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Syracuse football opponent preview: What to know about Virginia Tech

first_imgSyracuse (2-4, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) plays No. 17 Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0) at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday in the Carrier Dome. SU is coming off a disappointing 28-9 loss at Wake Forest, while VT is coming off a 34-3 beat down over then-No. 17 North Carolina. Both games were played through wind and rain brought on by Hurricane Matthew.Here’s what you need to know about the matchup.All-Time Series: Syracuse leads, 9-8Last time they played: The last time these two teams met was in 2003 in Blacksburg, Virginia. The Hokies crushed the Orange, 51-7. DeAngelo Hall scored three touchdowns for VT, including two on punt returns, and SU was down 21-0 within the first 10 minutes of the game.The Virginia Tech report: The Hokies’ big weapon in their hot start has been the defense. On a per-game basis, the unit ranks third in the country in total yards allowed (237.6), second in passing yards allowed (132.2) and 10th in points allowed (15.6). In addition, VT is also the best team in the country in first downs allowed, letting opponents get just 57 first downs over the course of the season. The unit also ranks 10th in tackles for loss per game with 8.6.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn offense, Virginia Tech is led by dual-threat quarterback Jerod Evans, who’s thrown for 1,039 yards and 15 touchdowns and has run for 258 more with two more touchdowns on the ground. The Hokies are just 69th in yards per game (412), but they capitalize on those chances by averaging 39.4 points, good for 25th best. They also rank 14th in time of possession (34:08).How Syracuse beats VT: Offensive consistency. SU’s big problem has been its lack of scoring ability after the early part of the game. In its past four games, the Orange has just 23 points of offense in the second half. As it is, it’s going to be hard for SU to win this game. The only way that’ll happen is if the SU attack can get going — far from a sure thing against this vaunted pass defense — and stay going.Stat to Know:131 — VT held North Carolina’s offense to 131 yards of total offense last week. The Tar Heels average 425.3 yards a game.Player to Watch: Andrew Motuapuaka, linebacker, No. 54The redshirt junior ranks 19th in the country and second in the ACC with 9.8 tackles per game. Wake Forest found success last week sending their linebackers blitzing. Motuapuaka could be used in a similar role. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 13, 2016 at 10:18 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langerlast_img read more

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