In-state rivals Virginia and Virginia Tech clash in Blacksburg on Friday with the Commonwealth Cup and bowl eligibility on the line for both sides. The Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak last week, topping Miami (Fla.) 30-13 at home and leaving coach Mike London smiling for the first time in weeks. "It's just really fun to see all three phases of the game work in our favor," London told the Daily Progress.
The Hokies have lost four of their last five, including an offensively inept 6-3 decision in double overtime at Wake Forest last week. Wide receiver Willie Byrn didn't pull any punches describing the way that outcome left Virginia Tech feeling, telling the Roanoke Times, "It was the most frustrating game I've been a part of." Coach Frank Beamer, whose offensive line has been depleted with injuries, explained that the Hokies have no choice but to push forward, without excuses, telling reporters, "We've got what we've got right now."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Virginia -1
ABOUT VIRGINIA (5-6, 3-4 ACC): Despite the mediocrity of a 5-6 season, guard Conner Davis, summed up the feelings about a rivalry game such as this one well, saying, "We know what's on the line. We (have) to go out there and win." In short, what's on the line is the Commonwealth Cup -- which the Cavaliers haven't claimed since 2003 -- and bowl eligibility, which Virginia hasn't earned since 2011. London dubbed the prognosis of running back Kevin Parks as "good" after the team's leading rusher exited the Miami game in the first quarter with concussion symptoms and did not return.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (5-6, 2-5 ACC): Looking to spark a stagnant offense, Beamer said that backup quarterback Brenden Motley will see more reps in practice this week after running the Wildcat last time out to moderate success. "We plan to give him more work this week," Beamer said, adding, "We'll see where that goes." Starting signal-caller Michael Brewer was ordinary against the Demon Deacons, tallying 126 passing yards, while completing 15-of-28 attempts.
1. Virginia trails the all-time series with Virginia Tech 53-37-5 and has lost 14 of the last 15 meetings.
2. A loss for the Hokies would mark the end of nation's longest bowl streak at 21 consecutive seasons.
3. Virginia Tech RB Trey Edmunds, who led the team's rushing attack a year ago, has been cleared to play after missing five games with a broken clavicle.
PREDICTION: Virginia 24, Virginia Tech 13