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Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina:Gobbler Country Staff Picks

The G.C. staff tells you what to expect tomorrow!

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

There isn't much debate for the big game tomorrow, but the way the Hokies win is a matter of opinion.  The staff at Gobbler Country shares their records, as well as the forecast for the showdown:

John Schneider(3-0)

This game is a real wildcard.  ECU is not Purdue, but it isn't the ECU from last season either. Ruffin McNeill has to rely on a new quarterback and a new number 1 receiver, neither of whom have proven themselves to date. The rub is that we are almost in that same position; well almost.  ECU comes off a pretty thorough drubbing by AAC conference rival Navy.  We are coming off a runaway that some folks are still dismissing.  The Pirates are at home, and we are still missing big pieces; a starting QB, a complete wide receiver group, and linebackers.  ECU couldn't stop Navy's triple option.  It was a goat stampede.  We don't run the triple option so we get to see if they can stop a more conventional below average running game.  We don't know if they can stop the passing game; but we have Lefty and his passing game tends to stop itself at the line of scrimmage.  This game shakes out to be evenly matched.   I still think that we have an advantage because of the talent on the defensive line, and our oddball four tight end/H-back offenses might give the Pirates fits, if Lefty will actually game plan for it, and use it.  This is going to be a slug fest.

Virginia Tech 35  ECU 21

Roy Hatfield(3-0)

ECU plays us like Auburn plays Alabama.  In the end, the Hokies have too much much talent and depth for the Pirates to fire their cannons.

Virginia Tech 31 ECU 17

Chelsea Lindner(3-0)

ECU seems to be struggling this year after losing many players to the NFL. Their QB was also injured during training camp and is out for the season. They are 1-2, and struggled to beat Towson. Although they are playing at home I think their struggle continues and the Hokies win 38-24.

Joshua Schneider(3-0)

Do you know that college drinking game 'Never have I ever'? Never have I ever seen an ECU game where Tech has completely dominated them. Even in the 49-27 win in 2010, we still struggled to get rid of them through halftime and then turned on the jets and stifled their offense. I don't expect this game to be altogether that much different. Even with losing Justin Hardy and Shane Carden and their offensive coordinator, I don't trust things to go smoothly for the Hokies. I know turnover kind of rules in the college world- and every 4-5 years you have a completely different team, but call me skeptical of a runaway. I think Tech wins, and covers, but the final score probably won't indicate how close we came to buffaloing it early. VT 35-ECU 20.

David Kistler(3-0)

Just as last week the Hokies will be in trouble only if they hurt themselves. East Carolina is a quality program with a number of athletes that could play at ACC schools. However, this is a very different Pirate squad than the one that beat the Hokies in Blacksburg last season. It will be critical for the Hokies to dominate on the ground and force the Pirate defense to guess what the Hokies are going to do next. Scot Leoffler still baffles me with bad play calling, but if he calls a decent game this one won't be a game late in the second half. The Hokies defense will step up, but expect Bud to help his corners out with a little zone coverage to keep the Pirates out of the end zone. Hokies Win : 34-17.

Matt Costello(3-0)

The Hokies are tested again on the road this time against a familiar foe in the ECU Pirates. I think the story of the day will be the play of the offensive/defensive lines for the Hokies as we hold the significant advantage on both sides, but have to establish the line of scrimmage immediately in this game. The running game needs to start out strong and give Motley the confidence to complete throws down the field to keep the defense honest. The game will start out slow as all VT games do, but eventually the defense will make some big stops/turnovers which the offense should be able to capitalize on. Hokies win, 31-21. 

CJ Rooks(2-1)

Virginia Tech better come in ready to play on Saturday. It's an early kick-off and East Carolina seems to always give Frank Beamer and his team trouble. This is also a classic look ahead spot for Virginia Tech with the Hokies opening conference play next week. With all that being said I think Virginia Tech wins the game. Once again I will predict a close contest in the beginning, but the Hokies will pull away in the 2nd half. Virginia Tech wins 42-24.

Jay Johnson(2-1)

The last three meetings between VT and ECU have been decided by one score or less.  One must reach all the way back to 2010 when the Hokies beat the Pirates 49-27 before one sees double digit deficits.  East Carolina has suffered a few losses since last season - the largest being their OC taking a job with Oklahoma during the off-season.  Virginia Tech should win this game, but we should have won last year as well, and in 2008 when VT lost their season opener to the Pirates.  The Hokies have only beaten the Pirates soundly once, and VT does seem to mail a game in against an opponent they should dominate every year (WF I'm looking at you).  This game concerns me simply based on history.  I think VT wins, but I think it maintains the ECU tradition of being ugly and close.  21-17 VT.

Joe Roy-Stewart(2-1)

Ahhhh East Carolina.  For whatever reason it never seems to matter how good either team is, this game is always a fun one to watch and is close.  That being said this is not the same ECU and it's not the same Hokie squad from last year as well.  ECU lost it's playmakers from last season, and it's quarterback before this season.  ECU gave Florida a good game, but couldn't do the same with a Navy team that wears you out with the triple-option.  The Hokies on the other hand are as ready for this game as an injured team can be.  Motley looks really good, even if not quite to what we think Brewer can be, and Huelskamp looked solid in place of Motuapuka.  ECU will play hard but the depth of Virginia Tech mixed with playing Navy the week before will leave too many running holes and passing angles for the running backs and Motley and this one gets ugly late.  ECU is better than Purdue, but the score won't be indicative of that.  Hokies roll 45-21.