College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Liberty vs. Virginia Tech 11/7/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Liberty visits Virginia Tech on 11/7/2020 at 12:00PM.

Liberty and Virginia Tech face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Liberty has a record of 6-0 this season. Virginia Tech is 4-2 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Liberty Team Defense Preview

Liberty has had 66 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 4.68 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Liberty is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Liberty opponents pass the football 53.40% of the time.Liberty tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Liberty is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.12 yards per carry. This defense lets offensive lines have too much control over them on the ground, too much push from the opposing offensive line. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Liberty has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Liberty Team Offense Preview

Liberty has had 63 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 6.1 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Liberty. Liberty has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Passing plays make up 41.15% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Liberty is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Liberty can take credit for 3.22 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Liberty coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! The offensive line and running back corps deserve a lot of credit for gashing defenses with their running game like the way they have this season. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Liberty this season. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Liberty has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Virginia Tech Team Defense Preview

Virginia Tech has had 73 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.4 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Virginia Tech has shown an inability to stop defenses from converting on 4th Downs and they let opponents get into manageable 3rd Down situations where an RPO may be especially deadly. Passing plays make up 50.76% of their opponents’ play calls.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

Virginia Tech is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.23 yards per carry. This defense lets offensive lines have too much control over them on the ground, too much push from the opposing offensive line. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Virginia Tech has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Virginia Tech Team Offense Preview

Virginia Tech has had 74 total drives this season and they generate 5.3 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Any defense is in for a challenge with Virginia Tech, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Virginia Tech passes the football 34.69% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

On first downs, getting ahead of the chains is crucial and running the ball well on first down can get a team there, Virginia Tech has done a good job avoiding the negative yardage rushing plays. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Virginia Tech can take credit for 3.5 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. The offensive line and running back corps deserve a lot of credit for gashing defenses with their running game like the way they have this season. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Virginia Tech this season. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Virginia Tech has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Liberty Roster

The Players to Watch for Liberty

Malik Willis QB 6-1 195

This season, Malik Willis has put up 1122 yards and 9 touchdowns. He has thrown 1 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 160.3thus far this season. Malik Willis has thrown 1 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Malik Willis has 495.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 100.0 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 71.0 times this season, which puts him in the 97.45 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 6.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Joshua Mack RB 6-0 195

This season, Joshua Mack has 376 rushing yards on 68 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Joshua Mack picked up -4 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 3 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

D.J. Stubbs WR 5-9 185

This season, D.J. Stubbs picked up 375 yards. He caught the ball 27 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 3 receiving touchdowns this season.

Ralfs Rusins DT 6-6 325

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Liberty, Ralfs Rusins has 21 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 1 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 65.03 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 82.24 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Durrell Johnson DE 6-4 225

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Liberty, Durrell Johnson has 24 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 7 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 98.3 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 6 times this season, which put him in the 99.5 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Javon Scruggs S 5-11 175

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Liberty, Javon Scruggs had 36 tackles which puts him in the 95.33 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 91.81 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Javon Scruggs as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 88.29 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Chris Megginson CB 6-0 185

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Liberty, Chris Megginson had 15 tackles which puts him in the 79.0 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 37.55 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Chris Megginson as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 85.32 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Virginia Tech Roster

The Players to Watch for Virginia Tech

Hendon Hooker QB 6-4 228

This season, Hendon Hooker has put up 653 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has thrown 3 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 150.8thus far this season. Hendon Hooker has thrown 3 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Hendon Hooker has 359.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 98.43 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 62.0 times this season, which puts him in the 95.49 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 7.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Khalil Herbert RB 5-9 205

This season, Khalil Herbert has 804 rushing yards on 97 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 6 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Khalil Herbert picked up 114 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 5 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Tayvion Robinson WR 5-10 186

This season, Tayvion Robinson picked up 284 yards. He caught the ball 17 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Amare Barno DL 6-6 235

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Virginia Tech, Amare Barno has 21 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 8 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 98.93 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 97.48 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Chamarri Conner DB 6-0 211

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Virginia Tech, Chamarri Conner had 48 tackles which puts him in the 99.37 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 91.81 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Chamarri Conner as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 88.29 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Devin Taylor CB 6-1 200

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Virginia Tech, Devin Taylor had 18 tackles which puts him in the 87.17 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 37.55 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Devin Taylor as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes last season, which puts him in the 95.72 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Liberty vs. Virginia Tech Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Liberty 33 Virginia Tech 28

Spread Pick: Liberty +17.5 -115 WagerWeb
Moneyline Pick: Liberty +540 5Dimes
Total Pick: Under 68.5 -108 Heritage