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September 29, 2012

Staff Picks: VT vs Cincinnati

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Virginia Tech had a rebounding, 37-0 win over Bowling Green Saturday, but a number of areas have still left cause for concern. Will those be put to bed against Cincinnati at FedEx Field?

We take our shots at calling what will happen at today's 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

Jason Stamm, publisher

A shutout is a shutout. But rarely is a 37-0 win so ho-hum as it was for Virginia Tech.

The Falcons still gained 266 total yards of offense. Numerous times, they moved the ball on the Hokies' side of the field before Virginia Tech's defense came through.

Offensively, the Hokies had 396 total yards, but junior quarterback Logan Thomas still struggled. His legs are working fine, but his arm is still off.

Thomas is too talented to keep this up. It's gotta turn around. But when? This is as good a chance as any, against a formidable opponent in Cincinnati.

Defensively, there were a few redflags and Munchie Legaux is the most mobile quarterback the Hokies have seen yet. But as good as Legaux is, he still makes a lot of mistakes.

Virginia Tech will probably struggle again early, as it has in each of its first four games. But after that, the offense should get moving. Whether or not Thomas gets his arm in order, is another matter.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 30-20

Doug Bowman, senior writer

This is a scary game for Virginia Tech. They are far from a finished product and have plenty of things they are working on still. From play-to-play, the Hokies still aren't consistent enough on offense or defense to be considered a heavy favorite against a quality team like Cincinnati.

The Bearcats have a really good coach and have athleticism all over the field, so Tech will need to play their best. This will be a good test for the Hokies ahead of their tough road game at North Carolina next week, which feature a spread offense and some of the same athleticism.

I expect J.C. Coleman to really have a breakout game for the Hokies as Tech takes the kid gloves off of the freshman for the first time this year. He has the most natural ability of any of Tech's tailbacks and it is only a matter of time before he shows it. If Tech can run the ball on the Bearcats, they win. If not, things get dicey.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 23 - Cincinnati 16

Roger Gonzalez, staff writer

A loss to Boise State at FedEx Field a few seasons ago was more than painful for Virginia Tech fans. Now, while Cincinnati isn't the same caliber as the Broncos, the Hokies will this time exit the stadium with a victory as Thomas shines for the first time all season.

An athletic Bearcat defense will cause issues, but the Virginia Tech defense will cause even more issues for the Big East squad. Expect a surprisingly strong day from running back Michael Holmes as Beamer's crew wins in the nation's capital to gain momentum ahead of the ACC opener next week at North Carolina.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 34, Cincinnati 24.




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