ORLANDO, Fl. - Bud Foster's defense has been a staple for the Hokies' program year-in and year-out. This year is no different. But Foster's squad is again one of the best in the country. The Hokies rank 11th nationally in total defense and fifth overall in scoring defense only allowing an average of 15.5 points per game. Despite some injuries, including missing safety Terrell Edmunds, the Hokie defense is expected to be a big factor.
"They are physical up front with some big guys, they play well up front," Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.
It's not easy to run the ball but they're long in the secondary and they're athletic. Their safeties cover really well, so I think it'll be an interesting challenge. I said this once this game was announced after two or three days of watching some tape...this could very well be the best defense we've competed against," Gundy said.
"I got all trust in this defense ; we've been doing some big things this year as well. So I think it will be a big time matchup. We've got some guys out, but we have some younger guys who will come in and step up. I feel like they're ready for the challenge," Hokies linebacker Tremaine Edmunds says.
Tech's defense will have its hands full. Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph leads the country in passing yards with more than 4,500 this season alone. And with a target like cowboys wide receiver and Biletnikoff winner James Washington, OSU has plenty of star power.
"The thing that stands out about Oklahoma State is their skill players. Look at the wide receivers, running backs, an NFL quarterback, push the tempo and score points in bunches," Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente says. "Not to say they aren't good in other phases in the game, they are they're very sound, well prepared and I think that's why they're in the situation they're in," Fuente says.
As far as Virginia Tech's offense there are some questions-- particularly at wide receiver. It's an area that doesn't have much depth to begin with. Of course Kam Phillips is not playing in the game so the younger players will have to step up to the plate. Gametime is set for 5:15 p.m. Thursday in Orlando.
Copyright 2017 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.