For a place that's called itself, "DBU" and had scores of top defensive backs come through, from Kam Chancellor to Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech had a surprising stat from Saturday.
Junior safety Detrick Bonner's interception for a touchdown was the first for the Hokies in 28 games. It was a play that brought even more life to the secondary.
That'll be needed Saturday, as Virginia Tech faces its first high-powered offense this season. East Carolina has scored 83 points in two games, averaging 70 plays. With more similar offenses coming, even with Marshall next weekend, the Pirates offer another test for freshman cornerback Brandon Facyson and his DB teammates, which have excelled in two games.
"As a defensive back, you always want those games where the quarterback throws a lot," Facyson said. "They run a very high-tempo offense, the quarterback's playing very well, I think he's completing 80 percent of his passes with zero interceptions. We go into this game licking our chops. Defensively, we're gonna make up a game plan that's gonna fit this perfectly. We come in there with high expectations and we're gonna come out with how we play and we're very excited about this game."
Facyson said this week shouldn't be a huge change from what the Hokies normally do defensively. Assistant coach Torrian Gray has simply reminded them to stick to their assignments and pay attention to detail.
"Coach Gray harps on being in the right place at the right time, just playing your role and it'll all fall into place," Facyson said. "We get the little things done, the big things will come, so we've just gotta play our position, be at right spot at the right time, play the right technique and get our communication right."
So far, Facyson has done exceedingly well through the first two weeks. Facyson and his freshman teammate Kendall Fuller have played big roles in both games, combining for nine tackles, while Facyson had his first career interception against Western Carolina.
"During the week, we're nothing but football and education," Facyson said. "Even in the dorms, we go over our things together, we go over what we should be in, with this type of call, this type of situation. We talk on the field a lot, we let each other know the check a lot, practicing a lot. It goes back to the game because we do it in the game as well. We've played very well but I know we can step up our game to a higher level."
A higher level includes keeping the pressure on and hopefully, getting more defensive scores, which certainly ignite the whole team.
"As a secondary, we thrive on missed opportunities by the offense, us executing just as well, if not better than the offense, making plays on the ball," Facyson said. "Whether it's an interception or a pass break up or even just getting in the way of the quarterback so he can't make the play, he can't pass the ball to that number one receiver he's trying to pass the ball to. It definitely makes us hungry, with the 28-game stretch with no interceptions returned for a touchdown. We were very excited about that. The interception we had on Saturday, that really increased our motor for just playing on the ball."