Keys to the
October 27, 2007
By Kevin Monroe
Game 9: UAB at ECU
Each week, Kevin Monroe, color analyst for the Pirate ISP Sports
Radio Network, provides “Kevin’s Keys to The Game,”
outlining what East Carolina must do to beat its opponent.
Monroe brings a unique perspective to the task, not only as a
member of the broadcast team, but also as a former defensive
back for the Pirates (1995-99).
All Rights Reserved.
Carolina can defeat UAB if it accomplishes these key objectives:
quarterbacks Rob Kass and Patrick Pinkney haven’t looked very sharp in
the last two weeks. The early season cool, calm and collected
quarterback that we saw versus Southern Miss and Central Florida has
become anxious and unsure of himself. Although still playing fairly well
for a first year starter, Kass has begun to miss easy throws and doesn’t
seem comfortable reading his progression down field. It appears Kass
looks for his first receiver down field and then immediately checks down
to the running backs or tight ends. Believing in your offensive line and
trusting yourself to make tough throws in tight spaces comes with
experience. Pinkney has seen his role significantly decrease over the
last few games and is only getting a series or two per game. His
confidence has been hurt and his play has shown with turnovers in his
last two appearances. Whichever QB gets the majority of snaps on
Saturday needs to play relaxed, be confident and play well.
Stretch the UAB
Kass has an unusually strong arm, but fans haven’t had much chance to
see it. Over the last few games, ECU has really shrunk the field by
throwing the majority of its passes 10 yards or less down field. Several
of those passes have been flair routes to the running backs or wider
receiver screens that travel sideways. This UAB defense is giving up
nearly 500 yards of total offense per game, 240 of which is through the
air. The Pirates need to open things up with Jamar Bryant, Dwayne Harris
and Steven Rogers running routes down the field. Both quarterbacks have
proven they can throw the deep ball. UAB starts three freshman and a
sophomore on the defensive line, which should give Kass and Pinkney
ample time to throw the ball.
Don’t give up the
When the Pirates
are on defense, they have to play solid up front and in the secondary to
avoid giving up the big play. All of last season, ECU gave up only a
handful of plays of 20 yards or more — this year, it is giving up a
handful per game. The Pirates are playing several young players on the
line, at linebacker and in the secondary. In the next few years, ECU
will benefit from the experience being gained by its youth movement, but
right now the inexperience is taking a toll.
Be solid in the
Kicker Ben Hartman
has made his last four field goals and is really starting to play well.
UAB kicker Swayze Waters has had a phenomenal year. He is 9-9 on kicks
of over 40 yards. Waters his also the punter, averaging more than 42
yards per boot. The Pirates have been inconsistent in the punting game
all year and had a punt blocked last week versus N.C. State. They must
shore up the kicking game if they want to win this game.
East Carolina is
tied with Southern Miss for first place
in Conference USA’s East Division and must approach each opponent from here
until the end of the regular season as an obstacle standing between it and
the division championship. The Golden Eagles have to play a good Central
Florida team on Sunday. A win on Saturday will be huge for the Pirates...
and nobody likes to lose on Homecoming.
Send an e-mail message to
Dig into Kevin Monroe's Bonesville
10/27/2007 02:41:56 AM