Following its open week, Virginia Tech football will head south to play at No. 24 NC State on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN at Carter-Finley Stadium.
For more on what you should know heading into the matchup:
How to Follow
TV: Thursday’s game will be televised on ESPN, with Matt Barrie (play-by-play), Dan Mullen (analyst) and Harry Lyles (sideline) on the call.
Streaming: Catch the game online at ESPN.com and in the ESPN mobile app.
Three Things to Know
1. Tech has owned this series since joining the ACC. Though the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004, they haven’t faced the Wolfpack all that much, since the schools are in different divisions, meeting only six times the last 18 years, with Tech being 5-1. The first two contests (’04, ’05) were close, one-score games, while the last four have been double-digit victories for the Hokies. The league office announced earlier this year that the Atlantic and Coastal divisions will be no more starting in 2023, so Tech and State will meet more frequently, which most fans are happy about, with the schools being relatively close (3 ½ hour drive) in proximity amongst other schools in the ACC and both being great engineering schools.
2. Whoever can establish the run game will win. Both Tech and State have not been explosive in the run game, with each team ranking in the bottom five of the Power Five in chunk plays on the ground. Playing off of that, the Hokies’ defense has held their opponents to under 110 rushing yards in four of their six games and the Pack will be without their star quarterback Devin Leary, the ACC’s Preseason Player of the Year, who suffered a season-ending injury earlier in October. He missed the Pack’s last game, a 24-9 setback at then-No. 18 Syracuse in which those nine points scored were a season low, and in that matchup, State leaned on the run and rushed 38 times. As the Pack try to find their rhythm without Leary under center (Jack Chambers started in his place and went 18-for-30, 160 passing yards) and the Hokies seek to build off of their fourth-quarter drives versus Miami (Fla.), whoever can run it well will have an upper hand Thursday.
3. A little history lesson on ESPN Thursday night football. The Hokies have certainly had their fair share of big-time matchups on Thursday night on ESPN, playing 34 times since 1994. In those contests Tech is 23-11, but has never played a Thursday night bout in Raleigh. The Hokies are 11-4 on the road and have won their last two (2016 at Pitt, 2015 at Georgia Tech).
Top Performers in Week 7
Linebacker Alan Tisdale: The Greensboro, North Carolina native made his debut this season versus Miami and did not disappoint. Coming off his best year yet (84 tackles, 7.5 TFLs), Tisdale tallied the second-most tackles on the team (9) versus the Hurricanes and also added a quarterback hurry.
Punter Peter Moore: Looking like more of himself two Saturdays ago, Moore owned a season-high three punts that were over 50 yards. He finished the day with a 42.9 average, including a long of 55 and three punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Defensive back Jalen Stroman: Racking up a career-high 11 tackles, the sophomore also finished with one pass break up. Of his 11 stops, which was the most on the team, five were solo.
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