Your 100% FREE-view East Carolina game#2 preview:

#11 Virginia Tech @ n/r East Carolina:
TV coverage: FOXSports Net, 3:30pm
Vegas Line:
$-Line: VT is a 9.5:1 fave — E.C.U. is a 1:6.25 dog

Feels better this time of year –don’t it folks.

Mornings are getting cooler and crisper as I type, and low and behold VT is perfect after game#1 and virtually ranked in the Top-10 nationally. In fact VT only trails resurgent #10 ranked Nebraska by a mere 41 points in the Associated Press college football poll.

Let’s see, how long has it been since we could rightfully say that? Three years sound about right to you? It should.

Let’s see, how long has it been since we could say we were still in the MNC hunt heading into early October? Six years seem about right to you? It should.

Am I yet again guilty of putting the cart before the horse?

Nope. Not this time.
The buzz is back!
VT and the Duck Pond Shore be vibing and preparing for a potential 2011 MNC run.

And this is the only remaining team that has any real shot at upsetting the 4-zip VT cart before Klempson comes to town. So let’s take a closer look at what shot these East Carolina Pirates do have to storm the O&M ship.


  1. One. One to tie, two to win. As in Boykin only needs two more grabs (receptions) to become the #1 leading all-time Wr in school history for VT. (listen to Mike Burnup when this does occur)
  2. Two-hundred. Should VT win the day, Frank Beamer will carve his bicentennial notch with 200 O&M coaching wins. (BONUS: #2 Josh Oglesby has been named Captain for the return trip to his home state vs. E.C.U.)
  3. Third. As in E.C.U. returns the third least returning offensive-line starts in all of D-1 (15)!
  4. Fourteen. As in VT is 14-1 in it’s last 15 games in North Carolina.
  5. 5,611. That’s the number of combined career plays from VT’s 4 senior season oLine starters.
  6. Twelve. Six letters that spell out how many different Hokie oLinemen took the field last week. An all-time high for Coach Newsome at VT. (BONUS: 36 freshmen and sophomores played for VT vs. Appy.State last week)
  7. Seventeen. VT is 17-1 in its last 18 road openers.
  8. Eight. E.C.U. has dropped 7 of its last 8 games vs. A.c.c. foes.
  9. 169. E.C.U. has not been shut-out in 169 consecutive games.
  10. Ten. As in E.C.U. already has 10 national rankings checking in at average or worse out of the 16 that I formally track.

E.C.U. offense: Spread set (6 starters back)
X, Y, Z, and H as you will see E.C.U operate 4-wide with either a single Halfback or an empty backfield from a shotgun version of the Spread set itself all day long down in Greenville folks. Ergo, go ahead and pencil in some extra Nickle, or 30 or even 20-looks from Bud Lite for this one, as the burner otherwise known as back-up Cb C.Hill is gonna get some on-field love for a change. Raleigh Hokie is fundamentally correct and spot on as this one goes. VT must tackle well and I’ll go good for throwing in the fact that the hind-4 or hind-5 in the Nickle or 20-look really does need to remain: mobile, agile and hostile in this one. As our back-up secondary did not tackle much of anything last week. Accordingly if you are momma Jarrett, or Hooper, or Bonner or third cousin twice removed Aromire, you really do not wanna see your next of kin out there down in Greenville. Further, go ahead and count on numerous zone-blitz (d-lineman dropping off into pass coverage) looks in this one as Davis gets rid of the ball after a read or two most plays. One-throw, sometimes one-two-throw; and every once in a long while you will see one-two-three-throw as this E.C.U. offense has three speeds: fast, faster and fastest. Unless Davis is on the move via pressure or play-calling design this Pirate crew throws the ball around in a hurry. Finally, this will make substitution packages difficult at best, and it could strand a 12th O&M man on the field at worst. Which means that the VT defense’s best friend on this day would be a clock killing, grind it out O&M rushing attack that keeps the ball in-bounds at all costs and helps keep the E.C.U. offense (which is potent enough) off the field and sat down over on the E.C.U. bench.

To turn things on there head, if E.C.U. had David Wilson they would quite possibly rouge (or steal) the C.U.S.A. crown simply by out-scoring people. Who knew a few years back during an rather uneven looking A.c.c. title tilt game vs. Boston College that inside of Dominique Davis was a Spread set Qb screaming to get out. That said, all E.C.U. has is Reggie Bullock a very undersized 5`8“ 176 lb. Halfback to carry the load. Bullock is useful enough when catching the ball; and the VT Whips and ‘backers do need to mind the store in that regard.

