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Saturday’s rain gave us a little Monday spring football for the Pirates.
Though scrimmages this time of year don’t exactly attract 50,000 fans to
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, the workouts are a key part of the spring
East Carolina head coach Ruffin McNeill opted to not play in the bad
weather on Saturday. Monday’s weather was much better and the Pirates
got in a good amount of work inside of the stadium.
"It was good to be able to get the scrimmage in today in these great
conditions," McNeill said. "The first time you step into Dowdy-Ficklen
Stadium is always fun. Overall, it was a good 60-minute scrimmage where
both sides of the ball made some plays."
The Pirates have a big question mark at the running back position.
Redshirt freshman Marquez Grayson did his best in this first spring
scrimmage to ease some of the anxiety. Grayson rushed for 58 yards in
his seven carries and he scored the day’s only touchdown on an 11-yard
scamper to his left.
The ECU defense stole the headlines, picking off three passes and
recovering a fumble.
Senior linebacker Brandon Williams, senior Lamar Ivey and junior Josh
Hawkins each had picks in the scrimmage. Redshirt freshman safety Travon
Simmons had a fumble recovery in the game.
"Defensively, we did a good job of playing 11-man football," said
McNeill. "I thought our pursuit to the ball was good and the secondary,
although young, did a great job forcing turnovers."
The Pirates will scrimmage again this weekend leading up to the annual
spring game in two weeks.
Pivotal week in baseball
It’s a make or break week for the East Carolina baseball program.
ECU has won seven games in a row after completing a three-game sweep of
Maryland-Baltimore County with
a 2-1 win on Sunday in the cold.
Now the Pirates hit the road to Raleigh on Wednesday before heading to
Houston to play Rice in a three-game Conference USA series this weekend.
“I know our guys are excited to play,” said Coach Billy Godwin. “We know
it’s a challenge this week against Rice for the weekend and just how
special the in-state games are as well.”
Perhaps it’s the lucky beards. Coach Godwin told his players that they
could keep their facial hair as long as they kept having winning weeks.
Ace reliever Ryan Williams likes the idea so much that he’s got a full
grown beard on the mound. If any Pirate deserves the chance to get a
break from shaving, it’s certainly Ryan Williams.
“I think the guys like it,” said Williams after
picking up his 8th win, which leads the nation.
Godwin says he’s not sold on growing his own beard.
“I’ll have to see on that,” he joked. “We just have to keep on winning.”
Maybe Godwin has found the spark.
It certainly worked for the boys in ‘Duck Dynasty,’ didn’t it?