Keys to the
November 14, 2008
By Kevin Monroe
ECU at Southern Miss
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008, 3:00 p.m.
M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg
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).
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Carolina can defeat Southern Miss if it accomplishes these key objectives:
Contain Damien Fletcher
The Golden Eagles offense starts with the ground game. Running back
Damien Fletcher has 162 carries for 1,062 yards in nine games. Fletcher
is a smaller back, 5-10, 177 pounds, but he can carry the load when
called upon. The junior is averaging 18 carries per game and 6.5 yards
per carry. Fletcher has been starting since his freshman season and has
tremendous big play ability. The Pirates have been great against the run
this season and they will need another solid effort this week to pick up
a victory over Southern Miss.
Corral the Passer
The Pirates will have a tough task this week
pressuring the passer. Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis is a
freshman with a ton of talent. Davis is the second leading rusher on the
team with 41 yards per game and is passing for 240 yards per game. The
offensive line of the Golden Eagles is a veteran crew boasting three
juniors, a sophomore and a senior. East Carolina defensive ends C.J.
Wilson, Zack Slate and Scotty Robinson will need to contain rush this
week to not allow Davis to escape and to put plenty of pressure on the
Mount a Balanced Attack
Against Memphis and Central Florida, the Pirates had a very impressive
running game, but could not pass effectively. Then last week versus
Marshall, when ECU was able to open things up a little and get the
passing game going, Norman Whitley found tougher sledding against a
stout Thundering Herd front seven. Quarterback Patrick Pinkney looked
really good last week and the receivers collectively caught the ball
well and made some big catches. Against the Golden Eagles, they will
need both the running game and passing game to be firing on all
East Carolina is once again going to be the better team in this ball game.
That doesn’t matter to Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles own the Pirates in
this series and they don’t lose very many Conference USA home games. 'The
Rock' (M.M. Roberts Stadium) is also one of the toughest places to play in
the league. The Golden Eagles are averaging 31 points per game this year and
ECU hasn’t scored very many points in its last five games. The Pirate
defense has a huge task on Saturday.
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11/14/2008 02:59:01 AM