Hokies Football: Game Predictions for Virginia Tech at East Carolina

Gameday is here as the Virginia Tech Hokies are looking for revenge on the road against the East Carolina Pirates. This will likely be the toughest environment the Hokies face on the road until they travel to either Boston College on Halloween or their Thursday Night showdown in Atlanta against Georgia Tech.

East Carolina may be 1-2, but they will be ready for this game while the Hokies will be looking to extend their winning streak to three with a second-straight road win.

With that said, let’s get to this week’s predictions for the showdown in Greenville.

Evan Morrison

Ah yes, the best rivalry on the Hokies’ schedule for the past ten years. Tech travels to Greenville this time around on what will be a sloppy afternoon weather-wise for football. Last week, the Hokies scored in all phases of the game and they finally looked as if they have put it all together as a complete team.

Last year in Blacksburg, Shane Carden and company came into town with one thing on their mind, and they left Blacksburg having accomplished what they set out to do. Well this year will be different to say the least.
The Hokies roll into Greenville after last week’s big win in West Lafayette in which the Hokies put up 51 points to best a mediocre Purdue football team. I don’t think Tech will put up 51 points ever again in one game this season but that’s not to say the Hokie offense can’t muster some offensive production today against the Pirates.
Brenden Motley has continued to show improvement after just two weeks of being thrusted into the starting role under center. Motley is not playing perfect by any means but he is doing what Scot Loeffler is asking him to do; that is to complete a good percentage of his passes and extend plays with his legs when things break down in the pocket.
On defense, Virginia Tech has picked up right where they left off in 2014 with play that sets up the offense well. Kendall Fuller had a bounce-back game last week at Purdue and is finally showing glimpses of how good he really is.
CB Brandon Facyson is still not playing like he once had in 2013. However, Facyson is still one of the better CB’s in the ACC and the Tech secondary will have no problem shutting down the East Carolina wide receivers unlike a year ago.
This game will have plenty of turnovers with the weather being bad, but I think the Hokies will win the turnover margin at +2 and this will be the key to the game in the second half.
When it’s all said and done, the Hokies will have no problem picking up a W in Greenville this afternoon. This is not the same Pirates team we saw a year ago, and the Hokies finally look like a complete football team. I expect a sloppy first quarter, but the Hokies will pull away late in the game with a defensive score in the second half.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 42, East Carolina 20

Tim Thomas

After blowing out Purdue last week, the Hokies wrap up their non-conference slate on the road against a well-known opponent, the East Carolina Pirates. Last year, ECU shocked the Hokies in Blacksburg the week after Virginia Tech upset Ohio State in Columbus.

This time, the Hokies will be looking to extract some revenge on the road in front of a sold-out stadium.

East Carolina is not nearly as talented on offense as they were last year with Shane Carden, Justin Hardy, and Cam Worthy all gone. The Pirates do not have the same offensive weapons that they had last season along with their quarterback play not being the same.

Virginia Tech’s pass defense had the lowest completion percentage against them in the nation and Kendall Fuller is almost 100% healthy. Greg Stroman may face a tough matchup in the slot against Isaiah Jones, but the Hokies may even use Fuller or Chuck Clark against him if Stroman is struggling to cover Jones.

East Carolina ran the football effectively week 1, but have since been their normal self as a pass-heavy offense, which isn’t the same as it was last year. If ECU can’t get their rushing attack going, the Hokies’ secondary will be ready to control this game.

Brenden Motley will face a tougher environment this week, but ECU’s secondary is probably not as good as Purdue’s. Motley has been gaining confidence and will be ready to make some plays whether through the air or with his legs.

However, Motley make take some time to adjust to facing a louder crowd so there may be some early-game struggles. Motley and Eric Gallo will also need to make sure that they avoid any bad snaps or miscommunications today especially in what will be wet conditions for the game.

This is not the same East Carolina team that came to Blacksburg and pulled off the upset. The Hokies will cover the spread easily, but the Pirates will still find ways to avoid a complete humiliation. Brenden Motley and the Hokies will get to 3-1 ahead of their ACC opener next Saturday against Pittsburgh.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 37, East Carolina 17

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