football Edit

Hokies won't sleep on East Carolina

Just over a week removed from feeling about as low as possible - following a 45-24 loss to Tennessee - VIrginia Tech is back on the other side of the spectrum. A 49-0 victory over Boston College in the ACC opener has VT feeling sky-high

According to head coach Justin Fuente, there will be a little bit of emotion management to undertake before VT hits the field again. East Carolina lurks on Saturday, and the Hokies can't get too high or too low in intensity.

"I know those external factors are things that we have to mature with and understand how handle it," Fuente said. "I try to explain to them that we live in overreaction society. I am not pointing my fingers at anybody. Everything is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever. There is never any in between. It’s up to us to mediate that. We have to make sure we understand that it is a process. We try to ignore those external things and focus on the task at hand.”

Tremaine Edmunds doesn't want the process to change with the opponent.

It may seem natural for the team to overlook an opponent like East Carolina. The Pirates are a member of the American Athletic Conference - outside football's "Power-Five" - and are coming off a loss to South Carolina last weekend.

That would take a short memory, though. The Hokies have hit a bad stretch against the Pirates, with losses in back-to-back years: 35-28 last year 28-21 in 2014.

"I can assure that East Carolina has a full respect of all our players," Fuente said. "We don’t operate on revenge or those types of things. We operate on focusing on ourselves and making sure that we do a great job preparing. We still have to teach in the process and give ourselves a chance to have success.”

Sophomore linebacker Tremaine Edmunds underscored that the preparation can't change, even if the opponent looks like one that should be a victory. The Hokies know all too well that they can't chalk anything up before the game is played, especially against this team.

"We started with practice yesterday," Edmunds said. "Coming out, executing, we had a meeting that was like, 'we've got to come out, play hard, play fast, we've got to put this game behind us and get ready for the next week's.'

"We're always ready to get back on the field. We've got to come out and prove ourselves each week. We've got to prepare the same way."

Fuente doesn't share that history of struggling against ECU with the rest of his Virginia Tech program. The first-year coach has yet to square off against ECU (though his Memphis program shared a conference with them the past two years). What he does have when it comes to the Pirates is a great respect for their program.

“There are several things," Fuente said. "First of all, this is a program with great tradition. They have won a lot of games. They have very good football players. When you watch them play, they are athletic. Defensively, they are moving all over the place. They had over 500 yards of offense last week. They had a receiver [Zay Jones] catch 22 balls last week. They can hurt in so many ways. They are a very good football team. Overall, they are incredibly athletic and well coached, and tough-minded.”