Virginia Tech Hokies (0-1) vs. Marshall Thundering Herd (1-0)
Time: 1:30 p.m. EDT
Date: Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009
Place: Lane Stadium at Worsham Field, Blacksburg, Va.
TV: None (Feed available on ESPN360)
Marshall: The Thundering Herd are 1-0 after beating Southern Illinois 31-28 last week ... Marshall is a member of Conference USA ... the Herd moved from Division I-AA to I-A full-time in 1997 and won five MAC championships before moving to CUSA in 2005 ... the Herd has not been bowl eligible since making that move.
Trends: Virginia Tech has won 13 consecutive home openers ... the Hokies' last loss in a home opener was a 20-14 loss to Boston College in 1995 ... Virginia Tech has won eight consecutive home games ... its last home loss was 14-10 against Boston College on Oct. 25, 2007 ... Marshall has lost 13 of its last 14 road games ... its last road win was a 34-27 win at Southern Miss on Sept. 20, 2008 ... the Herd has lost their last 10 non-conference road games ... they last won a non-conference road game on Sept. 20, 2003, when they beat Kansas State 27-20 ... after winning its first six games against CUSA opponents, Virginia Tech lost to ECU to open the 2008 season in Charlotte.
History Lesson: Virginia Tech is 7-2 all-time against Marshall, 4-0 against it in Blacksburg and has won the last five meetings ... the Hokies and Herd have met twice since 1953 ... in 2005, Tech beat Marshall 41-14 thanks to a combined 202 yards and two touchdowns from Branden Ore and Cedric Humes ... the game featured a battle between brothers Eddie and Chris Royal ... in 2002, the Hokies won 47-21 in a game that saw 42 fourth-quarter points ... Kevin Jones and Lee Suggs combined for 324 yards and five touchdowns ... Byron Leftwich threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns for Marshall.
What to Expect
- Expect to see and improved ground attack. If the Salukis can average 3.8 ypc against these guys, we should have no problem.
- Expect the secondary to be tested. Marshall is a pass-heavy team and it will be up to the defensive line to get pressure on Marshall quarterback Brian Anderson. SIU was able to sack Anderson twice last week.
- Expect to see David Wilson get plenty of touches.
- Expect to learn a lot more about Virginia Tech's offense. We won't play a defense as good as Alabama's the rest of the season. Yes, we looked really, really bad on defense last week. But this game will give us a better sense of what to expect from the offense the rest of the season. Hold the torches and pitchforks until about 4:45 p.m. this Saturday.
Hokies win if: They don't turn the ball over and get pressure on the quarterback.
Thundering Herd win if: Virginia Tech's offensive line and secondary is as bad as we fear.
Dot-dot-dots: Saturday is the designated White Out game for 2009 ... the bookstore is selling specially designed White Out T-shirts to raise money for Herma's Readers ... Herma's Readers a non-profit that promotes reading and literacy among children in grades K-3 ... the organization is named after Frank Beamer's mother, Herma ... the Hokies will be wearing special throwback uniforms during the game ... the Hokies are scheduled to visit Huntington, WV, for the first time since 1940 when they play at Marshall on Sept. 24, 2011 ... former Hokie safety Frank Loria was among the 75 killed, including 45 Marshall players and coaches, in an airline crash on Nov. 14, 1970 ... Loria was Marshall's offensive coordinator at the time.