Dec 28, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Antone Exum (1) returns an interception thrown by Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Gary Nova (not pictured) during the fourth quarter of the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl at the Citrus Bowl. Virginia Tech defeated Rutgers 13-10 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies once again face a team that has for some reason had a history of playing tough games with the Hokies in the East Carolina Pirates. East Carolina is led by a very good QB in Shane Carden which means that the Virginia Tech secondary will have to be at full alert once again this week. Virginia Tech’s secondary was very good against AJ McCarron and Alabama, and this secondary could allow the Hokies to get a comfortable win against the Pirates.
Of course, it all starts with senior cornerback Kyle Fuller who is proving that he has the potential to be a starting cornerback at the next level. Kyle Fuller completely shut down Amari Cooper in the opening week and is becoming one of the top 10 cornerbacks in all of college football. Kyle Fuller limited Amari Cooper to 4 receptions for 38 receiving yards while Fuller also had 1 interception and 2 pass deflections. Kyle Fuller also has the toughness and ability to put some big hits on opponents which he did for his brother Kendall Fuller against Alabama.
The next piece to the puzzle has become Kyle’s true freshman brother who has started and so well for the Hokies that Antone Exum might have to move to safety next to Kyshoen Jarrett. That man is Kendall Fuller who broke onto the scene in a big way against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Kendall Fuller was very impressive in the opener against Alabama and was a big reason why AJ McCarron and the Alabama passing game struggled against the Hokies. Fuller also has already shown that he has the talent to be a first round pick in a few years which is very impressive for a true freshman.
Meanwhile, the Hokies have Antone Exum who is finally healthy and can make a huge impact as long as he is on the field. Antone Exum had 5 interceptions and 15 pass deflections last season at cornerback but his ability to force turnovers might allow Virginia Tech to put him at safety to get Kendall Fuller on the field. Of course, having Kendall Fuller as a nickel cornerback behind Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum is really impressive and the Hokies have the talent to do that. The return of Antone Exum makes Virginia Tech’s elite secondary even better.
Most defenses have that one safety that can puts some big hits on opponents which can fire up a defense and Kyshoen Jarrett is exactly that player. Jarrett didn’t stand out against Alabama but Jarrett did cause plenty of issues for the Crimson Tide and make AJ McCarron pay attention to him. Meanwhile, junior safety Detrick Bonner showed that he should still get some playing time after having 2 interceptions against Western Carolina. Now that might not seem like much being that it was Western Carolina but Bonner still had 2 interceptions which is pretty good.
Now my prediction for the game is that Virginia Tech defeats East Carolina 27 to 7.