Yesterday, ESPN's Heather Dinich wrote that of the four teams on Virginia Tech's non-conference schedule, we should probably fear East Carolina the most:
Quarterback Dominique Davis returns to lead an offense that has scored 35 or more points in six of the last seven (and 11 of the last 13) games. It will be facing a Hokies' defense that has given up too many big plays for Bud Foster's liking, and has to replace three of four starters up front. ECU also has won five of its last eight home games against BCS opponents since 2005 -- including last year's win over NC State.
Obviously, Dinich has to pick SOMEONE and went with the Pirates, who will be the Hokies' first road opponent of the year. But are they really the team we should fear most? I want to hear your opinion.
Here's Tech's non-conference slate:
Sept. 3: vs. Appalachian State
Relax: They're an FCS team. And they're replacing some talented players on defense, including safety Mark LeGree.
Worry: Uhhhhhh, they're an FCS team. And they're an FCS team that has a well documented history of opening week upsets. And they're an FCS team with a good senior quarterback in DeAndre Presley.
Sept. 10: at East Carolina
Relax: They're defense was horrible last year and can't be that much better this year.
Worry: First road game for Logan Thomas and a high-powered offense.
Sept: 17: vs. Arkansas State
Relax: They went 4-8 in the Sun Belt last year.
Worry: They have a history of keeping it close vs. BCS teams. Lost by two vs. Indiana last year, lost by three vs. Iowa in 2009, beat Texas A&M in 2008.
Sept. 24 at Marshall
Relax: Horrible offense that lost its QB.
Worry: Another road game, will have an improved defense.
In reality, East Carolina is probably the non-conference team we should fear most. But Appalachian State and Marshall are certainly nothing to sneeze at. Marshall's on the road and App State will want to make history repeat itself in more ways than one. So which one is our toughest draw?