BLACKSBURG, Va. – It’s been a season filled with frustration, injuries and departures for Virginia Tech. But even still, the Hokies can smooth it over with a win over Marshall and reach their 26th consecutive bowl game.
Marshall isn’t in a Power 5 conference but they still bring the noise. The Thundering Herd are on a three-game win streak, flaunting a mix of talent and experience. Their defense has racked up a dozen sacks in the past three games while the offense has been effective on the ground and through the air. It's something that has grabbed the attention of the Hokies.
"These last few weeks...last week and this week particularly, need to be an earning experience. We need to go out and earn our success and have a big week of practice and preparation," said defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
"Even as hard as we played this last week we were far from executing the way we needed to," Foster said.
The Hokies defense has had two work horses emerge in Dax Hollifield and Emmanuel Belmar. The two have brought a resurgence of energy to a depleted group.
"Go 1-0. We have to focus on this game. We’re not looking to the future right now. It’s like the playoffs: you lose, you go home. We have to win and that’s what we’re focused on," Hollifield said.
"As coach said we can rewrite the whole season. Winning against UVA was just a stepping stone to it and if we can make this bowl game as well, this would be a big relief considering how the season has gone," said Belmar.
The last meeting between Marshall and Tech came in 2013 where the Hokies gutted one out in triple overtime for a 29-21 win.
Kickoff from Lane Stadium is noon on Saturday.