PirateIllustrated - Montgomery Turns to QB Thomas Sirk For West Virginia Game
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Montgomery Turns to QB Thomas Sirk For West Virginia Game

East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery takes his 0-1 Pirates into Morgantown this Saturday.
East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery takes his 0-1 Pirates into Morgantown this Saturday. (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

For ECU's Scottie Montgomery, Saturday's stinging 34-14 loss to James Madison was a pretty unpleasant experience but he says he told his team the thing to do was to not blink.

"If I see anyone blink, I'll cut their eyelids off," Montgomery said on Monday.

ECU will also make a change at quarterback with former Duke signal caller Thomas Sirk replacing Gardner Minshew who was limited to just 82 yards passing on seven completions in eighteen attempts to go along with an interception in the first half.

And while Sirk threw two interceptions of his own, one of them could have gone either way and he did manage to put together a 21 for 35 performance and 210 second half yards.

Montgomery said his first year guys on the field struggled with a bit of stage fright.

"I've got to do a better job of managing their emotions," said Montgomery.

The big figure that stood out for the second year Pirate coach was the rushing totals. Namely 422 to 8o.

He says his defense played hard in the first two quarters and tried to find a pace and rhythm but Madison generated 300 yards on just five plays and the inability to tackle at the third level led to bad results.

Will Grier will be a handful for the Pirate defense this week. The son of former ECU quarterback Chad Grier looked solid against Virginia Tech Sunday night but his team came up just short and the Mountaineers will be eager to get things on the right track when the Pirates come to town.

Coach Mo says ECU's inability to generate much on first down had a lot to do with the lack of a running game and he promisses lots of snaps in practice this week in an effort to be "physically ready for that game."

Expect a "physical game plan that will challenge them a little bit."

ECU had their chances inside the twenty yard line but they continue to squander an abundance of opportunities there.

"We haven't played good in the redzone since I've been here," Montgomery said.

The Pirates will make a decision as to whether to continue the experiment of playing Garrett McGhin at center or move him back to guard. Montgomery was encouraged by the play of freshman John Spellacy at center later in the game last week and all signs point to him starting in the middle of the ECU offensive line this week in Morgantown.

"I thought Spellacy did great. He had less stage fright than a lot of people."

PirateIllustrated.com was inside the Ward Building on Monday to bring you the Scottie Montgomery Monday Press Conference.