U.Va., Virginia Tech transfers destined to have a huge impact on Commonwealth Cup rivalry

The buzz: As usual, storylines abound as U.Va. looks to finish the regular season on a five-game winning streak, while Tech seeks to avoid extending its losing streak to five games. It’s possible the game could be the last one of the season for one or both of the programs if they decide to voluntarily pull out of bowl consideration. Tech coach Justin Fuente will be feeling more pressure than anybody in Lane Stadium, considering his job might be on the line. His buyout drops on Tuesday from $12.5 million to $10 million. After leaving last weekend’s 45-10 loss to Clemson in the third quarter because he was cold and couldn’t regulate his body temperature, Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker was back in practice early this week. So was backup quarterback Braxton Burmeister, who left the Clemson game after suffering an undisclosed injury. If they’re ready to go, Tech will look to attack a U.Va. secondary that was primarily responsible for surrendering 10 pass plays of 20-plus yards in last weekend’s 43-32 win against Boston College. U.Va. has given up more pass plays of 20-plus yards (51) than any other Power Five program and all but two Football Bowl Subdivision teams. U.Va. quarterback Brennan Armstrong is coming off arguably his best game, passing for 287 yards, a touchdown and interception while running 17 times for 130 yards and a touchdown against BC. Tech running back Khalil Herbert and the Hokies’ offensive line will face one of the better run-stopping units they’ve seen all season (U.Va. is giving up 125.9 rushing yards per game, the fourth-lowest average in the ACC.) Both Tech and U.Va. have been adept pass-rushers, with both teams amassing 32 sacks (defensive end Justus Reed leads Tech with 6.5, while linebacker Matt Gahm is U.Va.’s active leader with four).

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