Practice Update: Offense 9/19/12

In the wake of their first conference win of the season, the Pirates have shifted their focus to the North Carolina Tar Heels. This Wednesday, after practice, I had a chance to catch up with some of the key offensive players for the Pirates: Shane Carden, Justin Hardy, and Vintavious Cooper.

Shane Carden

-Goals of the offense: "Start faster. Last game we came out slow but we took care of the ball and were able to stay in it. So again, we gotta take care of the ball, start faster, and make routine plays and we should be good to go."

-On coming out and scoring 21 unanswered in the 3rd quarter: "We came into halftime knowing we had left a lot of points on the board just by not playing eleven-man football. We made the adjustments at halftime; we came out and knew that if we kept doing what we were doing we'd be alright. So we got out there started making routine plays, had a few big plays there, and moved the ball real well."

-Expectations from UNC's defense: "They're going to show us a lot of different fronts and a lot of different looks. Also it's a rivalry game so they're going to come out flying; this is going to be a big game for them as well as for us so they're going to be very excited."

Justin Hardy

-On coming out slow in the 1st half of the USM game: "We couldn't bank on that, things like that are going to happen in the game. We just made sure that we stayed focused and came out hard on the next drive."

-The keys to last week's win: "We came out and played our game which is fast football, and that's what we have to do with this offense. I went out and did my job just like the team expects me to, and my teammates went out and did theirs like I expected them to and we came out with a win."

-Expectations of UNC's defense: "They're going to play good. They have a great defense, being that they are an ACC team, so they're going to play good and hard, so they're going to come out and play so we have to be ready to play too. We've been coming out a little slow these past couple of games so we need to start fast and play our game."

Vintavious Cooper

-Goals of the offense this week: "Start out a lot faster and try to get the tempo going. We'd like to move the ball more efficiently, while keeping the ball in our hands, with no turnovers and make sure we execute our game plan as best as we can."

-On the strengths of UNC's defense: "Their defensive line is pretty strong and athletic and can move around pretty good. Their linebackers are pretty physical and they fill gaps real well; we need to make sure the offensive line makes the proper pick-ups as far as run blocking and protection goes."

-The Importance of this game: "It's pretty exciting; being new here I see how big it is for every ECU fan and player here, now. It's a big rivalry game, along with it being an in-state game, so we want to come out as excited as possible, still with the mindset that we've come to take care of business and without a doubt come out of Chapel Hill with a win."