Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech are the only two ACC Coastal Division teams with an undefeated record in conference play. Virginia Tech enters with a 3-2 record in five games but it opened the season with a win over then-No. 17 North Carolina for its only ACC win of the year. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh throttled Georgia Tech on the road two weeks ago before getting the week off. The Panthers come in with a 4-1 record, including a 1-0 record in ACC play.
Fresh off of a bye week, can the Panthers take down Virginia Tech on the road at Lane Stadium on Saturday?
Alright when did Kenny Pickett turn into Aaron Rodgers? pic.twitter.com/D53VMs5Zim— Cory (@realcorykinnan) October 13, 2021
Pickett has been on fire to start the year, completing 72 percent of his passes for 1,731 yards with a career-high 19 touchdowns and only one interception. The 6-foot-3 senior has also added a couple of touchdowns with his legs. Behind Pickett’s fast start, Pittsburgh’s offense has averaged a healthy 52.4 points per game, the highest mark in the country.
Pittsburgh’s defense comes into this matchup ranked in the top-50 in several defensive categories. The Panthers’ defense has given up only 22.6 points per game, which ranks 49th in the country, and only 338.4 total yards per game, good for 42nd in the FBS. The Panthers have also been stingy against the run, allowing only 102.2 rushing yards per contest, 20th in the nation.
Hokies' defense struggles late in loss versus Notre DameVirginia Tech suffered a tough 32-29 loss at home against No. 14-ranked Notre Dame last weekend to fall to 3-2 on the year. Braxton Burmeister completed 15-of-30 passes for 184 yards with one interception while adding a team-high 49 yards and a score on the ground in the loss. After leading by eight points with under 4 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Hokies normally-stingy defense surrendered a touchdown, two-point conversion, and a game-winning field goal in the final moments of a disappointing loss.
Va Tech QB Braxton Burmeister getting some pills from the coach on the sidelines pic.twitter.com/MmEBm8XTZn— gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 10, 2021
For the season, Burmeister has thrown for 930 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 58.8 percent of his passes. The 6-foot-1 junior hasn’t been flashy under center but he’s taken care of the football. With Burmeister leading the Hokies offense, Virginia Tech has averaged 24.6 points per game so far this year.
On defense, the Hokies have surrendered 18.6 points and 341.4 yards of total offense per contest. Both of those marks rank in the top-50 in the country. Virginia Tech has also been tough against the pass, allowing only 196.4 passing yards per game, which ranks 35th in the country.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
As tough as Virginia Tech has been this season, Pittsburgh should still have the edge on the road in this game. The Hokies have been tough to pass on in 2021 but they will have their hands full in this one. Pickett has been one of the best quarterbacks in the country during the early part of the season and Pittsburgh comes in leading the nation in scoring at 52.4 points per game. Virginia Tech will also have its hands full on the outside. Five games into his sophomore season, Panthers receiver Jordan Addison already has nine touchdowns. Take Pittsburgh to cover the spread on the road in this ACC Coastal Division showdown on Saturday.
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams are projected for 57.5 points but that number seems to be set a little too low in this spot. While Virginia Tech has been tough to score on all season long, the Hokies showed a newfound ability to move the ball after their bye week against Notre Dame. Virginia Tech should be able to have similar success on Saturday against a Pittsburgh defense that has struggled at times in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the Panthers’ offense leads the nation in scoring. Take this game to go over the projected total at Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.