Ostensibly, there isn't much exciting about the Virginia Tech Hokies matchup with the hapless Marshall Thundering Herd this Saturday. Marshall was throttled by the Ohio Bobcats last weekend, 44-7.
But as Virginia Tech fans, we're all looking for a reason to watch (since our devotion dictates that we'll be watching anyway). Here are the five biggest reasons you should still tune it to the Hokies' game against Marshall this weekend, despite the fact that it will likely be a bloodbath.
Even after an unproductive game last week against the Arkansas State Red Wolves, David Wilson still ranks seventh in the county in rushing yards per game.
The fleet-footed Virginia Tech Hokies running back may not be on most people's Heisman lists yet, but if he continues to churn out big yards, Wilson will force himself into the conversation. And let's not forget his ability to make plays in the receiving game and on kick returns.
This weekend presents a good opportunity for Wilson to pad his stats, as the Marshall Thundering Herd ranks 91st in total defense.
Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Jayron Hosley was a second-team All-American last season. Hosley led the nation in interceptions in 2010 with nine.
If Hosley has a similarly productive season in 2011, he could be the first Hokie to make first-team All-American since Jimmy Williams in 2005.
Hosley picked up two interceptions a week ago against the Arkansas State Red Wolves. Despite avoiding turnovers in the opener against West Virginia, Marshall Thundering Herd quarterback Rakeem Cato has thrown six picks the last two games. Hosley could very well pick up an interception again this week.
This game presents one last warm-up for quarterback Logan Thomas before the Virginia Tech Hokies are thrust into the conference slate. After struggling mightily through his first two starts, Thomas looked considerably better last weekend against the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
Though he forced two balls in the fourth quarter that resulted in interceptions (after the game was already won), Thomas played very well for the first three quarters. He finished 21-33 for 292 yards and two touchdowns.
The Marshall Thundering Herd have the 107th (out of 120) ranked passing defense in the country. This game should present a low-pressure environment for Thomas to work out any last kinks before the Clemson Tigers come to town.
After three games, the Virginia Tech Hokies rank 8th in the country in both total and scoring defense, allowing just 224 yards and 10 points per game.
While two of the three games came against weak opponents, the Hokies' defense limited the East Carolina Pirates to just 112 yards, a week after they gained 345 against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Virginia Tech defense should be just as stingy this week, as it faces a Marshall Thundering Herd team whose offense ranks 105th in the country.
While the toughest games on the schedule are what you look forward to as a fan, the games against cupcakes are more enjoyable in certain ways.
The Virginia Tech Hokies ought to offer the fans a lot to cheer for this Saturday. Playing a weaker opponent means more scoring, a higher gross of big plays, and most likely (when talking about Virginia Tech) at least one non-offensive touchdown.
The fans can relax and enjoy the tailgate beforehand with any anxiety, with the assumption that the Hokies will take care of business once the ball kicks off.