(UPDATE:) I am told that Bullock was an all-world, all-everything ju-co transfer from Arizona Western Community College of Yuma. All he did at A.W.C.C. was rush for 1,830 yards last year and hit 2,000 total yards right on the nose. This kid is supposed to be legit; however there is a difference between glorified N.A.I.A. ball or D-III and big time B.C.S. football last time I checked. That said, I need more film to render a legitimate revised opinion on this kid who’s lower level collegiate stats look the part; although, he did not pass the eye-test vs. U.S.C.-East last week. If this kid can just crack the millennium mark of 1,000 rushing yards for E.C.U., he could elevate an already fun to watch Pirate offense to downright lethal standards before the year is done.

Speaking of the Spread, if nothing else, E.C.U. sure spreads or works the entire 53 yard sideline-to-sideline field in what is more parts short to mid-range horizontal style passing and less parts vertical or long range aerial attack. I’m not kidding when I say that E.C.U. makes you cover every inch of the lateral so-called box when they throw; and they do throw so often and so quickly that that brings cardio-conditioning, use of defensive timeouts, and pass coverage underneath into unforgiving focus. Note that someone previously stated that Bud Lite v.2011 had some second-layer coverage concerns straight across shoulder to shoulder from ‘backer to Mike to Whip. This tells me that we may not stay in our base 4-3 defense for very long –if at all. Consequently, you need not be shocked if Bud Lite opens up in the ¢5 or a 30-look to start the show; as exposing B.Taylor, Edwards and Winslow to one-on-one match-ups vs. the slot Wr’s or the E.C.U. squinty little Halfback near the line-of-scrimmage is a big day for Mr. Davis just begging to happen.  Even if that is code for a piecemeal or bit-by-bit big day via Pirate offensive design. Along similar Pirate designs, watch for the so-called Diamond backfield formation outta E.C.U. in a further attempt to create assignment confusion underneath for Bud Lite depending on which H-back and which Halfback stay in to block, actually run the football or  go out on a pass pattern. Neat little offense this E.C.U. ponzi scheme which puts Cabo in your pants. (East Carolina offensive letter-grade: B+, would be an A+ if Bullock really is all that)

E.C.U. defense: 3-4 base (6 starters back)
Yah, the book reads 3-4 on the E.C.U. defense, however this is much closer to a five-man front or a base 5-2 look that I saw early on from the Pirates vs. U.S.C.-East last week when all they had was one stud Tb and a suspended Qb early-on. Note as well that E.C.U. (in white) has man on the edges, man on the Te and a Shell-1 look behind that with no less than 10 defenders within nine yards of the ball. Basically, that’s 10 men in the box –and guess what. The Gamecocks only ran for 220 yards if you need ‘em. In short, what I saw breaking tape on E.C.U. was 3, or 4, or 5 or more front-line defenders playing high and getting driven right on off the LOS (line-of-scrimmage) more often than not. So it occurred to me to look into the USC.East oLine as the Pirates had to know what was coming at them (i.e. stud Tb. M.Lattimore) sans the suspended Garcia at Qb. South Carolina has a bottom-3 quality oLine in So.Eastern Conference terms folks. All the more curious, and straight to the point, I saw E.C.U. actually back off and into a 4 or even 3-man front down in the red-zone which strikes me as nothing short of ritual Seppuku for a defense that was 118th best vs. the run last season.

Once Garcia got into the game, and once the Gamecocks decided it would be a good idea to hold onto the football (4 fumbles on the day) the Gamecocks made these upstart pirates walk the plank and than some as they rolled E.C.U. right on up to the tune of a 56-7 run on the scoreboard that put E.C.U. down good and hard. Note as well that Garcia had 56 yards worth of success running on E.C.U. and it is a certainality that we have some read-option looks in the playbook that we did not need to show last week vs. lowly Appy.State.

