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No. 19 Hokies welcome Middle Tennessee to loud Lane Stadium

September 9, 2021 GMT
Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) runs the ball against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)
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Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) runs the ball against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)
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Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) runs the ball against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

Middle Tennessee (1-0) at No. 19 Virginia Tech (1-0), Saturday at 2 p.m. EDT (ACCN).

Line: Virginia Tech by 19 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Hokies announced themselves as contenders in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division with their opening victory against No. 24 North Carolina and vaulted into the Top 25 after receiving no votes in the preseason. The Blue Raiders will be seeking their first victory against a Power Five opponent since they won 30-23 at Syracuse in 2017.

KEY MATCHUP

Middle Tennessee QB Bailey Hockman against the Hokies’ defense. Hockman, a transfer from North Carolina State, played at Lane Stadium last season, completing 7 of 16 attempts for 82 yards with two interceptions in a 45-24 loss. He was sacked three times. Hockman completed 17 of 22 passes for 215 yards with three TDs in the Blue Raiders’ opening 50-15 victory over Monmouth.

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PLAYERS TO WATCH

Middle Tennessee: WR Jaylin Lane had a big performance in the Blue Raiders’ opener, returning a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and catching four passes for 91 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown.

Virginia Tech: DL Amare Barno. He led all Power Five players last season with 16 tackles for a loss and picked up right where he left off against the Tar Heels with 3 1/2 tackles behind the line, including 1 1/2 sacks, and a forced fumble.

FACTS & FIGURES

Middle Tennessee scored on offense, defense and special teams against Monmouth, the first the Blue Raiders have done that since 2014 against Savannah State. ... Coach Rick Stockstill has guided the program to five wins against Power Five schools in his 16 years as coach. ... Middle Tennessee forced four turnovers against Monmouth and scored touchdowns after each one. ... Braxton Burmeister is 4-1 as the starting quarterback for the Hokies. ... The victory against then-No. 10 North Carolina was Virginia Tech’s first against a top-10 team since it beat eventual national champion Ohio State in 2014. ... The Hokies will play six of their first seven games at home and four of their last five away.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25