VT focusing on little things ahead of ECU

Hokies look to improve in 3rd-down situations

By Eric Johnson - Sports Reporter

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The 16th-ranked Hokies will try to take their act on the road Saturday against East Carolina. Their focus is taking care of the little things in hopes of starting the season 3-0 for the first time since 2011.

"When I look at our football squad, I think we have to do all the little things correctly in order to give ourselves a chance to win. And, you know, part of that is because of our youth, part of that is because of the people we're going to play," said head coach Justin Fuente.

"We're going to play quality people who have really good players as well. And for a long time, that's been the formula for winning football games."

One of those little things is third-down efficiency. The Hokies are just 6-of-26 through two games. Quarterback Josh Jackson said he's comfortable with the offense and his weapons, so it's just a matter of executing.

"We're in third and medium or not too long, so that's just us. I wouldn't say it's on the play calling at all, you know, coach Cornelsen does does a good job," Jackson said.

"So that's just us executing better on third down, and that's just something we've got to work on."

On the other side of the ball, Bud Foster and the defense looks to limit distractions and focus on the Pirates offense as a whole, and not solely on who's under center.

"You know, they're trying to find the hot guy, is what it looks like to me. They started the other kid, five [Gardner Minshew], the first game, then brought Sirk in the second half and he's played since he got hurt the other day. So we'll see," said Foster.

It's important to note that Virginia Tech is 6-2 against ECU when ranked, but has lost two of the last three meetings with the Pirates, when slotted in the top 25. Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday from Greenville.

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