Rice Football's next opponent on the schedule is the East Carolina Pirates. The Owls travel to Greenville, North Carolina for the Saturday contest to be played at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The Pirates are 3-3 in 2009, 2-1 in C-USA play.
East Carolina's 3 wins have come by a combined point spread of just 14 points. So even though the Pirates are .500 on the season and despite having one of the better Quarterbacks in the league in Patrick Pinkney, the Pirates aren't firing on Offense as well as Head Coach Skip Holtz would like.
"Right now, the lack of big plays and point production are something we have to address on offense. We're not creating enough big plays. We're methodically controlling the ball and moving it down the field. We're gaining four, five and six yards and picking up first downs, we had 24 Saturday, but not in large chunks. What we're not doing is getting into the redzone and pushing the ball into the end zone on a consistent basis. We aren't creating big plays from outside the redzone to create points. That's what we have to look at on offense."
The Pirates scoring average in 6 games is 21.2 points a game. The Owls would love to hold them to that number in Saturday's game.
They are a big, powerful team that likes to run downhill at opponents. The Offensive Line averages 310 pounds.
More on the ECU Offense...
Probable Starting Lineup
Pos ## Offense
WR 17 Dwayne Harris, 6-0 205, jr. LT 69 Willie Smith, 6-6 290, jr. LG 74 Terence Campbell, 6-5 318, sr. C 54 Sean Allen, 6-3 310, soph. RG 75 Cory Dowless, 6-5 309, junior RT 66 D.J. Scott, 6-6 323, junior TE 45 Kevin Gidrey, 6-2 254, junior QB 15 Patrick Pinkney, 6-0 205, sr. RB 24 Dominique Lindsay, 5-10 202, sr. FB 14 Rob Kass, 6-4 250, sr. WR 80 Alex Taylor, 6-4 217, sr.
- ECU Quarterback Pat Pinkney is the 5th QB in school history to pass for more than 5,000 yards in his career. Pinkney topped the mark against SMU.
- Unlike almost every team the Owls have played this year who rely heavily on Texas talent, East Carolina has only one player from the state of Texas on their roster. Junior reserve WR T.J. Terrell is from San Antonio.
- With the Pirates propensity to run the ball, expect to see a fair amount of play -action from their Offense Saturday. ECU would like to get more big plays downfield from it's Offense and play-action is likely a prime strategy to be used against Rice.
- Junior Dwayne Harris is the leading Receiver for the Pirates this year with 33 catches in 6 games. He's also a threat on Special Teams - he returned a kick 77 yards for a touchdown against SMU and averages 22.8 yard per return.
- ECU has been quite balanced in run vs. pass this year. The Pirates have run the ball 52% of the time, passing the other 48% of their 405 total Offensive plays.
- Dominique Lindsay has been the top rusher for East Carolina this season. He's averaging 88 yards a game, gaining an impressive 5.4 yards per carry. Lindsay had 144 yards rushing against SMU last weekend.
- ECU Left Guard is one of the Pirates' best Offensive Linemen, maybe even their top player in the group. At 6-5 320 pounds he is a load to handle, and was tabbed by Phil Steele as a Pre-season All C-USA selection.
- Quarterback Pat Pinkney has completed 56% of his passes in 2009; but he's also thrown 6 interceptions. SMU returned one of them 53 yards for a score.
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