Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer's Hokies go into Greenville, North Carolina this week with a few positions unsettled, mainly in the backfield at tailback and at the wide receiver position. In fact, Beamer only settled on his starting quarterback earlier this week.
Coach Skip Holtz's East Carolina Pirates, on the other hand, return 16 starters from a team that only lost by 10 points in Blacksburg last season.
While it's true that Beamer's squad was still recovering from the horrifying tragedy that left 32 people dead in Blacksburg, the Hokies still found themselves in a much tougher game than I think they expected.
Holtz is a top-notch coach who is somewhat under the radar in northeastern North Carolina's rural background, but he and senior quarterback Patrick Pinkney have been through some battles together, even as Pinkney shared time behind center with Rob Kass—who appears to have relinquished the top spot to Pinkney this season.
Last year, Pinkney went 14 of 25 for 125 yards and ran for nearly 50 yards as a partial starter. Look for Pinkney to try to solidify Holtz's decision to start him with the backdrop of a rowdy and underrated fan base in Greenville to derail the Hokies' BCS title hopes in Week One.
ECU 24, Va Tech 13
Call your bookie.