Recognize on the fact that E.C.U. was ranked 12th outta 12 in C.U.S.A. terms on the dLine and at Linebacker alike. Yes, E.C.U. does have one stud Cb (Mr. Emmanuel Davis) other than him, they might as well be twelfth cubed on defense. In terms of particulars that I like for VT … I noticed that E.C.U. deals (blitzes) either of their ILb’s whenever the Qb shows any lateral movement on a delayed blitz that sure opens up the field behind him in the zone-drop area he just vacated. This brings the VT Te’s and Mr. Dunn in particular; or the dink-n-dump throws to the VT Fb’s into play and smartly at that. To make matters all the worse, I did not see a single layer of the E.C.U. defense that tackled well last Saturday. In fact, they reminded me of a certain Boise State and J.M.U. opponent in 2010 terms in attempting (i.e. failing) to do such. That said, the E.C.U. pass rush was better than I had expected and they will surely attempt to confuse rookie season r-sophomore Qb Logan Thomas with multiple looks and blitzing from every possible angle known to man. The E.C.U. front-3 or front-5 is fairly nimble, not to mention a tad undersized, which suggests running straight at E.C.U. to me. Although some so-called Gauntlet Drill from the other Coach Beamer on campus would be no bad measure this week as part of that aforementioned suspect Pirate tacking was due to going for the strip and attempting to force a fumble anywhere and everywhere downfield, in lieu of textbook form tackling itself. (East Carolina defensive letter-grade: D+, the + is for Davis all by himself)

E.C.U. Special Teams: (kicker is back)
Beyond the Kicker, these Pirate special-teams really ain’t so special. Their Punter (Ben Ryan) and our very own Mr. S.Delmer may not be professional Punters any time soon, however should they desire to turn to a life of crime, and subsequently get caught, I like their chances on the inside as both can shank one like a mother. Ben averages 34.nothing per punt and poor Scott ain’t any better at 32 and change his ownself. The key here is that the E.C.U. return teams are less than average, or maybe even less than that. Which gives a major punt-game edge to our very own Mr. Hosely in this one. Mike Bardour however is an altogether good Kicker who is very much on the verge of being downright great if he is not careful. Dood has only made 17 of his last 19 kicks, if he could only avoid the big bad play as P.A.T.’s go this kid has all-conference written all over him. The E.C.U. kickoff coverage team could stand some work as well, so be on the alert for a big day from D.Roberts who can do work when bringing a kickoff return back. (East Carolina special-teams letter-grade: a very low C- as Bardour could win them a close game or two later in the year)

Put thy hand on the TSL Bible and tell the truth... which VT is the more R.A.T.T. VT?

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Keep to the Code:
Expatriate Texas Tech air-raid Coach Ruffin McNeill with hip-replacement firmly in hand and his up-tempo offense fully installed at his alma-mater does pose something of a threat to Virginia Tech’s forecast 4-o season opening start. Think of this Pirate offense as a passing version of Gah.Tech, in that this much lowercase version of passing (mostly) within 15 yards or less of the line-of-scrimmage that effectively reduces the game to assignment football. VT’s assignment here is surefire old-school fundamentally sound tackling, more tackling and nothing less than tackling. The E.C.U. special teams and the Pirate stop-unit are another matter entirely. Those two Directional Carolina facets have reduced my fear-factor greatly and left me confident that there is no way that these Pirates can take VT’s A+ shot right on the kisser and live to tell the tale. Deductive reason tells us that that really only leaves Bud Lite and that tells me that the key to this game is the Dt and middle defensive push from our front-5  in this one.

Davis is an athletic, tallish, gazelle looking Qb and he is also a very finesse oriented Qb, as there something very kissable or Covergirl to his game. Looks like Worthy – plays like Ainge. He does not like to get hit, not at all. He does not like, nor does he respond well to pressure right in his face, right up the gut. Yes, he can run, Coach God gave him that much; nevertheless, running is just not his thing. You can see he (strongly) prefers to keep his feet set and beat you with his arm as opposed to his wheels, which are fleet enough. Trouble is, that he gets rid of the ball so dang quick, that our epic youngling De’s will be taken outta the picture on most plays via trying to keep pace in the outside (furthest away) lane in track-n-field terms. E.C.U. only allowed 16 sacks on a whopping 609 pass attempts from Davis his ownself last year. Further, Davis only had two games south of a 58% completion percentage, although he did have five games where he got picked at least two times on the day.

