Entering the 2013 season, the Virginia Tech Hokies had the chance to do something very few teams have done in the past few years: beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. However, they came out flat and the offense looked very rusty, losing to the Tide, 35-10, in a first-game slashing.
On the other side of the field, the East Carolina Pirates are 2-0 on the season and have a solid offense to lead the way for the team. The Pirates returned 18 starters from a team that went 8-5 a year ago, including a 7-1 record in C-USA play. Head coach Ruffin McNeill looks to have this team headed in the right direction and hopefully ready to take down a BCS conference opponent — in which they went 0-2 against last year.
Virginia Tech had a veteran returning starter coming into the 2013 season, but he has proven to be ineffective thus far. Logan Thomas has completed just 22 of 57 passes this season for 259 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions so far through two weeks. Yes, that’s a sub-40 completion percentage. Thomas will need to improve the terrible accuracy and hit the receivers on the money — although they are an all-new group and very inexperienced. Trey Edmunds must lead the rushing attack once again against a pretty solid rush defense that has allowed just 194 rush yards through two weeks.
East Carolina is led by junior quarterback Shane Carden and he is doing a great job against lesser opponents so far this season. Carden has completed 63 of 79 passes for 638 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions through the first two weeks. Completing nearly 80 percent of his passing and hitting wide out Justin Hardy more often than not, the Pirates offense looks to be pretty scary through the air. The ground attack is much different as they have just 144 yards total on the season.
Defensively, Virginia Tech is going to have to find a way to slow down Carden’s passing attack. Returning all four secondary starters from a season ago is a good start, but the junior QB has shredded defenses so far this season. The Pirates allowed over 430 yards of total offense a season ago and have allowed 371 yards per game to teams with a combined record of 0-3 this season.
Virginia Tech will travel to East Carolina to take on the Pirates at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Sept. 14. The game will be broadcasted on FOX Sports 1.
PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 27, East Carolina 17