September 24, 2012
PI-TV: Miner Week
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina(2-2) returns home this week for a 7pm Conference USA game with 1-3 UTEP.
The Pirates have lost nine of the last ten non conference road games. The bad dream continued on Saturday in Chapel Hill. ECU seemed to play in a partially paralyzed state for much of the day. The Pirates have not won in an ACC stadium since 2006.
In their last eleven road games, ECU has given up a total of 422 points. Just under 39 points per game. Getting better production offensively will help solve half of the issue. If the ECU defense is on the field too much, that begins to wear down a defense over the course of time.
On the positive side, linebacker Jeremy Grove has 40 tackles (23 solo) and two forced fumbles in the last five games. That includes nine against North Carolina. In that same time frame Damon Magazu has 31 tackles (21 solo) and a fumble recovery. Justin Hardy has 29 catches for 357 yards and three touchdowns while Andrew Bodenheimer has 22 catches for 164 yards. ECU hopes to get defensive back Jacobi Jenkins back for next week.
For the Miners, they have lost three of their first four games against Mississippi, Oklahoma and in a 37-26 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. Their lone victory comes against a New Mexico State team that is 1-3 at the moment.
To score points ECU will have to take advantage of scoring opportunities. While there were bright spots, ECU did not have the best of fortune on Saturday.
The Pirates are 2-1 all-time against UTEP in football. They will be looking for answers offensively when they examine the UNC film and begin to take a hard look at the University of Texas at El Paso.
The Pirates lost to UTEP by a 22-17 count last year in El Paso. The Miners ran for 241 yards in the contest and came back to beat ECU with a touchdown in the fourth quarter. UTEP held the Pirates to 254 offensive yards last year, the lowest in the Ruffin McNeill area until the 228 yards totaled last weekend against Southern Miss.
On the good side, ECU has won three straight conference home openers and UTEP week offers a chance to get back home for a league battle that should present an interesting matchup in Greenville this Saturday night.
Catch Ruffin McNeill's Monday comments for PI-TV as Miner week begins here at PirateIllustrated.com and stay tuned all week for continuing coverage of Pirate football and recruiting.
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