To prepare for Thursday's showdown, we asked ghostlikeswayze of the ECU blog 200 Years Too Late to answer a few questions about the Pirates. As a devout Parrothead, ECU has already won in the blog name category, but we'll see on Thursday if they can capture a second consecutive football game over the Hokies.
Update: My answers to his questions are up at 200YTL.
GC: Does this game being played toward the end of the season instead of at the beginning like the last two years benefit either the Hokies or Pirates?
200YTL: I think both teams have gotten a chance to look at each other throughout the year and try to develop a game plan...but according to Reflector.com, Skip isn't going to be changing the game plan after watching the VT/UNC game.
I think we both have a lot of film to study on each other and I think it will benefit both of us.
200YTL: So far, he really hasn't had any pressure on him to lose the job this year. Last year's other QB, Rob Kass, has been playing TE this season. Dwayne Harris runs a couple of Wildcats. Josh Jordan (red-shirted freshman) has come in and taken some snaps but not really in the scenario that would make Pinkney think that he was close to losing the starting position.
Last year, he and Kass made up our two quarterback system. It made Pinkney fight harder and play smarter so he was always on top of his game. I think that the two quarterback system worked better for us. It changed the pace of the game each time and forced opposing defenses to stay on their toes and they had to study twice as much before the game.
GC: No one on ECU has more than four rushing touchdowns this year, but five players have at least three. Who do we need to watch out of the ECU backfield in this game and are any of them in the Chris Johnson mold?
200YTL: Dominque Lindsay and Brandon Jackson are the two guys in the backfield that you should normally look out for. They can find the holes in the defensive line and make the bursts that they need for the first down. Jackson can make that additional burst to breakaway. It all depends on what injuries plague us this week to tell who will be in the backfield for us.
Dwayne Harris is the other guy who you should look out for in the backfield. We have been using him in the Wildcat and the guy has an arm if he ever gets into any trouble. He is just an incredible all-purpose player that I think will be a force in the NFL.
Norman Whitley is one of the RBs that I think has a lot of potential but there has been some team politics going on and he has barely gotten any touches this year. He has the speed to break off huge runs and I am hoping that Skip will put him in. I don't know what happened but it must have been something pretty bad to get him in the doghouse like he is.
GC: The Pirates have been pretty strong against the run this season. How do you see them stacking up against Virginia Tech's run game?
200YTL: We haven't been tackling well all season. If we cannot do it on Thursday, we could find ourselves in a nightmare position on national television. I think we should be able to slow Virginia Tech's running game down but our Achilles' heel is coverage in the secondary which has been almost non-existent this year.
GC: Does the VT-UNC game have you more confident about beating the Hokies or worried they'll show up a more focused team on Thursday?
200YTL: Our play is so different from UNC that I am not sure how much, if any, confidence ECU fans should get from that game. If there was a game that we should look to for confidence, it would be the Duke game earlier this year in which Duke showed how to shut down the running game and score against the Hokies. The only problem was that the Blue Devils' secondary couldn't contain Tyrod and he shredded their defense with the passing attack. I hope we took notes from that game and have let both sides of the Pirate football team study the film from it.