Demetri McGill (© James Guillroy/USA Today)

Virginia native Demetri McGill looks to keep playing at high level for ECU against Virginia Tech

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- The East Carolina Pirates and defensive lineman Demetri McGill travel to Virginia Tech on Saturday. Inside ECU Sports caught up with McGill after Wednesday's practice to talk about the matchup.

After a tough loss at South Carolina, East Carolina is looking to bounce back this weekend at Virginia Tech.

Senior nose tackle Demetri McGill has been impressive through the first three games for the Pirates and will play a major role this week against the Hokies.

McGill earned praise from head coach Scottie Montgomery in Monday's press conference following last Saturday's loss at South Carolina. 

"Our defense was led by Demetri McGill, who played a physical game once again," Montgomery said. "(It was) the second week in a row that he's played well and played above the line, and also the rest of the defensive line." 

For the third straight week, the Pirates will be coming into their matchup seen as an underdog after games against NC State and South Carolina. This does not bother McGill.

"We always seem to be the underdog against those teams," he said. "We get to play with a chip on our shoulder."

Along with the chip from being seen as an underdog, the trip to Virginia Tech will be a bit of a homecoming game for McGill, who attended Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach.

In his senior season, he made 112 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 12 sacks, but was not recruited by Virginia Tech or Virginia.

Even with all the extra motivation, McGill said that he's preparing just as he would for any other game.

"They're just another team," he said. "I just have to study up on their offensive linemen to see what their tendencies are and be ready for Saturday."

McGill and the Pirates will take the field against the Hokies at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday in Blacksburg.

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