Previewing the Commonwealth Cup: Underdog Hokies Host the Hoos

25-year bowl streak. 14 in a row against the Cavaliers. It's all on the line for the Hokies. This 2,300-word, 10-play film preview analyzes the 100th edition of the clash for the Commonwealth Cup.

[Mark Umansky]

The powdered wigs in Charlottesville believe this is their year. After well over a decade of futility, Virginia opened as a 4-point favorite primed to travel to Blacksburg and take on the Hokies. The Cavaliers' defense fits the type of scheme that has given Virginia Tech trouble over the Justin Fuente era — a blitzing defense which disguises zone coverages behind its pressures. Bud Foster's traditionally strong defense has dominated Virginia over the last decade. However, the Hokies haven't been able to put up much resistance down the stretch. For the Hokies to have a chance, Foster's young defense has to swarm mobile quarterback Bryce Perkins and force him to make bad throws. The Hokies will have to run the ball way more than anyone in Lane Stadium wants to see, and Ryan Willis will have to correctly read zone coverages and manage the pocket under pressure in passing situations.

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