Winning at the line of scrimmage will be a key of the game
11/18/2022 8:00:00 AM
Below are some storylines fans should keep a look out for heading into Saturday’s game.
Battle in the Trenches
The battle between Tech’s offensive and Liberty’s defensive line will be one to keep an eye on all afternoon. Protecting quarterback Grant Wells will be the focus for offensive line coach Joe Rudolph‘s unit, as the Flames are coming in as the nation’s No. 1 team in tackles for loss (9.1) and No. 5 in sacks (3.4). So far this season, the line has impressed in the pass protection category, ranking second in the ACC in tackles for loss allowed (5.10). When Wells has had time in the pocket, he’s been able to produce, completing 15 passes this season of over 25 yards, including a 53-yard bomb last Saturday at Duke.
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Keeping Control of the Ball
Turnovers will be a key for the Hokies once again, as they’re facing yet another team who has excelled in that category. Liberty is entering this game as the No. 5 program in the country in turnovers forced (22). On the other side of the spectrum, the Flames have struggled with keeping the ball, as they have coughed it up 21 times this season. For the Hokies, the defense has picked it up as of late in causing turnovers, having forced at least one miscue in three of their last four games.
Stopping the Run
The Hokies will be seeing a rushing offense led by running back Dae Dae Hunter. The Hawai’i transfer currently leads all FBS Independent schools in rushing yards per game (94.9) and second in rushing touchdowns (eight). Hunter is also 10th in the nation in rushing yards per carry (6.57). Tech has fared well against the run, ranking sixth in the ACC in rushing defense (137.2 ypg). The Hokies will lean on linebacker Dax Hollifield to lead the run defense, as he’s the team’s leading tackler with 76 on the season.