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In this photo taken Sept. 7, 2013, Virginia Tech head foach Frank Beamer and his team prior to taking the field for an NCAA college football game against Western Carolina in Blacksburg Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Matt Gentry) LOCAL TV OUT
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Friday, September 13, 2013
Virginia Tech at East Carolina
Saturday | Noon | Fox Sports 1 | DOWDY-FICKLEN STADIUM
RECORDS: HOKIES (1-1) PIRATES (2-0)
SERIES: Virginia Tech leads 12-5. Hokies won last meeting 17-10 in 2011.
LINE: Virginia Tech by 7 1⁄2.
OFFENSE: EDGE PIRATES
ECU has a more flashy offense, with QB Shane Carden throwing for 315 yards a game. He has seven TDs. He'll spread the wealth but has a favorite target in receiver Justin Hardy, who has 20 catches in two weeks. The running game can't be overlooked. ECU is 23-5 in its last 28 games when it out-rushes its opponent. Vintavious Cooper topped the 1,000-yard last year. Tech's offense isn't as sexy, but its ground game has been effective. Trey Edmunds has 200 rushing yards and is averaging 5.7 yards per carry. He'll get a heavy workload with J.C. Coleman out with an ankle injury. Thomas went 17 for 31 for 200 yards last week against Western Carolina, but threw two picks.
DEFENSE: EDGE HOKIES
The Hokies have held their first two opponents to next to nothing. Alabama scored 35 points, but only two of those touchdowns were against the defense. Western Carolina didn't get into the end zone. Expect plenty of nickel in this one. With freshmen Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson joining Kyle Fuller at corner in that formation, that's probably Tech's best personnel on the field. The Pirates will be without productive inside LBs Jeremy Grove (chest) and Kyle Tudor (knee). ECU has been good at rushing the passer. The Pirates have eight sacks in two games, three by defensive end Lee Pegues.
SPECIAL TEAMS: EDGE PIRATES
ECU has some dangerous returners. Hardy, a preseason first-team all-conference pick at punt returner, is averaging 17.5 yards per return. Lance Ray is averaging 42.3 yards per kick return. He will be going up against VT's shaky coverage teams. For the Hokies, punt returner Kyshoen Jarrett is a high-risk, high-reward guy. He had a 43-yard return against Alabama but had a turnover against Western Carolina.
INTANGIBLES: EDGE HOKIES
It won't be the usually sweltering weather in Greenville this year. Temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-70s, which might mitigate any additional advantage the Pirates have from pushing the tempo. Tech has won nine of its last 10 against the Pirates.
PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 24, East Carolina 16
Weather JournalSeesaw temperatures this week