College Football Pick
By Jason Green
East Carolina lost their first Game of the season last week to South Carolina and in 3 Games this season they have faced 2 Power 5 Conference teams. However, they head into this road Game as an 11-point underdog facing a Virginia Tech team that has to be confident after blowing out Boston College 49-0 in their last Game.
Last season East Carolina beat Virginia Tech 35-28 and they have won 6 straight Games facing teams from the ACC including taking down North Carolina State this season. They have a great passing attack, which ranks 7th in the nation in passing yards per Game. In their last Game they lost to South Carolina only scoring on 2 of their 6 trips to the red zone.
Tech had failed to cover the spread in their first 2 Games, but did so in their blowout win last week. ECU failed to cover in the South Carolina Game as a 2-point underdog.
The big match up in this Game is East Carolina’s passing offense facing a Virginia Tech pass defense that is the top ranked unit in the nation.
Phillip Nelson leads the Pirates aerial attack and he has already passed for 1,095 yards with 7 TD and 3 INT on the season. While he lit it up last week against South Carolina with 400 passing yards he only had 1 TD and had 2 INT. He has a slew of targets, but the main one, by far, is Zay Jones, who has 443 yards while the next leading WR has 164.
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ECU can also run the ball with Anthony SCott and James Summers each having over 200 rushing yards. In Tech’s lone loss this season to Tennessee their run defense gave up 239 yards.
Tech QB Jerod Evans has 10 TD and only 1 INT and he is also the 2nd leading rusher on the team. His WR corps is solid and last week in a team effort the Hokies piled up 223 rushing yards. RB Marshawn Williams came back in the BC Game after a knee injury kept him out a season and he rushed for 81 yards.
East Carolina needs a solid performance on offense, as they only rank 62nd in the nation defending the pass and 81st defending the run.
While ECU is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-Conference Games they are only 8-21 ATS facing a team with a winning record.
Virginia Tech is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Games overall and 7-18-2 ATS in their last 27 non-Conference Games.
Jason’s Pick: We’re getting some extra value here with the underdog Pirates are a result of Tech’s thrashing of BC last week. Statistically speaking, East Carolina crushed South Carolina last week, despite losing on the scoreboard. How about a first down edge of 34-14 along with yardage and time of possession edges. The 4 turnovers killed them. Expect EC to hold onto the ball this week. East Carolina +11.5