Thursday's College Football Picks for Miami vs. Virginia Tech

David Lawrence

Monday, October 20, 2014 12:22 PM GMT

Virginia Tech are laying -1.5 on the College Football odds for Thursday's match against Miami. If they Hokies lose a home game in October, they’re in big trouble. Find out who this handicapper picks.

Why The Hurricanes Will Cover
They are going up against an opponent whose offense has lost its way. Virginia Tech started the season in solid fashion, coming up with a tiebreaking touchdown drive in the fourth quarter of a game at Ohio State, against a Buckeye team that is in the running for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Virginia Tech scored one of the school’s better wins in a few years. The Hokies seemed to be on the right track. Ever since that game, though, the offense has continued to take a few steps back, steadily losing the gains it had made earlier in the season. The offensive line has struggled. The Hokies can’t run the ball the way they’d like to, and the way they used to be able to do when they were the best team in the ACC six years ago. Without a running game, the passing game is where this team turns to for production. However, while some teams such as Florida State are able to win with a really good passing game and not much of a running game, Virginia Tech’s not good enough to do that.

Florida State beat Notre Dame with only 50 rushing yards this past Saturday, but Virginia Tech was not able to beat Pittsburgh last Thursday with only 25 rushing yards of its own. The Hokies didn’t even get 300 yards of total offense. Quarterback Michael Brewer has not been an efficient quarterback. He helped his offense convert only 2 of 14 third downs against Pittsburgh. With Virginia Tech failing to finish drives, Miami has a team it can contain defensively. The Hurricanes, having scored 55 points in a recent game against Cincinnati, can win this game if they score a modest total of 24 points.

 

Why The Hokies Will Cover
They are playing a Miami team that is not well coached and has not been able to do anything on the road in the ACC. The Hurricanes did beat ACC Coastal Division leader Duke this season, but that game was at home, as was the non-conference win over Cincinnati earlier this month. However, when Miami goes away from home, the results are rarely good. Miami played a very sloppy game at Louisville in the season opener, and against Georgia Tech a few weeks ago, the Hurricanes’ defense was caught off balance by the Yellow Jackets, a team that has since lost two straight games in the ACC. After that loss to Georgia Tech, Miami head coach Al Golden said to reporters that Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson and his staff had done some things that he had not seen and was not prepared for. That kind of admission might be honest, but it can’t inspire confidence, not against Virginia Tech and Bud Foster, one of the better defensive coordinators in the country.

 

Outlook
If Miami’s offense performs really well, the Hurricanes can win. Yet, Virginia Tech has historically been able to contain Miami’s offense, and this year, with the Hokies hosting a night game, the nature of the Miami-Tech rivalry should not change. The Hokies should win, so take them with your College Football picks to cover the spread.

Free College Football Pick: Virginia Tech -1.5 at 5Dimes