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What to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Pitt – VT

Tech returns to ACC play for homecoming matchup with the Panthers

Football 10/15/2021 3:00:00 PM

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech football prepares to play in its third straight home game and first of seven straight ACC games on Saturday when the Hokies host Pitt at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. 
The Hokies (3-2, 1-0 ACC) and Panthers (4-1, 1-0 ACC) both enter the game with undefeated ACC records for the first time in series history. Tech and Pitt are the only remaining ACC Coastal division teams without a conference loss this season. 
Last week’s top performers:
– The Hokies went down to the wire with No. 14 Notre Dame a week ago, falling 32-29 on a made field goal with 17 seconds remaining in the game. Pitt enjoyed its bye week. 
– DB Jermaine Waller registered his first career INT return TD vs. Notre Dame. The junior is tied for the FBS lead with four interceptions on the season and joins Iowa’s Riley Moss as the only other Power Five player with four interceptions and an INT return TD this season. 
– DB Nasir Peoples recorded his first career interception and a career-high 12 tackles (six solo) vs. the Fighting Irish. 
– WR Tré Turner hauled in six receptions to move into 10th place on Tech’s career receptions list with 116. Turner led the team in receiving a week ago with 80 yards and also tallied two carries for 11 yards. K John Parker Romo hit on a career-best three FGs against the Fighting Irish, including a career-long 52-yard effort.
What to watch for Saturday:
– The Hokies are 2-0 at home vs. the Panthers under head coach Justin Fuente, including a 28-0 shutout win the last time the teams met in Blacksburg. Tech holds a 7-2 advantage at home all-time against Pitt. 
– Tech is an impressive 5-1 in home ACC games played in October under Fuente and are outscoring opponents by an average margin of 10.1 points in that span. 
– Pitt has the highest scoring offense in the country, averaging 52.4 points per game this season. Tech has allowed just 18.6 points per game to opponents in 2021, a mark that ranks fourth in the ACC. 
– Both teams have strong third-down defensive numbers this season. Tech is fourth in the ACC and 10th in the FBS allowing opponents to convert on third down just 28.1 percent of the time. Pitt is second in the conference and tied for sixth in the FBS with a 27.3 third down percentage.
– WR Tré Turner is four receptions away from passing Tech Hall of Famer Eddie Royal (119) for ninth on Tech’s career receptions list with 116. Turner needs six more to pass another Hall of Famer, Antonio Freeman (121). Turner is also 53 receiving yards away from hitting the career 2,000-yard receiving mark and would become just the eighth Hokie receiver all-time to reach the plateau. 
– CB Jermaine Waller leads the team with four interceptions on the season. No Tech player has recorded more than four interceptions in a single season since Kendall Fuller (six) and Brandon Facyson (five) both did in 2013.

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