Keys to the
September 17, 2010
By Kevin Monroe
East Carolina at Virginia Tech
Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, 1:30 p.m. (TV:
Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA
For the fifth
straight year, Kevin Monroe, color analyst for the Pirate ISP Sports
Radio Network, provides “Kevin’s Keys to The Game,”
his weekly breakdown of what East Carolina must do to beat its
Monroe brings a unique perspective to the task as a
member of the broadcast team and as a former star defensive
back for the Pirates (1995-99).
All Rights Reserved.
Carolina can defeat Virginia Tech if it accomplishes these key objectives:
Contain Tyrod Taylor
Pirates faced a fairly mobile quarterback, G.J. Kinne, in week one versus
Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane signal caller was able to outflank the Pirate
defense with his legs on a number of occasions. On Saturday ECU will face
one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the country. Tyrod Taylor needs
only 28 yards rushing to become Virginia Tech's all-time leading rusher from
the quarterback position. He ranks in the top three in every QB rushing
category at Tech. Let’s not forget that one of the best dual-threat
quarterbacks in college football history, Michael Vick, was a Hokie. Taylor
has 179 yards rushing through two games, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The
Pirates must keep Taylor in the pocket and not allow him to scramble for
extra yards on Saturday.
Tech is widely known for “Beamer Ball,” its very effective approach to
finding ways to score points on defense and special teams. Coach Frank
Beamer decided long ago that he was going to make special teams as important
as offense and defense. He was really the first coach to put his starters on
special teams in an attempt to change the momentum of games by blocking and
returning kicks. Coach Beamer’s teams have blocked 126 kicks in his 283-game
tenure. He also believes in constantly probing for opportunities to score
non-offensive touchdowns. East Carolina will need to take pride in the
kicking game on Saturday. The Pirates can’t afford to give up a big play on
special teams that allows the Hokies to control the momentum and keep their
fans in the game.
Improve on 'D'
two games ECU has scored 101 points, which is a new school record for
back-to-back games. There is little concern as to what the Pirates can do on
offense but, defensively, it’s been a different story. Tulsa ran up 49
points in the opener before the Pirate defenders bounced back a bit last
week by holding Memphis to 27 points. Virginia Tech, having scored only five
touchdowns through two games, doesn't match Tulsa's offensive fire power but
does brandish a ton of talent. Running back Ryan Williams is a stud and
torched the Pirates in 2008 as a freshman. Wide receiver Jarrett Boykin is
also a really good player. East Carolina will have its work cut out to keep
the Hokies offense constrained.
East Carolina would get to 3-0 by winning this first non-conference game of
the season. Lane Stadium seats 66,000-plus and it’s a tough place to play
your first road game. The Pirates will have to settle down quickly and not
let the Hokies jump out on them early. A victory for ECU will put the
program back on the national scene. The Pirates have the offense to score
with anybody, but they need to take care of the football and step up on
defense to get this victory. The Tech team that lost to James Madison last
week will not be the one that hosts the Pirates at Lane Stadium on Saturday.
East Carolina will see a much better Hokie team.
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09/17/2010 03:08:28 AM