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2013 Virginia Tech Football: What To Watch Vs. Western Carolina

While the Hokies should have an easier go of it in their home opener Saturday vs. Western Carolina, the Catamounts are playing their third consecutive game agains FBS opponents, including going up against Alabama in their season finale a year ago. So while the Hokies have the decided talent advantage and the home field, the Catamounts probably will not cower to the challenge. And after the Hokies lost to the James Madison Dukes in 2010, any team bearing the FCS label coming in should be respected equally. For more on the Hokies match up with the Catamounts, continue reading below.

Kevin C. Cox

Virginia Tech Hokies (0-1) vs. Western Carolina Catamounts (0-1)

Virginia Tech Offense vs. Western Carolina Defense

  • As I said in the Game Guide:
  • On defense, Western Carolina runs a 4-3 scheme. This is their first year in that scheme, as last year they were in the 3-4 base. Their defensive coordinator, Shawn Quinn, is their third in three years.
  • Defensively, the Catamounts gave up 5,658 yards in 2012, or 514.4 yards per game. They also gave up 40.8 points per game.
  • In rushing defense, the Catamounts allowed 329.4 yards per game. Through the air, they allowed 185 yards per game.
  • The Catamounts totaled 1,857 yards of passing offense in 2012, good for 168.8 yards per game.
  • After one game, the Hokies rank No. 109 in the nation in total offense with 212 yards per game
  • The Hokies rank No. 68 in rushing with 153 yards on the ground.
  • Virginia Tech currently ranks last in the nation with 59 yards in passing offense
  • The Hokies rank tied for No.101 in the country in scoring offense with 10 points per game.

Virginia Tech Defense vs. Western Carolina Offense

  • As I said in the Game Guide:
  • Offensively, the Catamounts run a variation of the spread offense. They ran the Pistol as recently as two years ago. Here's our Georgia Tech blog, From The Rumble Seat, and their take on that offense.
  • Western Carolina are running a two-quarterback system, with sophomore Troy Mitchell and redshirt-junior Eddie Sullivan, who began his career at Marshall before transferring
  • The Catamounts finished the 2012 with yards of total offense, 3,693 yards or 335.7 yards per game.
  • The Catamounts totaled 1,857 yards of passing offense in 2012, good for 168.8 yards per game.
  • WCU finished with 1,836 yards of rushing offense in 2012, an average of 166.9 yards per game.
  • Sullivan/Mitchell started all 11 games last year and combined to go 180-318 (56.6%) for 1,841 yards and 8 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. They also combined for 707 yards rushing (4.3 ypc.) and 10 touchdowns. Mitchell and Sullivan were the team's No. 2 and No. 3 leading-rushers respectively.
  • The Catamounts were led in rushing by Darius Ramsey (who missed the MTSU game due to injury) with 503 yards on 111 carries (4.5 ypc.) and 2 touchdowns. No word yet if he'll be back against the Hokies.
  • The Catamounts' top returning receiver is Karnorris Benson, who had 19 catches for 349 yards and a touchdown in 2012. He already had a 100+ yard game against MTSU and is their best deep threat.
  • The Hokies are tied for No. 32 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 96 yards in one game.
  • Virginia Tech ranks No. 8 in the nation in passing defense, allowing only 110 yards.
  • The Hokies rank No. 8 nationally in total defense, allowing 206 yards per game.
  • Virginia Tech is tied for No. 84 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 35 points (though 21 of those were not allowed by the defense).

Watch the Box Score

  • Logan Thomas passing yards
  • Virginia Tech number of drops
  • Western Carolina turnovers
  • Troy Mitchell rushing yardage

Virginia Tech Players to Watch

Western Carolina Players to Watch

  • 9 - Eddie Sullivan, r-Jr., QB OR 10 - Troy Mitchell, So., QB
  • 14 - Karnorris Benson, Jr., WR
  • 20 - Darius Ramsey, So., RB OR 1 - Shaun Warren, Sr., RB
  • 41 - Courtland Carson, Sr., LB

Final Score

Virginia Tech 44, Western Carolina 14