Looking ahead to the next matchup for Louisville football.
The next opponent for Louisville football, has been circled on the calendar for almost a year.
Virginia Tech and the Cardinals have not met since the Gator Bowl in 2005, and Tech is the lone conference opponent that Louisville has not faced since joining the ACC.
However, the main reason Louisville football and fans have been looking forward to this particular match-up is the chance to get a shot at one of the conference’s bigger name programs that happens to be extremely talented.
The Hokies finished 2019 in solid form and spent the first seven weeks of this season in the AP Top 25.
Tech fell last week to Wake Forest, but still enters their Halloween match-up in Cardinal Stadium in the top half of the conference.
If you’re a Louisville football fan, here are a few quick things to know about Virginia Tech.
Their best player opted out before the season
Probable first round draft pick and star defensive back Caleb Farley was the first major college football player to opt out of the season this summer, and it has made a significant impact on the Hokies.
As Louisville football fans know, losing a stud at corner can hurt in a major way. Look at how Louisville’s defense regressed in 2017 without Jaire Alexander or how the Cards fared without Kei’Trel Clark against Georgia Tech.
A lockdown corner effectively shuts down an entire side of the field, and Virginia Tech is certainly feeling the effects of not having Farley. Tech is 54th in the country in points per game allowed, giving up right at 30 points per game and surrendered 56 points to North Carolina.
Another quarterback who can hurt you with his legs
On offense, Virginia Tech is lethal and they are led by one of the ACC’s future stars, Hendon Hooker.
Although he missed Virginia Tech’s first two games, he still is second on the team in total rushing yards and continues to improve as a passer.
At 6’4,” 230 pounds, Hooker is built similarly to a Puma Pass and is yet another dangerous runner that the Cards will have to contend with.
Virginia Tech feeds the stud at running back
Kansas grad transfer Khalil Herbert is a success story you don’t often find among fifth-year players around major Division I football.
In his first four seasons, Herbert was pretty run of the mill for the Jayhawks, but he has taken off in 2020.
The Virginia Tech offense has Herbert on pace for the best offensive output of his career and by far the most touches.
At 8.6 yards per carry, 22.6 yards per catch, and 6 total touchdowns, Herbert is a weapon with Hooker in the Hokies backfield.
Virginia Tech takes care of the ball
One thing that has carried over from the Frank Beamer days in Blacksburg is the Hokies ability to take care of the ball and create extra possessions. Tech has turned opponents over 8 times while only coughing it up 6 times.
The stats might not stand out, but in a game that is may wind up being pretty close, the Cardinals can ill afford to lose another game by giving the ball up more than they get it back.
It will be vital for Louisville to continue to take care of the ball and bring pressure on defense.