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September 8, 2012

Staff Picks: VT vs GT

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If you pay attention to the odds and on paper, the Hokies should absolutely no trouble with Austin Peay. But Virginia Tech knows all too well what can happen when you underestimate your opponent when it was upset two years ago by James Madison.

Will the Hokies win in a runaway? Our staff takes its picks for today's 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

Jason Stamm, publisher

When looking at Austin Peay's stats from its 49-10 defeat by Western Kentucky last week, there's plenty to look at.

WKU had 28 first downs to the Governor's 8. The Toppers outgained Austin Peay 596-164. But included in that is one telling stat: fifth-year senior Jake Ryan completed just 2-10 passes for 11 yards. For a guy who I'm told is the key to the offense, a fifth-year senior, that won't get it done against anybody on any level.

If Virginia Tech gets out to a sluggish start it'll be because the Hokies haven't caught up on sleep from Monday night's late finish.

Much has been made of Florida State being a 70-point favorite over Savannah State this weekend. The Hokies probably won't defeat the Governors by that many only because the offense doesn't have the octane and there's no reason the first-team should see a ton of the field today.

It's hard to know how the backups will do, which is the only thing that makes predicting a score in a game like this tricky. Simply put though, Virginia Tech should have zero trouble. I think the backup defense will keep VT from a shutout, giving up a few late points.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 56-6


Doug Bowman, senior writer

I expect this one to be over fairly quickly for the Hokies, barring a sleepy slow start Saturday afternoon. The first-team offense and defense should be able to do just about anything for the Hokies, particularly QB Logan Thomas and the defensive line. However, that doesn't mean this is a game to turn off.

There's a lot of talent down on the depth chart that is going to be played a lot this game. I'm particularly intrigued to see how guys like Mark Leal, Josh Stanford, Mark Shuman, Kris Harley, Deon Clarke[/db], and Donovan Riley play.

These guys represent the next wave of talent for the Hokies and this should be the first extended playing time for each of them.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 52 - Austin Peay 7


Roger Gonzalez, staff writer

There is no time to relax for Virginia Tech. After the huge opening win against Georgia Tech on Monday night, just days later, it's time to take the field again. Don't expect to see Thomas much in the third quarter, if at all.

This one should get out of hand early. Expect big days from Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman, who will likely get a solid amount of touches each. This should be a simple victory where the defense should have no issue holding the Governors to under 200 yards.

Keep an eye on Demitri Knowles, who will certainly have a few chances to go long and make the big play. In this one, Hokies roll big.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 55, Austin Peay 6.


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