Keys to the
October 17, 2008
By Kevin Monroe
Memphis at ECU
Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008, 12 p.m.
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville
Each week, Kevin Monroe, color analyst for the Pirate ISP Sports
Radio Network, provides ďKevinís Keys to The Game,Ē
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 Memphis if it accomplishes these key objectives:
Play as a Team
The Pirate nation has been baffled over the last few weeks watching East
Carolina lose three straight games after starting the season with with
three wins. There hasnít been one particular thing to point to that
would explain the problems over the last three weeks. ECUís offense has
sputtered, the defense hasnít played well and there have been mishaps in
the kicking game. The Pirates just donít look like a complete team.
There have been individuals that have stepped up each week, like
Jonathan Williams and Dwayne Harris on offense last week, but no total
team effort. With the suspension of Jamar Bryant and the numerous
injuries over the last several weeks, the Pirates have struggled to play
as one. Memphis is a solid football team and the Pirates will lose if
they donít come together.
Over the past two weeks, the Pirates have turned the
ball over seven times. That is compared to just two turnovers over the
first two weeks of the season. Thus, it's no surprise that the first two
games were the best the Pirates have played all year and the last two
were the worst.
Patrick Pinkney hasnít looked stellar over this losing streak. He has
thrown a few interceptions and fumbled the ball at some very inopportune
times. I agree with Coach Skip Holtz' decision to stick with him through
good and bad, but Pinkney and the other offensive players must do a
better job of taking care of the ball on Saturday.
Play Better Pass Defense
Here is a scary combination of facts: The Pirates have given up 629
yards passing over the last two weeks and the Tigers love to throw the
football. Behind the big arm of Arkelon Hall, Memphis is averaging 283
yards passing per game. The Tigers have five receivers with at least 19
receptions. Those five receivers have also combined for 13 touchdowns
through seven games.
ECU hasnít found much continuity at the corner position this season.
Coach Greg Hudson would like to see two guys rise to the occasion, but
thus far many have tried and none have succeeded. The good news is that
they are all young with plenty of room for growth. The bad news is that
they are all young with plenty of room for growth.
For some time, I have been saying each week that the Pirates have the better
team compared to their opponent. But for their last few outings, they
havenít been playing like it. This week I am calling it a draw.
The Tigers are explosive on offense, averaging over 180 yards rushing and
over 280 yards passing. Defensively, Memphis could be a lot better. The
Tigers are allowing 170 yards per game on the ground and 200 yards through
On paper it looks like it could be a shootout. For the Pirates' sake, letís
hope not ó they have yet to win a shootout. It will take a great defensive
effort on Saturday to get the victory, but the Pirates are capable if the
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10/17/2008 02:35:57 AM