Can Virginia Tech Slow Down ECU?
By Dan Harralson
Virginia Tech and ECU. It's going to be a good one..
The two schools will meet Saturday for the 18th time and ECU is no stranger to success in this series.
The Pirates will look to repeat their 2008 outcome, a 27-22 victory over the Hokies. Virginia Tech comes into Saturday's match-up after a great defensive performance against Alabama and a 45-3 victory over Western Carolina.
On the flip side, the Hokies will have to face something they have not seen yet and that is ECU's fast-paced offense. ECU's tempo is unparalleled to other fast-paced offenses circulating around college football. ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill wants to go faster than anybody else. All coaches that go uptempo say they want to be the fastest, but McNeill means it.
"We want to see how many plays we can get a game," McNeill told Football.com. "We want to get 100. (Quarterback) Shane (Carden) and those guys can get that."
East Carolina has two games and two wins under their belt this season against Old Dominion and Florida Atlantic.
As good as Frank Beamer's Hokies have played so far, his defense will have their hands full Saturday with ECU's offense. Carden already has thrown for 638 passing yards and seven touchdowns.
"Their quarterback is finding their receivers on a regular basis," Beamer told Football.com. "It's certainly going to be a challenge for us."
ECU only ran 63 offensive plays against FAU and 76 offensive plays against Old Dominion. Three sacks on Carden and two ECU lost fumbles kept the Pirates offense well below its targeted snap count against FAU.
Beamer knows he will have to bring pressure to duplicate that slow-down.
"You just (have) to be efficient yourself," Beamer said. "You (have) to be sound, tackle well. They get the ball out in the open areas quickly. You can't let a five-yard gain turn into a 25-yard gain. They challenge you in that area."