ECU will get a heavy load of Forte

Published 1:07 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — He’s got his own web site. He even has a personal sheet that was distributed to the media… during East Carolina’s weekly press conference.
After platesful of turkey and stuffing on Thursday, the East Carolina Pirates can expect a heavy dose of Matt Forte on Saturday.
The Tulane Green Wave senior leads the nation with 2,007 rushing yards. Forte, a 6-2, 223-pounder, has been nothing short of spectacular this season. His 342 yards, along with four touchdowns on 38 carries, against SMU on Oct. 20 is tops in the nation in a single game this year.
Forte, who has 22 touchdowns, has also had games of 303 yards and five touchdowns on 40 carries against Southeastern Louisiana and 278 yards and two scores on 44 totes against Memphis.
The Green Wave star is an All-America candidate, Heisman Trophy candidate, Maxell Award semifinalist, Doak Walker Award semifinalist and is one of 15 “players to watch” for the Walter Camp Player of the Year.
ECU (6-5, 5-2) will know what to expect in Saturday’s regular season finale against Tulane (4-7, 3-4), with kickoff set for 1 p.m. at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
The key will be getting the job done.
The Pirates, who allow an average of 149.2 yards rushing per game, may have their hands full as a number of defensive regulars are banged up.
Defensive end Marcus Hands (shoulder) and linebacker Danny Muhwezi (leg) are out (along with offensive linemen Fred Hicks and Willie Barton).
Holtz said those players “on the bubble,” those he was hoping would be able to play Saturday but are doubtful, include defensive tackle Brandon Setzer (knee), defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell (knee), linebacker Nick Johnson (knee), linebacker Quentin Cotton (ankle), linebacker Jeremy Chambliss (ankle) and safety Chris Mattocks (knee).