Thursday, November 5, 2009

BCS Buster: Week 10 Preview

Game of the Week - Virginia Tech @ East Carolina

The Hokies are looking to rebound after losing two-straight and having their national title hopes dashed. They haven’t lost three in a row since dropping their final two regular-season games and then losing to Cal in the 2003 Insight Bowl. One must remember that the Hokies were 5-3 at this point last year, but went on to end the season 10-4 and win the ACC Championship. East Carolina upset Virginia Tech last season on its home turf and will look to do it again.

Both quarterbacks have been struggling of late and have leaned on their ground game for success. The Hokies average 190 yards rushing per game thanks in part to running back Ryan Williams, who has 930 yards and 10 touchdowns on 163 attempts (5.7 yards-per-carry). The Pirates have a solid ball-carrier as well, Dominique Lindsay, who has rushed for 570 yards and three scores on 99 attempts this season despite missing two games (5.8 yards-per-carry). Look for both teams to focus on their run games come Thursday.

Tyrod Taylor and Patrick Pinkney are both trying to turn their seasons around with solid performances. Taylor has completed just 56 percent of his passes to date, but does have a silver lining as he’s only thrown three interceptions. Pinkney, on the other hand, has thrown nine interceptions and only eight touchdowns, a ratio no quarterback wants to see. With the game being nationally televised and both teams trying to make a statement, this should be an exciting game to watch.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 24; East Carolina 13

Players to Watch: ECU: QB Patrick Pinkney; RB Dominique Lindsay; WR Dwayne Harris; DB Van Eskridge; DL Linval Joseph; Virginia Tech: QB Tyrod Taylor; RB Ryan Williams; WR Jarrett Boykin; DB Rashad Carmichael; DL Jason Worilds

Other Games to Watch

Western Michigan @ Michigan State

In-state battles are always fun to watch and this game will be no different, especially with the Spartans having already lost at home to a non-BCS school in the state of Michigan (Central Michigan). Prediction: Michigan State 20; Western Michigan 10

BYU @ Wyoming
With the Cougars coming off of a bye, look for quarterback Max Hall and the offense to come out with guns blazing in this conference match-up. Prediction: BYU 40; Wyoming 23

Houston @ Tulsa
Both teams can score in bunches and have porous defenses, so there should be points a-plenty. We know Houston quarterback Case Keenum will come to play, but will Tulsa’s G.J. Kinne show up to the party? Prediction: Houston 41; Tulsa 28

Fresno State @ Idaho
With both teams trying to keep their conference championship hopes alive, this is an intriguing contest. Idaho is still trying to find their identity after giving up 70 points to Nevada two weeks ago and squeaking out a win at home against Louisiana Tech this past week. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs seemed to have found their swagger, winning four straight games after dropping their previous three. Prediction: Idaho 23; Fresno State 20

Photos Courtesy of East Carolina University Athletic Media Relations, University of Wyoming Photo Service