Run and Shoot: Halftime In Blacksburg

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Halftime In Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG, Va. - We've got a ballgame on our hands, ladies and gentlemen.

As the ECU Marching Pirates serenade us with "Good Golly, Miss Molly," there are probably more than a few folks saying, "Good Golly" at the game Virginia Tech finds itself in. The Hokies lead 10-7 at halftime, with the only offensive touchdown belonging to the Pirates.

The Pirates wisely chose not to test the always-dangerous Virginia Tech secondary early on, and still have yet to complete a pass longer than 10 yards. However, 95 yards on the ground and a pair of caused turnovers by the ECU defense have kept Virginia Tech from really getting going.

Special teams and defense have carried the Hokies thus far, particularly the 17-yard interception return by Victor "Macho" Harris, which put the Hokies on top with 3:07 left in the half. That, however, was set up by the punt team that downed the ball on the Pirate two-yard line, and the defense that recaptured its ability to stop the run. That forced first-time starter Brett Clay to put the ball in the air out of his own end zone, and he put it right into the hands of Harris.

In the second half, I'd look for the run defense to clamp down for Virginia Tech, as it's becoming more and more apparent that putting the ball in the air isn't a big part of Skip Holtz's plans for the afternoon, especially now that that Harris has done his thing. On offense, the Hokies need to take better care of the football, as another couple of turnovers like they had in the first half will make this much more of a ballgame than anyone on the Hokies sideline really wants.

As for ECU, they seem to have a pretty good gameplan. If Clay and/or Patrick Pinkney can get the completions they need to get to keep Virginia Tech honest, they may be able to keep Dominique Lindsay and Chris Johnson going on the ground. The defense also needs to keep on track, as a couple more turnovers will keep the Pirates right in this game.

In any event, North Carolina - which faces the Pirates next weekend in Greenville on CSTV - can't like the looks of this. The Pirates have the fourth-most difficult in the schedule according to Rivals.com, and the performance over the first 30 minutes shows that ECU will not be intimidated.

Should be one heck of a second half.

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