That and the fact that this is not the watered down version of the former Texas Tech air-raid offense that we faced a year ago that put up no less than 27 points on us inside the port-of-call otherwise known as our very own Lane Stadium in 2010. This is the whole play-calling enchilada after an air-raid on the Spanish Main that would have made Bartholomew himself proud. To put it mildly, there is a whole helluva a lot going on in this E.C.U. offense folks. There will be even more going on if Bullock should suddenly experience a breakout D-1 day carrying the ball. This tells me that we really need is for the Hopkins plural, the athletic Maddy kid, Hamletee, and converted De C.Marshall –all need of ‘em need play in Davis’ face and keep their hands up and attempt to generate as much internal disruption as they possibly can. Any middle-push or deflections here could work wonders in terms of monkey-wrenching the highly synchronized E.C.U. turbo powered Spread offensive set.

That said, E.C.U. is gonna get theirs. This Pirate offense is just too jacked up to not break 14 points when they will very likely throw it 55-60 times downfield on Saturday afternoon down in Greenville. I am also getting that my sources are at least a little bit nervy about this. Doe they know something that I don’t? That has been on my mind all Friday morning.

Accordingly,  I just asked my boss Chris Coleman up for a second opinion. The Brits have a saying that goes: “When 10 men tell you you’re drunk, you’d better lie down.” I’ve gotten so many feelers in the last 24-48 that E.C.U. may give us a hard-out that I was feeling rather intoxicated and I’ve not had anything to drink since Saturday. Well, since Sunday. Well, technically it was very early Monday morning, though you get the pic’.

That said, E.C.U. is gonna get theirs. This Pirate offense is just too jacked up to not break 14 points when they will very likely throw it 55-60 times on Saturday afternoon down in Greenville. If you study Davis’ yards per reception longitudinally, he gets about 6.5 yards per attempt. That is a first down and change every two pass attempts from Mr. Davis. He also throws about 1.3 picks per game on average. That’s not half bad when you throw around as much as this air-raid offense does. However, me thinks that our year older, year wiser, year sager and a good deal more settled in Bud Like nickel package -or zone-drop riddle 20-set- will muck around with theses scallywags and muddy the water just enough to help VT win rather comfortably in a game where total yardage will be much closer than the scoreboard will reflect. Davis gets his, say 350 passing, and yet the first team to 30 is gonna win this one. VT gets there first.

Virginia Tech=43, East Carolina=18



Turkey Tracks Turkey Tracksb’street

6 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Nice article, but I want to make one correction. Reggie Bullock only has a limited number of carries in his ECU career because he has been at ECU for a total of 1 game. He is a JUCO transfer who won NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year last year after rushing for 1,830 yards and 20 TDs. He didn’t light the world on fire in his debut, but he showed some flashes and I think he has the potential to be a great back in this system. Otherwise a great article. I’m looking forward to the game. Go Pirates!

  2. A bit off topic, but, what is your opinion about why there is such a 2011 defensive Hokie talent upgrade (speed, size, and strength per Friday Q&A article). I might think it was just a matter of age and experience, but there is a lot of personnel change. Were there some unfortunate recruiting decisions a few years back that led to the 2010 defense, injuries, academic casualties, a combination of things? Thx for any input.

  3. The front-7 is the upgrade.

    Hopkins (plural) are better than Graves+Battle.
    Ends are better than Drager a Te playing De and anyone else last year.
    ‘backer is better. Quite a bit. Maybe the biggest mover in fact.
    Mike is quicker; if nothing else.
    And Whip hopefully has shed the awful plays that plagued us last season.

    Last year, several spots were played at least a full season (maybe even 2) ahead of schedule –and it showed. Green-wood is unseasoned at best. Just ask my fireplace. And we had several guys who needed to debut in 2011 or even 2012 out there no less than a full season before they were ready.

    If anything, I’d ask 2009 why we did not play some of these 2010 kids and try to play them up and get them 2010 ready?


  4. Fort Payne:

    I did not see C2’s write-up before I posted.
    So, in the interests of saying something original….

    A few of ’em are more experienced. And some are not. Like: Edwards/Clark, Fuller, one Hopkins, all De’s.

    So to me, it has to be a talent upgrade; as Foster is correct; this is a very young and at times downright freshmenic and sophomoric VT stop-unit that is 2 years away from its zenith.


  5. Well, good thinking re: not playing the young-ens enough in 2009 and there must be some truth to that theory. But I’m still left wondering why such a noticeable talent upgrade? Maybe some (next) Friday q&a analysis is due here. As always, thx for the article & response(s)!!

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