Offense Has Solid Performance in ECU's Final Camp Scrimmage
With the starting quarterback job still up in the air, ECU put together a solid final scrimmage of their fall camp before returning to a regular practice schedule next week. Both Gardner Minshew and Thomas Sirk scored touchdowns on short runs on Saturday and looked pretty solid passing the football.
Minshew went 11 for 16 through the air for 156 yards while Duke transfer Thomas Sirk connected on 10 of 16 for 93 yards. All told the Pirate signal callers passed for 249 yards with the lone interception coming from 6-2 defensive back Dedrick Hawkins off of Sirk.
Overall, second year ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery was pleased with what he saw from his team and says he was impressed with the work of his two transfer running backs Derrell Scott and Tyshon Dye along with another solid effort from Hussein Howe. He had positive things to say about his defense and special teams as well.
"Huge runs. Tyshon Dye had a great day. Derrell Scott had a great day. Hussein Howe had a great day of running the football and that means our offensive front had a great day," Montgomery said, "Right now I think it's pretty clear that Derrell Scott and Tyshon Dye did a great job and they should be getting the ball a lot in the early parts of the season."
Dye said the thing he probably did best on Saturday was just knowing what to do in different situations offensively.
"I think I had a few mishaps in the first scrimmage and today I feel like I knew what do to in most situations," Dye told PirateIllustrated.com, we protected the ball well today.
Dye was credited with six carries for 60 yards to lead all running backs on Saturday. The Clemson transfer talked about what happened on the one long run that he had in Saturday's scrimmage.
"The O-line made a big hole and then I just tried to do my best to take advantage of it and I just scooted on through."
The ECU offensive line also did a better job of protecting the Pirate quarterbacks on Saturday in what was mostly a situational type scrimmage .
"We played a much cleaner scrimmage which you'd expect on a second scrimmage. Offensively they responded in a major way. We ran the ball really well today. The quarterbacks did a really good job of taking care of the ball for the most part, Coach Montgomery told PirateIllustrated.com after the scrimmage.
"We played a lot of guys today. We went deep into our depth chart to try to find more football players who will be ready to play against James Madison. We got a chance to play a lot of defensive linemen, got a chance to play a lot of defensive backs and get them out there in live situations. That's always good," ECU defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson told PI, "We've got a chance to put a lot of guys out there on the field and because of that, in this kind of weather, guys can run to the ball harder because more guys are playing."
Chris Love and Jordan Williams led the ECU defense with seven and six tackles respectively while five other Pirate defenders including 6-6, 275 pound Minnesota transfer defensive end Gaelen Elmore added four tackles apiece.
"Defensively we did make some plays out there. We caused a great play on an interception and this was a much cleaner scrimmage. We played much better than the first time," said Montgomery.
"There was a lot of special teams emphasis in this and it was good to see our starters out there for a lot of the special teams. When they weren't out there we had guys out there who had been starters before, so all and all a good scrimmage."
Montgomery said he still doesn't know yet who his starter at quarterback will be until he examines the film.
"I can always be tugged both ways because of certain situations that I saw out there. There were a lot of things I was watching situationally that probably from the outside you can't see," said Montgomery, "But the tape is going to show. We're going to be able to find out and hopefully be able to make a decision soon."
Offensive coordinator Tony Petersen was also encouraged overall with what he saw on Saturday.
"From up top I thought it looked pretty clean. We took care of the football a lot better today. I think the quarterbacks made a lot of good decisions. Not a lot of lost yardage plays - very few if any, which means the offensive line is getting a hat on who they need to," Petersen told PI, "The running backs were either running through some stuff, making people miss and getting yards after contact so my initial thoughts is that it looked pretty clean."
Petersen says the quarterback battle remains close coming into the final days before the home opener against James Madison.
"I think it's close, but I think we've got two starting quarterbacks so when we sit down, Coach Mo is the ultimate decision maker on who is going to start the game. When you've got two starting quarterbacks, you might have two quarterbacks who need to play. It's a great situation to have because you're always one play away from needing the next guy so we're very fortunately. What we do moving forward, we'll sit down and talk about it and everybody will know when Coach Mo makes a decision."
On special teams Jake Verity connected on two of four field goal attempts from 32 and 44 respectively while Caleb Pratt made two of three including a 52-yarder.
The Pirates return to a normal in-season type practice schedule starting on Sunday with the first game of the season coming top on September 2nd against James Madison. Game time is set for 6 o'clock.
Catch the very latest PI Audio Interviews from Coach Mo along with offensive coordinator Tony Petersen, defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson and more:
ECU SECOND SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS (Courtesy of ECU Media Relations)
RUSHING: Tyshon Dye (6-60), Derrell Scott (6-38), Thomas Sirk (5-18, 1 TD), Hussein Howe (2-16), Darius Pinnix (5-13), Quay Johnson (1-11), Gardner Minshew (4-4, 1 TD). Totals –– 29-160, 2 TD (5.5 ypr).
PASSING: Gardner Minshew (16-11-0, 156 yards), Thomas Sirk (16-10-1, 93 yards). Totals –– 32-21-1, 249 yards (65.6%).
RECEIVING: Mydreon Vines (7-63), Jimmy Williams (4-88), Tahj Deans (3-30), Malik Gray (2-30), Quay Johnson (1-15), Jayden Borders (1-8), Tyshon Dye (1-7), Stephen Baggett (1-7), Derrell Scott (1-1). Totals –– 21-249.
TACKLES: Chris Love 7 (PBU), Jordan Williams 6, Gaelin Elmore 4, Bobby Fulp 4, Cannon Gibbs 4 (TFL/-3 yards), Raequan Purvis 4 (QBH), Devon Sutton 4, Ray Tillman 4, Demage Bailey 3 (TFL/-3 yards), Tim Irvin 3, Da'Andre Beverly 2, Dedrick Hawkins 2 (INT/0 yards), Tyree Owens 2, Travis Phillips 2, Aaron Ramseur 2, Austin Teague 2, Brandon Henderson 1, Shaun James 1 (FR/0 yards), Davondre Robinson 1.
TOTAL OFFENSE/TOTAL DEFENSE: 61-409 (6.7 ypp)
INTERCEPTIONS: 1 (Dedrick Hawkins)
PENALTIES: 5 (2/OFFENSE – 2 false start; 3/DEFENSE – 3 offside)
Thomas Sirk 8-yard run (redzone phase)
Gardner Minshew 1-yard run (full series phase)
SPECIAL TEAMS (FGAs):
Jake Verity (2-of-4) – 32 made, 44 made, 33 miss, 52 miss
Caleb Pratt (2-of-3) – 32 made, 52 made, 44 miss