Rose to start for suspended WilliamsPublished 8:52pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013
GREENVILLE — Just days before its showdown with instate rival North Carolina, East Carolina announced that starting nose tackle Terry Williams has been suspended from the team indefinitely for violating team rules.
“The expectation for every member of our program has always been that they must earn the right to represent East Carolina University and that they will be held accountable for their actions on and off the field,” Ruffin McNeill said in a statement released by the school on Tuesday.
The 6-1, 322-pound junior is arguably the Pirates best defensive lineman and has tallied nine tackles, one tackle for a loss and a half-sack in three games this season.
The suspension was the second for Williams, with the first one coming in July of 2012 following his arrest for possession of marijuana with the intent to sell.
Taking his place in the starting lineup this Saturday when ECU (2-1, Conference USA) takes on North Carolina (1-2, ACC) will be 6-4, 299-pound junior Chrishon Rose. Rose will be backed up by 6-1, 300-pound true freshman Demetri McGill.
“I have full confidence in Chrishon,” McNeill said. “He has great ability and he understands the defense. He’s got great size. He’s a football player.”
For the second game in a row defensive coordinator Rick Smith has had to work around a major roster shakeup.
Two weeks ago the Pirates had to face Virginia Tech without starting inside linebackers Kyle Tudor (shoulder) and Jeremy Grove (chest), who were sidelined by injuries.
On Wednesday, Smith refused to let the absence of Williams slow down his unit.
“We don’t worry about guys we lose, I swear. We burry the dead, stack the wounded and keep marching,” Smith said. “If we lose a guy then the next guy has to perform. We haven’t lost any sleep over it. The guy we got (Rose) is going to go in there and play his butt off.”
The East Carolina defense rose to the occasion against the Hokies, turning in its best performance of the year despite losing 15-10.
Zeek Bigger and Brandon Williams performed admirably in the place of Grove and Tudor and Smith said the key is that each player on the field step up to fill the void of the departed.
“If you put a pot of water on a stove and you turn the temperature up to 211 (degrees) it’s just warm water. But if you turn it up to 212 (degrees) it boils and creates steam. And with that steam you can move a locomotive,” Smith said. “So that’s what I told these guys. We just have to turn it up one degree. The other guys have to turn it up just one degree and that’s what we did last week when we lost our two starting (linebackers).”