No. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies at East Carolina Pirates

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No. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies (5-3) at East Carolina Pirates (5-3)
Thursday November 5th, 7:30PM Eastern

Betus.com betting line – Virginia Tech -13

The no. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies have now dropped 2 straight games falling from no.4 in the polls to nearly out of the top 25. The Hokies recent upset losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina have also nearly taken them out of the ACC Championship race. However, the Hokies will get the chance to bounce back this Thursday night with an out of conference showdown with East Carolina. The Pirates also stand at 5-3 on the season, but they made their names known last season with some big time wins and they will be trying to accomplish a similar feat this Thursday night.

The Pirates are coming off two straight wins over Conference USA foes Memphis and Rice by a combined score of 87-32. The Pirates defense has played fairly well in the last few weeks, but they got off to a rocky start. The East Carolina defense was responsible for captivating some of their big wins last year, but the Pirates gave up 30 points per game through their first 3 contest. However, in recent weeks the defense has rallied back in conference play. The question is will their defensive front be able to make up for the size disadvantage and plug some holes in the Virginia Tech rushing offense.

On the offensive side of the ball, East Carolina is led by senior quarterback Patrick Pinkney. Pinkney has had a rather average season completing 58% with 8 touchdowns, but he is about guaranteed at least one interception every game with 9 total on the year. Junior wide out Dwayne Harris is the go to guy on the outside. Harris leads the team with 47 receptions for 521 and 3 scores. East Carolina loves to get the ball in Harris’ hands and he may also get a few end a rounds before the day is over as well.

The guy that will be getting the handoffs up the middle is running back Dominique Lindsay. Lindsay has been very stellar averaging 5.8 yards per carry with 570 yards on the season. The total yards may not sound significant, but the Pirates running back missed a lot of playing time earlier this year. The Hokies defense had a lot of trouble stopping the option type style offense of Georgia Tech, and look for Coach Skip Holtz to use Lindsay and Pinkney in similar scenarios.

The big question is which defense will show up for Virginia Tech. The Hokies defense has been plagued with a bi-polar personality this year looking great at times and not so pretty at others. The Hokies defense is 1-3 on the season with only a win to Duke when allowing opponents to score at least 20 points. The offense should be able to carry their weight, but not if they can allow the Pirates offense to gain confidence. QB Tyrod Taylor has played very well in recent weeks outside of a poor outing again North Carolina last Thursday where the Hokies quarterback completed just 47%.

Still, Taylor has 9 touchdowns to just 3 picks on the year and possesses a god given knack for making big plays. We have not much from the legs of Taylor recently, but this just may be the game he inflicts some early fear into the East Carolina defense. One problem the Pirates defensive coaches will be having, is coming up with a scheme to slow down freshman sensation Ryan Williams. Williams is having a great year with 930 yards averaging 5.7 yards per pop and 10 touchdowns already this season. Williams has really dominated against what most would call the inferior teams this year, and if East Carolina is to have a shot they must stop the Hokies star running back first and foremost.

Pick – Hokies have to bounce back sometime, they get revenge this time around on Thursday night and win big.

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