ECU hopes to corner UCF runner

Published 4:40 am Thursday, October 4, 2007

By By PETER WILLIAMS Managing Editor
East Carolina University will be looking for win number three Saturday, but to do it, it will have to contain number 24.
That’s the jersey number worn by the University of Central Florida’s Kevin Smith. The junior running back was banged up last week in the 37-19 win over Louisiana-Lafayette, but could remain a true threat for the Pirates, according to head coach Skip Holtz.
Smith stung N.C. State in their season opener. He ran for 217 yards, including 80 yards on a game opening play for a touchdown. Smith racked up 149 yards against nationally ranked Texas and picked up another 124 yards against Memphis. He had 223 yards last week against Louisiana-Lafayette. The leading rusher for the Pirates, by comparison, is Chris Johnson who has had 315 yards all year.
The Pirates have a 5-1 series record against the Knights, but Holtz didn’t seem to want to dwell on the past.
Smith went down in the game against the Ragin’ Cajuns. He suffered a groin and shoulder injury, but wanted to get back into the game. His backup is Phillip Smith, who has had only three carries for 20 yards. There is also senior Curtis Francis who had nine carries for 71 yards last week.
The win will be critical for the Pirates. Going into the week UCF and Southern Miss led the east division of Conference USA with ECU trailing third.
The Pirates drew 43,300 fans for the North Carolina and 43,000 for the Southern Miss contest. which ranked the fourth and fifth highest totals in the stadium’s history.