It's been a rough month for Virginia Tech, but the Hokies nonetheless might have an opportunity to advance to the ACC title game when they take on rival Virginia on Saturday. The Hokies have owned the series against their in-state rivals over the last decade and head into the matchup as favorites once again.
Mike London and UVA scheduled aggressively in 2013, and for that they deserve credit -- not many schools would want to put Oregon, BYU and Ball State on the slate in the same season. The Cavaliers paid the price for that, though, losing two of those three, which compounds their winless run through ACC play.
For Virginia to pull off the upset over the Hokies, it's going to have to figure out a way to crack Tech's outstanding defense. The Wahoos average a mere 4.5 yards per snap, which ranks 13th in the ACC, making the odds of a breakthrough appear slim.
Rankings and records: Virginia Tech is 7-4 (4-3) this season, while UVA is 2-9 (0-7). Neither team is ranked. The Hokies lead the all-time series with a 52-37-5 record.
Vegas: Virginia Tech opened as a 13-point favorite. The over/under opened at 43.5.
Weather: The high in Charlottesville is expected to hit 40. There is no rain in the forecast.
Three names to know
Logan Thomas -- Inconsistency continues to plague Thomas, and the Virginia Tech offense as a whole. He threw four interceptions in the Hokies' loss to Duke and has 12 on the season. He has at times shown flashes of his potential as a passer, but when he isn't playing well, the Hokies' offense tends to disappear.
Kevin Parks -- Parks leads UVA with 926 rushing yards, which places him second in the ACC behind only Andre Williams of Boston College. He's coming off two consecutive 100-yard games, and considering Virginia's issues in the passing game, it could use another big afternoon from him.
Jack Tyler -- Tyler leads the Hokies with 89 tackles on the season -- that total ranks eighth in the ACC. He has nine tackles for loss, including four sacks.
Two things at stake
While Virginia Tech's recent struggles cost it control of the Coastal, the team still has a decent shot at winning the division. The Hokies need to knock off the Cavaliers, and they'll have to get some help from UNC, which is hosting first-place Duke. A Blue Devils loss coupled with a Hokies victory would send Virginia Tech to the ACC title game.
The Cavs haven't beaten their in-state rivals since 2003. For Mike London, there is absolutely no better time to put an end to that losing streak than now. London has endured losing seasons in three of his four years at UVA, which has understandably called his job security into question. There's no salvaging 2013 for Virginia, but a win Saturday would be a milestone victory with a lot of meaning for the program.
How to witness
TV: ESPNU, 3:30 p.m. ET
Online streaming: WatchESPN