Saturday, October 10, 2020, Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C., noon ET
Hokies at Tar Heels Betting Preview: Hokies (+5.5), Tar Heels (-5.5)
Virginia Tech Hokies
Kansas transfer Khalil Herbert has been the big story for Virginia Tech’s offense so far. He rushed for 212 yards in the 38-31 win at Duke, giving him 311 for the season for an FBS-best 155.5 per game average. He also had 150 yards on three kickoff returns.
“I do think we need to make sure that we’re not overusing him, and we have really good guys that can fill in and not have a huge drop-off that I feel really comfortable with,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. “But I certainly like having him here.”
The Hokies will be up against a North Carolina defense that held Boston College to just 40 rushing yards in last week’s 26-22 victory. That could put more pressure on the passing game with Brendon Hooker back at quarterback.
Hooker, last year’s starter, was limited by quarantine issues in the preseason but is expected to take over for Oregon transfer Braxton Burmeister. Burmeister started the first two games but has only 16 completions in 36 attempts.
North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels have held their first two foes to just 108 yards rushing combined but coach Mack Brown expects his defense to be severely tested against the Hokies. “”I think it’s obvious what Virginia Tech’s going to do,” Brown said. “For two weeks, they’ve rushed for over 300 yards. If you rush for over 300 yards, you’re usually going to win the game.”
North Carolina’s defense has yet to yield a rushing touchdown in two games. Linebacker Chazz Surratt has been the leader with a team-best 17 tackles. He has three of the team’s 10 sacks).
Sam Howell has completed 65 percent of his passes for 520 yards but defenders have picked off three of his 60 attempts so he could be more consistent. The Heels have a pair of capable running backs in Michael Carter (199 yards rushing, 8.7 per carry average) and Javonte Williams (114 yards with all four of the Heels’ rushing touchdowns}.
Hokies at Tar Heels Betting Pick for October 10, 2020
The Hokies are somewhat difficult to figure because of all the players who have missed time because of coronavirus issues with as many as 20 players missing time the first two games. A walk-on sophomore, Tyler Matheny, started last week at safety against Duke and was credited with seven tackles, two of them for losses.
Hokies at Tar Heels Betting Pick:
Tar Heels 24, Hokies 14
Hokies at Tar Heels Best Bet for October 10, 2020
The Tar Heels have held their first two opponents to just 555 yards in total offense. The Hokies have given up 796 yards but limited their first two foes to 55 points total in their wins over North Carolina State and Duke. If the Hokies have all their defensive players available, they should keep the game close and low-scoring.
Hokies at Tar Heels Best Bet: UNDER 58
–Field Level Media