ECU offense has been punchless

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — The Pirates have rebounded from three straight losses with back-to-back wins over Memphis and Central Florida, but East Carolina coach Skip Holtz still isn’t happy with the performance of his offense.
In particular, the Pirates have struggled in the passing game and converting on third downs.
Over the last three contests, the Pirates have completed just 37-of-85 passes for a dismal completion percentage of 43.5 percent.
In all, the Pirates allowed a season-high four sacks to the Golden Knights and dropped six passes.
The Pirates also continue to struggle on third-down conversions. They’ve aimed to convert on better than 50 percent of their third-down conversions, but so far ECU has converted just 36.8 percent of its third down attempts.
They’ve been held to a less than 40 percent conversion rate in five of their eight ball games. East Carolina is 3-0 when converting at least 50 percent of its third-down attempts, and 2-3 when it doesn’t.
Against UCF, the Pirates really struggled on third down and short.
While Holtz wants to see better production from quarterbacks Patrick Pinkney and Rob Kass and the rest of the Pirates’ passing game, he was pleased with how his team ran the ball.
Now, Holtz is hoping that the Pirates can get the pass game going and get the ball into the end zone on a regular basis.
Every game is different, but hopefully (the way we played against UCF) will give our offensive line and running backs a little bit more confidence,” Holtz said. “If we can sure up our passing game, it’ll go a long way in helping us be more efficient as an offensive football team.