Saturday, November 7, 2020, Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Virginia, noon p.m. ET
Flames at Hokies Betting Preview: Flames (+14.5), Hokies (-14.5)
Liberty Flames Betting Preview
Quarterback Malik Willis, who once was recruited by Virginia Tech as a defensive back and spent his first two years at Auburn before transferring to Liberty, has been the spark for the No. 25 Flames (6-0).
Willis accounted for a school single-game record seven touchdowns (one rushing, six passing to tie a school mark) in last week’s 56-35 win at Southern Mississippi.
“He played really well outside of about four or five plays,” Liberty coach Hugh Freeze said. “Quarterbacks, when they make mistakes, it is kind of glaring. But when they do well, it’s glaring, too.”
For the season, Willis has a team-high 99 rushing yards and has passed for 224 yards a game, missing one outing with an elbow injury.
The win over Southern Miss was the Flames’ third of the season over a Conference USA opponent (Western Kentucky and Florida International), and they will be going for their second win over an Atlantic Coast Conference foe at Blacksburg. They got the program’s first win over an ACC team by beating Syracuse 38-21 on Oct. 17.
Virginia Tech Hokies Betting Preview
Quarterback Hendon Hooker missed the Hokies’ first two games because of an undisclosed medical reason but has added a spark to their offense since his return.
After having one of the worst games of his career in throwing three interceptions in a 23-16 loss at Wake Forest, he bounced back by completing all 10 of his pass attempts and rushing for three touchdowns as the Hokies (4-2) beat Louisville 42-35 last week.
“That’s what he’s done basically every game he’s played except for one,” Tech coach Justin Fuente said. “He hasn’t won every game as a starter, but he’s played pretty well, with the exception of one game.”
In four games this season Hooker has passed for 653 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 359 yards, second to running back Khalil Herbert’s 803 on the team. The Hokies have the nation’s fourth-most productive rushing attack with their average of 290.2 yards a game, about 35 more yards a game than the Flames.
Flames at Hokies Betting Pick for November 7, 2020
Both teams like to run the football, but Willis may give the Flames an edge in passing over Hooker. Willis has passed for an average of 224.4 yards a game in five outings to Hooker’s 163.2 average in four games. Tech’s advantage could be in Herbert with his 133.8 per game rushing average.
Flames at Hokies Betting Pick:
Hokies 38, Flames 30
Flames at Hokies Best Bet for November 7, 2020
The Hokies came up with three interceptions in last week’s 42-35 win at Louisville. The Hokies have scored at least 40 points in three of their last four games since Hooker returned at quarterback.
Flames at Hokiest Bet: OVER 64.5