PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WSLS 10) – From Blacksburg to Pittsburgh, excitement is building for Hokie fans ahead of Thursday night’s big game with the Panthers.
Both teams are 5-2, but that will change this evening.
Virginia Tech has never won a game at Heinz Field, home to both the Pitt Panthers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
They’ve played there four times since Pittsburgh made Heinz Field it’s home field in 2001 and have yet to come out victorious.
The storyline here will be the battle of the defenses. The Panthers are ranked fifth in the country in rushing defense, with one of the best defensive players in the country. Defensive lineman Ejuan Price has nine sacks on the year for the Panthers, but Bud Foster’s crew is ranked 11th in total defense nationally and has been a constant for the Hokies this year.
“They’re very disciplined, they play smart, they know how they fit. I think anytime you are together that long with a group of guys that you have recruited and really built a defense around what you want to do, that you will be pretty good. They have a great cast of players on defense,” said Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi
“Got the utmost respect for Pitt and we’ve had some great games with those guys. They’ve had our number the last few times, whether it’s home or away and we need to go play and be sharp and be focused, that kind of comes back to us,” said Virginia Tech’s defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
The Panthers two losses to Oklahoma State and UNC were for a combined 8 points.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.