East Carolina-Virginia Tech Preview

Michael Brewer thought the middle-of-the-night party was fun, now the junior quarterback in his first year with No. 17 Virginia Tech wants to ensure beating Ohio State was just the beginning.

He wants the Hokies to be look beyond the throng of hundreds that greeted them upon their return to Blacksburg, Virginia, early Sunday morning, and the talk that they have put themselves back among the national elite. He wants to be ready Saturday when the Hokies (2-0) play dangerous East Carolina (1-1).

”We knew people were doubting us and that we didn’t have necessarily high expectations from people on the outside looking in, but the thing of it is, in that small circle, we didn’t really care what people were thinking,” Brewer said Monday, two days after the Hokies pulled off one of their biggest victories in years with a 35-21 road victory against the now 22nd-ranked Buckeyes.

”We still don’t care what people are thinking. We understand that we just beat Ohio State in Columbus and now everybody thinks we’re the greatest thing to play football, and that’s not the case,” the former Texas Tech backup, who has brought a hurry-up offense to the Hokies, said. ”You’ve got to stay level-headed through this course. If not a team like East Carolina will come in your backyard and beat you.”

The Pirates, coming off a 33-23 loss at No. 24 South Carolina, present a formidable challenge. They rank 25th nationally with an average of 517 yards per game, and feature the passing combination of quarterback Shane Carden and wide receiver Justin Hardy, who has 19 catches for 220 yards and two TDs in two games.

They also have teammates eager for Saturday to arrive, said coach Ruffin McNeill, who said players were texting him about the game against Virginia Tech on the bus all the way home from South Carolina.

”We had four buses of coaches and players who were texting me the entire time,” McNeill said.

Hokies cornerback Kyshoen Jarrett thinks it will like a role reversal from last week. Besides their longest-in-the-nation regular season winning streak, the Buckeyes also had won 64 consecutive non-conference home games.

”The same way that we looked at Ohio State, ECU’s going to be looking at us, coming into our stadium and trying to silence our crowd,” Jarrett said. ”What we have to do, and what the seniors have to do is, gather everybody around and make sure that they don’t get complacent. That was only Week 2.”

They are the kinds of words coach Frank Beamer loves to hear his seniors sharing.

”We had a great win over, like I said, a national team. Our kids played great. Our coaches coached great, as I said,” Beamer said. ”But right now, we enjoyed the win. We celebrated it. Now we need to get that out of our mind and get it on East Carolina because I’m going to tell you, they’re dangerous.”

The proof is on the scores list every Sunday, Brewer said, that teams taking an opponent likely can lose.

”We’re going to do what we can to make sure that doesn’t happen because that was a big win, there’s no question about it. Huge win for our program, huge win for our seniors,” Brewer said, ”but that win is going to mean a heck of a lot more if we can continue to win and get it done each week.

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