No. 20 Hokies finally getting started vs. the Wolfpack

North Carolina State (1-0, 1-0 ACC) at No. 20 Virginia Tech (0-0, 0-0), Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (ACCN).

Line: Virginia Tech by 7.

Series record: Virginia Tech leads 27-18-4

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Hokies and Wolfpack finally meet two weeks after they were originally scheduled to before a coronavirus outbreak struck N.C. State and then the Hokies a week later. Virginia Tech was picked to finish fifth in the ACC this year, and N.C. State 11th.

KEY MATCHUP

N.C. State’s running game against the Hokies’ defense. The Wolfpack rolled up 270 yards on the ground in their victory against Wake Forest with Ricky Person Jr. accounting for 99 yards and two rushing touchdowns and Zonovan Knight adding 97 yards and a TD. This will mark the debut of Justin Hamilton as the Hokies’ defensive coordinator. The former defensive back took over when Bud Foster retired after last season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

N.C. State: RB Ricky Person Jr. He accounted for three touchdowns against the Demon Deacons, also throwing a jump pass for a 2-yard touchdown, and scored the winning touchdown with 5:51 remaining. He also caught two passes and returned three kickoffs.

Virginia Tech: QB Hendon Hooker. The Hokies found their stride when he was installed as the starter last season, and his consistency was a big reason why. He threw for 13 touchdowns with just two interceptions and ran for another 356 yards and five TDs.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the first meeting of the teams since 2015. Virginia Tech has won the last four meetings. … The Hokies return six players who started all 13 games on defense last season. … N.C. State’s 45-point effort against Wake Forest in the debut of Tim Beck as offensive coordinator was its highest in an ACC game since it scored 52 against Louisville in 2018. … Wolfpack defensive line coach Charley Wiles spent his previous 24 seasons on Bud Foster’s staff at Virginia Tech.

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