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Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh 11/21/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Virginia Tech visits Pittsburgh on 11/21/2020 at 4:00PM.

Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh 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. Virginia Tech has a record of 4-4 this season. Pittsburgh is 4-4 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Virginia Tech Team Defense Preview

Virginia Tech has had 96 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.77 plays per drive. Virginia Tech lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. 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. Virginia Tech opponents pass the football 49.10% of the time.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. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Virginia Tech can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 3.26 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. They are capable of giving up a long run, which is really demoralizing when the opposing team has the ball deep in their own territory.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!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 96 total drives this season and they generate 5.38 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. Virginia Tech 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 37.98% of their play calls.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 3.43 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. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Virginia Tech has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Pittsburgh Team Defense Preview

Pittsburgh has had 93 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.11 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Pittsburgh 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. Passing plays make up 55.58% of their opponents’ play calls.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Pittsburgh opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Pittsburgh can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.0 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Pittsburgh has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Pittsburgh should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Pittsburgh is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Pittsburgh Team Offense Preview

Pittsburgh has had 92 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.62 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. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Passing plays make up 53.97% of their play calls.Pittsburgh tends to pass more than other teams.

Pittsburgh struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.07 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have been able to impose their will on the Pittsburgh Offense this season. Front sevens of opposing defenses are causing a lot of problems. Pittsburgh has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this 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 1072 yards and 7 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 148.9thus far this season. Hendon Hooker has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Hendon Hooker has 574.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 99.32 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 103.0 times this season, which puts him in the 99.32 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 9.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Khalil Herbert RB 5-9 205

This season, Khalil Herbert has 853 rushing yards on 105 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 121 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 6 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Tre Turner WR 6-2 190

This season, Tre Turner picked up 430 yards. He caught the ball 28 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Amare Barno DL 6-6 235

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Virginia Tech, Amare Barno has 32 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 12 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 100.0 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 95.66 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 2 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 63 tackles which puts him in the 99.4 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 90.05 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 86.34 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 36 tackles which puts him in the 97.48 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 93.24 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 94.65 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Pittsburgh Roster

The Players to Watch for Pittsburgh

Kenny Pickett QB 6-2 220

This season, Kenny Pickett has put up 1599 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has thrown 3 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 137.1thus far this season. Kenny Pickett has thrown 3 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Kenny Pickett has 132.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 84.3 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 48.0 times this season, which puts him in the 85.67 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 6.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Vincent Davis RB 5-8 175

This season, Vincent Davis has 320 rushing yards on 104 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 4 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Vincent Davis picked up 104 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 17 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jordan Addison WR 6-0 170

This season, Jordan Addison picked up 611 yards. He caught the ball 52 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 3 receiving touchdowns this season.

Patrick Jones II DL 6-5 260

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Pittsburgh, Patrick Jones II has 32 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 10 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 99.12 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 8 times this season, which put him in the 99.89 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Damar Hamlin DB 6-1 195

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 Pittsburgh, Damar Hamlin had 45 tackles which puts him in the 96.94 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 4 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 97.87 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. Damar Hamlin as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes last season, which puts him in the 95.93 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Virginia Tech 25 Pittsburgh 21

Spread Pick: Virginia Tech -3 -102 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Virginia Tech -138 matchbook
Total Pick: Under 55 -112 SBR Sportsbook