GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina has one of the more amicable situations at quarterback of any team in America. Either quarterback is capable of starting or finishing and that makes for a friendly, but spirited competition.
Longwood, Florida junior quarterback Rob Kass along with senior Patrick Pinkney have provided great stability under center for the Pirates who are coming off an 8-5 season and a Hawaii Bowl victory over a top 25 Boise State team that won a BCS bowl the year prior.
Kass knows that the 2008 season is coming fast and there is little time to waste in any area. With a year of experience under his belt, he looks forward to the challenge.
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"We're excited for the scrimmage come Saturday and looking forward to a couple of weeks from now come Virginia Tech."
Kass talked about the off-season workouts and the importance of providing strong leadership for the Pirates.
"Both Patrick and I have worked extremely hard during the off-season to improve and push each other on and off the field. I really feel like we've both become better quarterbacks," said Kass who started in seven of the ten games in which he appeared, "And you know what, when it comes to gametime, we're both cheering for each other. As long as this team wins, that's all that matters."
Virginia Tech is known for good defense, but
this season, they do have to replace a lot of starters.
"They're obviously a talented team. They're losing nine starters on defense so they're a new look defense, but we know they're a talented group, they always are."
Tech brings a lot of variations on offense too with a good power game and the ability to throw the ball all over the lot.
"Obviously on the offensive side of the ball, they bring a lot of talent in their two quarterbacks," said Kass, "We feel like as long as we go in there and play our game and stick to Coach Holtz's plan, I think we feel like we'll be prepared and we'll be successful."
Last season Kass went 96-175 via the air for 1,164 yards and nine touchdown passes with only four interceptions, but started the season on suspension after a violation of a team rule. Kass didn't get to play against Virginia Tech last time and Patrick Pinkney was listed as the third stringer behind Brett Clay who has since retired due to a bad knee. His biggest outing was against N.C. State where Kass completed a career high 28-50 for 254 yards.
Against UTEP in El Paso last season, Kass was stellar going 18-32 for a then career high 219 yards in keeping the ECU offense moving in an overtime game.
A 34 yard touchdown pass to Juwan Crowell sent the game into overtime. Kass subsequently won the game late on a one yard touchdown run.
Kass talked about his biggest challenges for this season.
"To play within the system and improve on last year whether that's my leadership both on and off the field," according to Kass, "Not necessarily my statistics, but just my leadership. Making sure that every and every game that we finish. It's like Coach Holtz says, if we're twenty points better than a team, beat a team by twenty points, if we're one point better than beat them by one point, so I feel like I go in there and help lead this offense, we'll be OK."
Stay up to date on Fall Camp 2008 here on PirateIllustrated.com.