Pirates’ Wilson in a ‘hurry’ to improve

Published 7:09 am Friday, October 19, 2007

By Staff
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — C.J. Wilson is not only giving quarterbacks nightmares, but he’s causing havoc with opposing kickers as well.
Wilson, a 6-4 sophomore defensive end for the East Carolina Pirates, started his third straight game last Saturday in a 45-42 overtime win against UTEP. Though he couldn’t quite pull off a sack on Miner QB Trevor Vittatoe, Wilson did record three quarterback hurries, forcing Vittatoe to get rid of the ball quicker than he wanted. Wilson also came up with three tackles, including one for a loss, in the game.
While Wilson does critique his play after each game, he’s not worried about the numbers.
Wilson, a former standout at Northside High School, has seven quarterback hurries in the last two games. He recorded four hurries in a win against UCF a week earlier.
The affable Wilson, who always thanks “God for my opportunity,” led the Pirates with four hurries all of last year.
Though he’s happy with the hurries, he’d rather have the sack. Wilson, who led the Pirates with four sacks last year, leads the team with four QB takedowns this year.
Wilson, who has 23 tackles, including 5.5 for loss that ranks third best on the team, along with a forced fumble is also leaving his mark on special teams. Two weeks after blocking T.J. Lawrence’s field goal attempt in a win over Houston, Wilson blocked UTEP kicker Jose Martinez’s PAT, which Travis Williams scooped up and returned for two points.
Wilson will likely make his fourth straight start, and 11th of his career, when the Pirates (4-3, 3-1 C-USA) face the N.C. State Wolfpack (1-5, 0-3 ACC) in Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. kickoff at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Wilson is happy he and the Pirates will have a large contingency of purple and gold-clad fans surrounding them.