After getting its first win of the season last night, ECU has a quick turnaround to prepare for its next game. The Pirates have a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Florida Atlantic inside of Dowdy-Ficklen stadium on Thursday August 5.
With the short week ahead, ECU will need to manage their time in order to address certain red flags from last night’s game.
The Pirates only had 34 yards on the ground on 22 attempts against ODU. If ECU plans on getting quality wins they have to get production in the running game, it should be a point of emphasis during this short week of preparation.
Luckily, ECU’s quarterback Shane Carden put up video game like numbers accounting for nearly all of the Pirates points against ODU. The Pirate signal-caller was 46-of-52 for 447 yards and five touchdowns breaking the record for most yards in a single game by an ECU quarterback – a record he set in the season finale against Marshall last season throwing for 439 yards in a double overtime victory.
Carden’s performance was extremely encouraging for the Pirates, he seemed to be in complete control of Lincoln Riley’s offense.
The biggest question mark coming into last night’s game was whether Rick Smith had found a way to plug up some of the holes in the Pirate secondary. It was clear the unit still has a ways to go, they consistently gave up big third down conversions and the Monarchs had no trouble marching down the field.
Two separate times ODU drove 75 yards for a score and at one point they took the ball from their own five yard line all the way down the field capped off by another touchdown by their star quarterback Taylor Heinicke who had a huge game of his own.
With that being said, the defense was able to get the second half stops they needed to close out the Monarchs. Gabe Woullard’s sack-fumble at the beginning of the third led to a score by Ty Holmes and gave the Pirates momentum. After that, a couple of defensive stops solidified the win.
“We’ll keep it light tomorrow because of the length of the game tonight,” Head Coach Ruffin McNeill said when asked about this week of practice. “Monday will be that Tuesday/Wednesday for us and Tuesday will have to be like a Thursday – a big team day. Wednesday will be a walkthrough day, we need to get our legs back. We’ll continue to attack what we went over in fall camp about Florida Atlantic.”