to call.
Tech's Ryan Williams averaged 5.7 yards per carry en route to 1,538 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. The Vols' Montario Hardesty averaged 4.9 per carry en route to 1,366 yards and 12 TDs. Another push.
UT's Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore finished the season well but Tech has two big-play specialists in Jarrett Boykin (19.9 yards per catch) and Danny Coale (19.7 ypc).
UT tackle Dan Williams is a stud. Tech ends Jason Worilds and Nekos Brown recorded 4.5 sacks each, with Worilds also contributing a mind-boggling 32 hurries.
Rico McCoy (112 tackles) had a superior year for UT but the Vols are down to their No. 3 MLB. Thanks to Cody Grim (99 stops, 7 fumbles forced) and Barquell Rivers (94 stops), the Hokies rate a slight edge.
VPI cornerback Rashad Carmichael (55 stops, 5 interceptions, 11 passes defensed) heads up a secondary that limited opponents to a 46.6 completion percentage. UT counters with Eric Berry, Janzen Jackson and Dennis Rogan.
VPI averaged 43.9 yards per punt and connected on 17 of 20 field-goal tries. Tennessee averaged 41.4 per punt and connected on just 13 of 21 field-goal tries.
Tech is on a roll, having drubbed Maryland 36-9, North Carolina State 38-10 and Virginia 42-13 in its last three outings. The Vols are hungrier, knowing that a win could edge them into the top 25.
The heart says Tennessee but the head says Virginia Tech.
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