After finishing 7-6 in three of the last four seasons, No. 25 Virginia Tech is 5-2 and has a legitimate chance of winning the Coastal division.
That would be quite the accomplishment for first-year Hokies head coach Justin Fuente.
“I think there was talent in this program the whole time, but something was just sort of missing, sort of that offensive piece that they haven’t had here since Tyrod Taylor,” Roanoke Times Virginia Tech writer Andy Bitter said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “He was the difference-making quarterback. Fuente comes in. They bring in Jerod Evans at quarterback, and he’s been as advertised in every category there is. I think you get that difference-making quarterback like that added to what was a pretty solid offensive cast and a Bud Foster defense – that’s what you’re getting this year.”
Evans has completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 1,611 yards, 19 touchdowns and two interceptions this season. He’s also rushed for 417 yards and three scores.
He will lead the Hokies against Pitt (5-2) on Thursday night.
“This is a huge game,” Bitter said. “This is the game that I think a lot of people will look at Virginia Tech and find out if it’s for real. Heinz Field is a place that, quite honestly, they’ve never played well in their history. I think this is the toughest one. I have this as a toss-up game. I know the Hokies are favored, but Pittsburgh is just a place that has sort of had their number. I think they’ve won six of seven against the Hokies. Heinz Field, especially, has been a tough place. I actually picked Pitt to win this game 31-30, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it went the other way with the Hokies.”
Virginia Tech has a manageable schedule to end the season: at Duke (3-4), against Georgia Tech (4-3), at Notre Dame (2-5) and against Virginia (2-5).
“If they can win this, I don’t think Duke is that good this year,” Bitter said. “They have a young quarterback that I think Bud Foster can do a number on. Georgia Tech has had its struggles trying to get back to what it was a couple years ago, Notre Dame obviously isn’t quite what it was and then Virignia at the very end, I think that’s a team that might be 2-9 or something coming into the game. If the Hokies can get by this one, I think the schedule sets up very well that they may be able to run the table after that and actually win this division.”