Streaking Pirates to host UABPublished 6:27pm Monday, November 11, 2013
GREENVILLE — With their 58-24 victory over Tulsa, the Pirates are now in position to piece together their first four game winning streak since 2009 when they host Alabama-Birmingham this Saturday at 2 p.m. in their final home game of the regular season.
The win allowed East Carolina (7-2, 5-1) to maintain its half-game lead over Marshall (6-3, 4-1) in the East Division of Conference USA, while the Blazers (2-7, 1-4), who are coming off of a 56-14 loss the Thundering Herd, are tied for fifth in the East with FIU (1-8, 1-4).
Though Saturday’s home game is the last one schedule for the 2013 season, the odds of there being one more played in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium increased greatly over the weekend thanks to Tulane’s 10-7 loss to UTSA.
The Green Wave, who beat ECU 36-33 in triple overtime earlier this year, stood atop the West Division heading into the weekend and was in line to host the Conference USA title game over East Carolina.
However, with its second conference loss of the season Tulane is currently in third place in the West behind North Texas (7-3, 5-1) and Rice (6-3, 4-1), and if the season were to end today ECU would host the conference title game based on its BCS ranking.
The Pirates have played UAB a total of 12 times and own a lifetime record of 8-4 against the Blazers.
Carden not content
East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden threw for 384 yards and accounted for a school-record seven touchdowns during the school’s 58-24 win over Tulsa, but the junior passer was still not satisfied with the offense’s play.
As the clock wound down on the Pirates victory McNeill’s said Carden was seeking more consistency in the areas of, “converting first downs and moving the chains, third down conversions and those kind of things.”
McNeill said Carden’s constant quest for improvement is representative of this year’s team.
“That’s the way it is with our whole team,” McNeill said. “… Shane, Mags (Damon Magazu) and Lee Pegues and those old guys that have been around have set a standard and we’re not going to lower the standard of expectations.
“Everything here is about team and as long as you think that way you’re welcome here. Shane will not be satisfied, which means the rest of the offense and the rest of the team won’t.”
The Pirates walked away from Saturday’s romp over Tulsa unscathed as no new players were added to the injury list as of Monday.