NCAA

East Carolina 1 – 1 at-no 17 Virginia Tech-2-0 Preview

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Virginia Tech Michael BrewerBLACKSBURG, Va. – The No. 17 Virginia Tech Hokies are unbeaten at 2-0, fresh off a 35-21 win at the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes, look to stay that way hosting the East Carolina Pirates. East Carolina is 1-1 after falling at the No. 21 South Carolina Gamecocks 33-23 last week.

The Pirates are averaging 517.5 yards and 37.5 points per game behind a solid passing attack with senior quarterback Shane Carden at the helm. Carden has thrown for 604 yards and four scores but also has thrown a pair of picks. The senior tosses to a pair of big play receivers in senior Justin Hardy (19 catches, 220 yards, 2 TD) and sophomore Isaiah Jones (18 catches, 196 yards, TD). East Carolina’s defense is allowing 307.5 yards and 20 points per game with junior linebacker Zeek Bigger leading the unit with 24 tackles. They have been moderately effective winning in the trenches with eight tackles for loss and three sacks.

The Hokies are averaging 404 yards and 34.5 points per game on offense which has been a challenge in the past. The run-dominant offense has been led by a pair of freshman in Shai McKenzie (113 yards, 2 TD) and Marshawn Williams (57 yards, TD). Junior quarterback Michael Brewer has thrown for 450 yards and four scores but has thrown three picks. The Hokies offense has flowed in the air through a pair of tight ends with junior Ryan Malleck (9 catches, 104 yards) leading the team in catches and yards while redshirt freshman Bucky Hodges (8 catches, 59 yards, 2 TD) leads in scores. Virginia Tech is allowing 260 yards and 15 points per game on defense while forcing five turnovers. Linebackers junior Deon Clarke and senior Chase Williams have combined for 23 tackles, 5.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks and a pair of passes defensed. Senior rover Kyshoen Jarrett has nine tackles, two picks and three passes defensed.

Keys for East Carolina Win

The offense can’t commit turnovers as opponents have scored 27 points off turnovers which means Carden has to keep from throwing picks. The defense must commit to stopping the run game, which tends to key the entire Hokies’ offense.

Keys For Virginia Tech Win

McKenzie and Williams must establish the running game to set up the play action passing to the duo at tight end. The defense must continue to control the line of scrimmage and keep the ECU offense stymied.

Key Injuries :

East Carolina – DaQuan Barnes (WR); Devaris Brunson (LB); Kirk Donaldson (LB); Darren Dowdell (TE); Desi Brown (LB)

Virginia Tech – Carlis Parker (WR); Desmond Frye (DB); Greg Jones (DB); Jeremy Haynes (DE); Kyle Chung (OL); Corey Marshall (DT); Sean Huelskamp (LB); Kalvin Cline (TE); Mark Shuman (OL); Kendrick Holland (WR); Devin Vandyke (LB)

Favorite:

Latest Line, Virginia Tech -10

Conclusion:

Virginia Tech seeks to build on their success in beating Ohio State last week and ECU will make it a difficult challenge.

About Mark West

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