Next week's Thursday night showdown against Virginia Tech is shaping up to be a very big game for the Panthers.
The Hokies (5-2, 3-1 ACC) took control of the ACC Coastal Division with their 37-16 win over Miami on Thursday night. QB Jerod Evans passed for 259 yards, Travon McMillian rushed for 131 but the most eye-catching number to stand out? The defense recorded a season-high eight sacks despite missing a pair of defensive lineman.
Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster had a few early thoughts on facing Pittsburgh:
"I appreciate what our kids are all about and how we fought after a disappointing loss and how we came back and prepared and where our intensity and our focus was in practice, and our intentions in a must-win situation. I’m just really, really pleased with the effort. Now we’ll enjoy this for a moment and get ready to go up to Pittsburgh. They’ve had an extra week to prepare and it’s going to be a big time football game up there. They're fast and physical and we need to turn around and play another great football game against an outstanding football team."
The Hokies two injured defensive linemen were Ken Ekanem and Nigel Williams. Yet the defense held Miami to 42 rushing yards.
Pitt, which does not play this week, has had all week to prepare for the Hokies, and a short week next week to continue to do so.
The two teams play at 7 p.m. at Heinz Field, and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.