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Marshall-Virginia Tech Preview

Records: Thundering Herd 1-0; No. 14 Hokies 0-1.

Coaches: Mark Snyder (16-31, fifth season); Frank Beamer (177-90-2, 23rd season).

When the Hokies Have the Ball
Against Alabama’s stalwart defense last Saturday, Virginia Tech had a tough time moving the chains. It finished with 11 first downs and converted only 2 of 12 third downs. Against Marshall, the Hokies will look to sustain drives and score points. In order to do that, quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the passing game need to get going. The Hokies showed promise running the ball but failed to air it out against the Crimson Tide; they had only 91 passing yards. If the Hokies can show signs of life on offense, it could go a long way toward preparing them for back-to-back tests against Nebraska and Miami in the next two weeks.

When the Thundering Herd Has the Ball
Virginia Tech’s defense has long been its backbone, in addition to quality special teams play. But the Hokies allowed a handful of big plays against Alabama, including a 35-yard pass in the first quarter and a 48-yard completion in the fourth. Those plays spotlighted a few mistakes in coverage. Although the Thundering Herd does not have the offensive talent of Alabama, Virginia Tech’s ability to put together a defensive performance absent those long plays will be a primary goal. Marshall is led by one of the nation’s best tight ends in Cody Slate and has 1,000-yard running back Darius Marshall returning from a one-game suspension. If the Hokies play sound defensively, they should be able to prevent big plays.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the name of Marshall's coach. It is Mark Snyder.

By Mark Viera  |  September 11, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
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No effing way seriously, Nick Saban is coaching Marshall now. We have to play that ass two weeks in a row!

Posted by: eorr53 | September 11, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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