ECU vs. South Carolina: Don’t mark Pirates as an easy win


For those marking the East Carolina Pirates down in pen as an easy win for the South Carolina Gamecocks, you might want to have a bottle of Wite-Out handy.

This is not a Chicken Little, “sky is falling” kind of post. This is an ECU team that can put up points and yards as well as the rest of them. Consider this from last year:

–Quarterback Shane Carden threw for 4,139 yards and 33 touchdowns.
–Leading receiver Justin Hardy hauled in 230 catches for 1,284 yards and 13 touchdowns.
–The team put up 40.1 points and over 468 yards of offense, allowing 24.7 points a game and just over 368 yards.

I’ll stop because we’ll have a further breakdown of the numbers later in the week, but that paints a picture of what the Gamecocks are up against.

Not only do the Gamecocks need to plow through a decent, but not great ECU defense, possibly without Mike Davis (against a rush defense that only allowed 116.7 yards on the ground in 2013), they also must stop Carden and Hardy from running around and doing whatever they feel like doing. Carden, when it’s all said and done, despite playing in a weaker conference (The American) than Kenny Hill, might be right up there with the Aggies’ sophomore QB statistically when it’s all said and done, and the last thing that South Carolina wants to do is make him do the exact same thing that Hill did to them a few days ago. They can’t let Hardy get open in the secondary and allow him to make the same plays that have made him such a successful wide receiver during his tenure at ECU.

Easy win? Hardly. The Gamecocks just need to win. Otherwise, you can kiss the playoffs goodbye.