1. How do the Hokies avoid a letdown after a big win?
This one is mainly on the coaching staff. Frank Beamer is nothing if not focused on the game in front of him. The trick is to get the team to buy in, but that might not actually be much of a challenge. After the coaches got everyone to buy into the fact that the team was going up to Columbus to win, they'll certainly be willing to listen to classic Beamerism's like, "Hey now, this East Carolina crowd will really get after you."
#Hokies coach Frank Beamer on ECU: "They've certainly got our full attention and got our respect from playing them in the past."— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) September 10, 2014
2. Can Michael Brewer avoid too many big hits?
I love this kid. He probably didn't realize it growing up in Texas but he was meant to be a Hokie. He's incredibly tough with a lot of heart and despite not really looking the part, he's got tremendous football instincts. He's kind of like Rudy except he doesn't annoy everyone on the team.
If you had a tenth of Ruettiger's heart you'd have made All-American!
-Fake Ara Parseghian in Rudy
Brewer has to protect himself though. He took some really big hits against the Buckeyes and can't afford to keep taking shots with his small frame and importance to the Tech team.
3. Just how good is the ECU offense?
Most people are familiar by now with East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden. He doesn't have a killer arm but he's accurate and doesn't force too much—sound familiar?
Carden currently ranks 18th in the nation in completion percentage at 69.9%—Michael Brewer is 19th. These quarterbacks play a very similar game and Carden has one of the most underrated weapons in the land in receiver Justin Hardy and Isaiah Jones is off to an impressive start as well. It will certainly be a challenge for Tech's stellar defense.
4. Just how good can this Hokie defense be?
At the beginning of the season, everyone knew the Hokie defensive backs would be terrific. There were questions however at linebacker and to a lesser extent along the defensive line, mainly in terms of depth. Tech is answering those questions quickly with two fantastic defensive outings. Outside of a handful of big plays—which always happens with Tech's aggressive blitz scheme—the defense has locked down and is getting to the quarterback. Dadi Nicolas is blossoming into the next great Hokie defensive end with three sacks and four tackles for loss early. Chase Williams has two sacks and is joined at linebacker by breakout star Deon Clarke. The D-line rotation is playing strong and, well, if Tech can stay healthy this is one of the better units we've had.
5. Is it just me or has coach really "turned up the wick" this season?
Frank Beamer is fired up gang. Listening, reading and watching him this season both with the media and on the field, there's a renewed vigor and confidence in Beamer's demeanor. It's not hard to see why he's re-energized. The infusion of youth around him both on the coaching staff and on the field has put a little giddy-up back in coach's step. It's great to see him making the tired, worn-down special teams genius of the past two lean seasons a distant memory.
Stick with Gobbler Country up thru the game thread as we make your acquaintances and enjoy the games in front of our flat screens. For those of you fortunate enough to make the trip, you already know what to do: Be Hospitably Inhospitable.
Until next time.