» Limit turnovers: The Cavaliers are the only Power 5 team without a single turnover in its past three games, which is remarkable. Three turnovers hurt the Cavaliers in last year’s 34-31 loss to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and the overtime defeat ended on a Bryce Perkins fumble. Taking care of the football is critical against the Hokies.
» Pressure Hendon Hooker: Virginia Tech’s quarterback is 6-0 since taking over the starting duties, and he’s been phenomenally efficient through the air and on the ground. The Cavaliers rank eighth nationally in sacks per game with 3.36 per contest. The Hokies allow just two sacks per game. Rattling Hooker will be critical to the team’s chances of beating the Hokies. If Hooker is given time to survey the defense and find running lanes, it’s going to be tough to stop Virginia Tech from scoring.
» Enjoy the stage: A win gives Virginia an ACC Coastal Division title while also ending a 15-game losing streak to Virginia Tech and capping off the first perfect season at Scott Stadium since 1998. It’s easy to become intimidated by the stakes. The Cavaliers need to play freely and do what they’ve done all season. If they play their game, rely on Bryce Perkins and play decent defense, they’ll have a good chance to win.
» Challenge Virginia’s secondary: Chris Moore missed the Liberty game due to a violation of team rules, and his status for Friday is unknown. With or without Moore, the Cavaliers’ secondary isn’t what it was at the beginning of the season. De’Vante Cross won ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors after securing two interceptions against Liberty, but the secondary is still the obvious weakness on UVa’s defense. Hendon Hooker and company need to test the secondary down the field.
» Keep playing stellar defense: Bud Foster’s defensive unit remains on a torrid pace. The Hokies have posted consecutive shutouts, and they held Wake Forest’s high-powered offense to just 17 points the game prior. If Virginia Tech’s defense keeps playing at an elite level, UVa’s offense will need a stellar performance to pull out a victory.
» Win the special teams battle: Virginia Tech leads the ACC in net punting and net kickoffs. While the Hokies aren’t great in the return game, punter Oscar Bradburn is unbelievable. The Australian averages 46.8 yards per punt, and 20 of his 47 punts have been downed within the opposing 20-yard line.