Inconsistent offense plagues Pirates

Published 4:08 am Sunday, October 12, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Pirates offensive inconsistencies continue.
East Carolina’s offense played perhaps its ugliest half of the season in the opening 30 minutes against Virginia on Saturday.
ECU managed only 138 yards of total offense, completed just three passes and converted a mire 2-of-10 third down conversions in the first half as it fell behind the Cavaliers 28-6 on brisk autumn afternoon in Charlottesville.
In the second half, the Pirates came out of the locker room with a purpose and strung together a pair of scoring drives, before reverting to its first half ways late in the fourth quarter.
East Carolina took the second half kickoff and marched 41 yards in 10 plays, capped by a one-yard Williams’ touchdown run.
They then cut the deficit to 28-20 with a nine-play, 81 yard drive. During that drive, the Pinkney completed a 52-yard pass to Dwayne Harris, before connecting with Brandon Simmons on a 10-yard scoring strike.
In the fourth quarter, the Pirates got the ball back with a chance to tie the game, but on its first play from scrimmage, ECU turned the ball back over to Virginia as Pinkney was drilled from behind by UVA defensive end Matt Conrath, causing the ECU signal caller to fumble the ball.
On its ensuing drive, Virginia made East Carolina pay with a game-sealing touchdown on a faked field goal pass from Scott Deke to John Phillips.
The Pirates allowed six sacks on Saturday, averaged just2.2 yards per rush, and completed only 44 percent of its passes.
Where East Carolina’s deficiencies were most notable were on third down as the Pirates converted just 6-of-16 attempts. Third down conversions has been ECU’s Achillies heel in its three losses.
The Pirates converted 18-of-39 third down attempts in their three wins, but since have only converted on 11-of-41 attempts.
Holtz also said that the Pirates are lacking speed and big-play ability in their offense at this point.