But just a week after making it through one test with a win at Georgia Tech, VT must first sneak by a very dangerous North Carolina team who expect to have quarterback Bryn Renner healthy for Thursday, before taking on ACC Coastal Division rival Virginia next week.
Tar Heels v Hokies
Venue/Stadium: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Virginia
Time/Date: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, November 17, 2011
NFL Odds From: Betonline.com
Spread (ATS): Virginia Tech -10.5
The last time the schools met on a Thursday in Blacksburg, the Tar Heels came away with a 20-17 victory in 2009.
And you can bet if Renner, who after being knocked out in the third quarter of as 13-0 loss at North Carolina State with a concussion last week, makes it into this one, it could be a repeat for the Heels who are desperately looking for a win after losing three of their last four games.
The sophomore quarterback was coming off his first career 300-yard passing performance in a win over Wake Forest when he ran into trouble against the Wolf Pack. North Carolina managed only three rushing yards against NC State and is 72nd in the FBS in rushing average at 144.8 yards.
The Heels totaled just 165 yards of total offense and turned the ball over three times before being shut out for the first time in five years.
Meanwhile, the Hokies who remain a single game ahead of the Cavaliers, who they play next week, controls their own destiny in its pursuit of an ACC championship and the BCS Bowl berth that comes with it.
A win over UNC would put VT in a good position to claim its fourth ACC Championship game in the last five years, and coach Frank Beamer would love to notch his 250th career victory in doing so.
And there is no reason to doubt that they can, as the Hokies has continued to roll along with a mission since suffering their lone loss of the season to Clemson.
Beamer’s offense is running on all cylinders of late, going over 400 total yards in five straight games, and is coming off a strong performance in a 37-26 victory over Georgia Tech.
Quarterback Logan Thomas passed for three touchdowns and ran for another two — the second time this season he has totaled five scores in a game– while David Wilson continued his impressive season totaling 175 rushing yards.
North Carolina is 6-4 this season SU and 4-6 ATS. Virginia Tech is 9-1 SU and 3-7 ATS.
Matt’s Prediction: Hokies 24, Tar Heels 14–While the Tar Heels have the ability to be unexpectedly explosive and have had a bye week to prepare for this Virginia Tech offense, they have run into a rough stretch over the last month, and I do believe that Thomas and Wilson will prove to be too much for the North Carolina defense.