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November 23, 2012

Know Your Enemy: Virginia

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Each game, we'll get the inside look at Virginia Tech's opponent by talking with the opposing team's beat writer. This week, we spoke with CavsCorner.com managing editor Brad Franklin to get the inside look at Virginia.

1) With Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims splitting time at quarterback, is there much of a difference between them?

Franklin: In terms of how Virginia uses them, no, there isn't much difference. They're both pocket passers but are still very different players. Sims will want to push the ball down-field and has a big arm while Rocco is better managing the offense and taking what a defense gives him.

2) Is Kevin Parks clearly ahead of Perry Jones at running back? Or is Jones just as capable?

Franklin: Whereas Rocco and Sims are different but used a lot of the same ways, Parks and Jones are similar but used in different ways.

Parks is a running back, sometimes the power guy. Jones will get carries but more likely off the edge and he's a focal point in the passing game. Virginia will also use them both at the same time, a nice wrinkle against pressuring defenses.

3) After seemingly improving, what happened defensively the past two games?

Franklin: The last two games Virginia just hasn't gotten the kind of production from its defensive line, whether that's in terms of sacks, tackles, or just quarterback pressure. Miami neutralized it with a strong running game and North Carolina got the ball out quickly. That puts a lot of pressure on Virginia's young defensive backs to tackle well.

4) Was North Carolina clearly the better team against Virginia or did it just snowball?

Franklin: It was a little of both. Virginia was in that game and could've won it and yet it wasn't close. North Carolina made plays and capitalized off of Virginia's mistakes. The margin for error for UVA is so, so thin. Any turnover is potentially a crushing turn of events.

5) Does Virginia feel like this is the best chance to win against Virginia Tech since the Cavs' last win in the series?

Franklin: In terms of players and coaches? They won't say that but for fans it certainly is. The truth truth is Virginia Tech is not the Virginia Tech we've known for years. Fans at least aren't afraid of the Hokies the way they have been and to me, the pressure is on Virginia Tech to not be the first team in 20 years to not go to a bowl game. Virginia does well historically when there's no real pressure on them.

FEARLESS PREDICTION : I feel like its a low-scoring game and I think Virginia will have the better running game. The extra two days of prep time for the Wahoos are also a big plus and I think the law of averages says Virginia breaks the streak this year in a 17-13 win.


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