SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Virginia Tech faces a revenge game for a second straight week. This time, it hopes for a more favorable result.
The seventh-ranked Hokies look to rebound from their first loss of the season and stay in the Big East Conference race Saturday when they visit Syracuse.
A week ago, Virginia Tech (8-1, 3-1) was out to avenge last season's embarrassing 38-7 loss to Pittsburgh. Instead, the Hokies were stunned at home by the Panthers, 28-21, a setback that likely ended their national championship aspirations.
Virginia Tech squandered a 14-0 lead as Pittsburgh snapped a 21-21 tie on Brandon Miree's 53-yard touchdown run with 4:11 remaining. The Panthers beat the Hokies at their own game, outrushing them, 275-136.
However, Virginia Tech played most the game without half of its talented rushing tandem as Kevin Jones left in the first quarter with a pulled left hamstring and will be sidelined two to four weeks.
Jones has rushed for 708 yards and nine touchdowns this season. The injury likely means more work for Lee Suggs, who has rushed for 956 yards and 15 TDs this year.
Last season, Syracuse (3-6, 1-3) defeated Virginia Tech, 22-14, to end the Hokies' school-record 16-game winning streak at Lane Stadium. The Orangemen snapped Virginia Tech's overall nine-game winning streak and handed the Hokies their first home loss since 1998.
A year later, however, Syracuse has little to play for as the Orangemen need to run the table to avoid their first losing season since 1986. Syracuse is one of only four schools with 15 consecutive winning seasons.
Even without Jones, Virginia Tech will be a heavy favorite against the Orangemen. The Hokies enter the contest a game behind Miami and Pittsburgh in the Big East.
After falling to 1-6, Syracuse has won two in a row, routing Rutgers, 45-14, two weeks ago and holding off Central Florida, 38-35, last week. Walter Reyes recorded his fourth 100-yard game against the Golden Knights, rushing for 130 yards on 27 carries.
Despite the disappointing season, Syracuse recently rewarded coach Paul Pasqualoni with a contract extension.
Last year's win over Virginia Tech gave Syracuse an 8-7 lead in the all-time series.