identity crisis: Virginia Tech concludes its nonconference schedule with an intriguing matchup against Cincinnati in what is expected to be a pro-Hokies crowd at FedEx Field. The Bearcats finished 10-3 last year and also blew out Pittsburgh, 34-10, this season, a week before the Panthers handled Virginia Tech, 35-17. That loss forced many fans to question just how good this year’s team will be. Saturday should provide them with a more definitive answer.
GETTING TO MUNCHIE:The Hokies’ defense recovered from a humbling experience at Pittsburgh two weeks ago by recording its 26th shutout under the direction of defensive coordinator Bud Foster in a 37-0 win over Bowling Green. But Virginia Tech faces a much different challenge in Cincinnati, whom Coach Frank Beamer called the most athletic team the Hokies have faced this year. The Bearcats are led by dual-threat quarterback Munchie Legaux, who is averaging more than 10 yards per rush while also completing better than 60 percent of his passes.
PASS FIRST: Virginia Tech’s production through the air remains a work in progress. Quarterback Logan Thomas is completing just 51.7 percent of his passes, including an 11 for 26 showing last week. But he hasn’t gotten much help from an inconsistent offensive line and a group of receivers who often don’t play up to their potential. Cincinnati finished second in the country in sacks last year, but it also ranked 99th in pass defense.
— Mark Giannotto
3:30 p.m. at FedEx Field.
TV: ESPNU. Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM).
Records: Hokies 3-1; Bearcats 2-0.