No. 25 Liberty looks to prove it belongs at Virginia Tech
No. 25 Liberty (6-0) at Virginia Tech (4-2), Saturday at noon EST (ACC Network).
Line: Virginia Tech by 15.
Series record: Virginia Tech leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Flames are ranked for the first time since moving to the Bowl Subdivision level fulltime last season and will be trying to prove they belong against the strongest opposition they have faced this season. The Hokies are facing their lone nonconference opponent before finishing against four ACC schools, including top-ranked Clemson.
Virginia Tech RB Khalil Herbert vs. Liberty’s defense. Flames coach Hugh Freeze said this week the Hokies, are bigger, faster, stronger and deeper, and Herbert may be the one most likely to demonstrate that. He’s second among running backs at the FBS level with an average of 133.8 yards and leads all FBS players with 205.8 all-purpose yards per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Liberty: QB Malik Willis. The one-time Virginia Tech signee and Auburn transfer is averaged 99 rushing yards, has run for six touchdowns and thrown for nine more. The Hokies liked him as a defensive back, so this would be his chance to show them why he eventually decided to go elsewhere for the chance to play quarterback.
Virginia Tech: QB Hendon Hooker. He had a miserable day a few weeks ago with three interceptions and a lost fumble, but bounced back last week to run for 164 yards and three touchdowns while completing all 10 of his passes for 183 yards.
FACTS & FIGURES
Liberty has won eight in a row dating to last season, the second-longest winning streak in FBS behind Notre Dame’s 12 in a row. ... Virginia Tech ranks second nationally among teams that have played at least five games with an average of 290.2 rushing yards; Liberty is fourth at 255.5, with a high of 338 coming in a victory at Syracuse. ... The Flames’ six opponents are a combined 4-28. ... The Hokies are fifth nationally with 21 sacks. ... Virginia Tech is 32-2 when holding opponents to 21 points or less since 2015; Liberty has scored at least 21 points in 13 consecutive games.
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