Hokies seek 10-win plateau
Virginia Tech plays Pitt on Saturday
Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson believes the Hokies still have plenty of reasons to be motivated to finish strong even though back-to-back losses have taken them out of contention for a second consecutive trip to the ACC championship game.
Jackson said if they win their last two regular season games and their bowl game, the Hokies will not only send their seniors out on a high note in their final home game, but they will secure another 10-win season.
The Hokies (7-3, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) won at least 10 games in eight consecutive seasons from 2004-11, at the time the longest such streak in the nation. They didn’t achieve the milestone again until last season, their first under coach Justin Fuente.
“I wouldn’t say our mindset has changed” because of the losses, Jackson said Tuesday. “We’re probably a little bit more hungry.”
The Hokies face longtime Big East rival Pittsburgh (4-6, 2-4) on Saturday at Lane Stadium, and while the Panthers have struggled this season, they have beaten Virginia Tech in six of their last eight meetings. Pitt needs to beat the Hokies and then No. 2 Miami to qualify for a bowl for the 10th straight year.
The Panthers have won two of their last three behind a resurgent running game led by junior Darrin Hall, who has three consecutive 100-yard efforts.
“He’s doing a good job setting up blocks,” coach Pat Narduzzi said. “He’s helping our O-line out. When you watch him, he’s pressing the line of scrimmage, making everybody flow, then he cuts it back, makes the O-line better, and those are all things that I guess take a little bit of time to figure it out.”
Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson says two straight losses have the Hokies hungrier for their last three games.