West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, prediction, pick, spread, odds

Virginia Tech and West Virginia will renew their regional and one-off conference rivalry when they battle it out for the Black Diamond Trophy on Thursday night on a national stage in Blacksburg, Virginia. The two schools played every year from 1975 to 2005, including a 1991 to 2003 run as members of the Big East. With the Mountaineers now in the Big 12 and the Hokies in the ACC, it has taken some effort to maintain this fierce rivalry into modern times.

Thursday night’s matchup is the second leg of a home-and-home agreement that already caused excitement last season with West Virginia’s 27-21 win over Virginia Tech in Morgantown, raising the Mountaineers’ all-time lead to 29 -23-1 increased. Though a lot has changed since that game, most notably a coaching change at the Hokies and new quarterbacks for both teams, the passion in both rosters to win this rivalry game hasn’t waned. Additionally, considering how the season has started for both teams, picking up a win in one of the real toss-up games on the schedule should be in dire need.

So while coaches Neal Brown and Brent Pry only make one appearance together in the fight for the Black Diamond Trophy, there will be plenty of players and fans who know exactly what’s at stake. Let’s get to the keys of the game and our official prediction.

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West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: Must know

JT Daniels leads West Virginia’s offense: The 2017 Max Preps National Player of the Year is on his third college stop after playing and winning games at USC, Georgia and now West Virginia. Daniels has six touchdowns and two interceptions in three games, and it didn’t take long for him to identify junior Bryce Ford-Wheaton as the most dynamic passing offense option. Ford-Wheaton is one of only two wide receivers in the Big 12 to have had four touchdown receptions this season, and his 6-foot-3, 224-pound frame allows Daniels to compete in one-on-ones Taking some risks in situations when he knows the wideout has a better chance of winning 50-50 balls.

The Lunch Pail Defense is back: Pry began his coaching career as an assistant working under legendary Virginia Tech defense coordinator Bud Foster. On his return to Blacksburg, Pry brought with him the famous lunch bucket that represents the group’s blue-collar approach. That defense has been this team’s forte so far; The Hokies are third nationally in rushing defense (42 yards per game), fifth in total defense (201 yards per game) and in the top 20 in scoring defense, allowing for just 12.33 points per game. That quick defense will be a key for Virginia Tech in this game, as West Virginia freshman CJ Donaldson currently leads the Big 12 with six quick touchdowns this season.

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Increased pressure on West Virginia after 1-2 start: While Virginia Tech is still laying the groundwork for the Brent Pry era, things are very different for Brown and the Mountaineers in Year 4. The fact that this is a rivalry game adds to the pressure from the fans, especially after the heartbreaking defeat for Pitt in the Backyard Brawl renewal. A loss here to Virginia Tech would drop West Virginia to 1-3, with two ranked opponents next on the agenda in No. 22 Texas and No. 17 Baylor. Brown has led West Virginia to a bowl game each of the last two seasons and has enough winnable games left to think he can do it again in 2022. A loss here, however, makes that margin of error razor-thin and increases the pressure from fans when the calendar switches to October.

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How to watch West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech live

date: Thursday 22 September | time: 7:30 p.m. ET
location: Lane Stadium – Blacksburg, Virginia
TV: ESPN | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)

West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech prediction, tips

Virginia Tech was a staple of football Thursday night and the Hokies had more success than not on these nationally televised occasions, going 23-10 overall and 13-5 at home. Pry understands the value of these regional rivalries well, and while the ACC Championship may still be several years away, this is a trophy to bring home to the Hokie Nation now. Virginia Tech does this while covering the spread. Prediction: Virginia Tech +1.5

What college football picks can you hit with confidence in Week 4, and which top 25 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the range – all from a proven computer model that has generated more than $3,300 in profits over the past six years – and find out.

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