TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
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Sometimes things just come
a little too easily.
That may have been the
case in East Carolina’s 49-27 win over Memphis on Saturday. The Pirates
combined a defensive score with three touchdowns from the offense, and
led 28-3 in the first quarter.
The blowout was on, but
the Pirates were hoping to put the game away a little quicker.
“I would give us a ‘B’
offensively,” said offensive boss Lincoln Riley, the youngest
coordinator in the nation. “We had a lot of opportunities and we should
have scored more points.”
Two weeks certainly don’t
make a season, but through two games East Carolina has racked up some
The Pirates are 7th
nationally in scoring (50/game), 5th in 1st downs (27/game) and ranked
1st in the nation in red zone efficiency at 100 percent.
The most telling stats are
in turnovers. Through two games, the Pirates have yet to lose a fumble
and the team is ranked 7th nationally in turnover margin with a +2.
The Pirates have acquired
all of these sparkling numbers with a brand new staff and after losing
28 players from a year ago.
Still, Riley and the
offense are anything but satisfied.
“We didn’t do enough when
we had the chance,” Riley said. “We really should have put this game
away quicker and I’m really disappointed about that.”
As disappointed as Riley
was about not putting the game away early, the young coordinator was
pleased that all phases were clicking for the Pirates against the
“The best thing to see was
that the defense came out,” Riley added. “They really played well. That
was the first time in a game that we have gotten on all three sides and
really went on a run. Last week it was just hit or miss, hit or miss.
But this time we got off to a really good run. I really thought the
defense played well all day.”
Riley took the blame for
some of the offensive lull in last week’s game. Even with that lull, the
Pirates were able to rack up huge numbers.
"I think I did a poor job
of getting their intensity, their urgency up,” Riley added. “Every time
this year that our guys have really thought that we had to score, we
have been able to. I think they got it at the end (against Tulsa). I
think they knew that we had to get a score to answer a couple of times.
I think we lost that sense of urgency and as the head of the offense I
have to do a better job.”
Next up for Riley and his
offense is Virginia Tech. The Hokies, ranked in the Top Ten in
preseason, have stumbled out of the gate with losses to Boise State and
FCS member James Madison. The Dukes win in Blacksburg takes away any
thoughts about this Tech team overlooking the Pirates this week.
“We face a Virginia Tech
team that has had two tough losses,” said Pirate head coach Ruffin
McNeill at his Monday press conference. “They lost a game to Boise State
that really had a great buildup, starting from last year’s bowl games. A
lot of people and the media pointed to it as a big game, which it was.
James Madison came in and it was definitely an upset.
"I’m not sure why or what
caused it, but I know Coach (Frank) Beamer and have known him since
1989. I had a chance to go up there and study with him and his staff
when I was at Appalachian State. Bud Foster, the defensive coordinator,
is really a great, great coach. I know those guys are not happy with
where they are and I know they will do a great job getting that team
McNeill’s theme on Monday
was that he had to get his Pirates to control what they can control. He
said he looks forward to taking his team on the road for the first time.
It will be a learning
experience for sure.
We’re just two weeks in
and we’ve seen East Carolina beat Tulsa on a “Hail Mary” on the game’s
last play, and we’ve seen JMU stun Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
Hang on, because that’s
why they play the games…
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09/14/2010 03:50 AM