Pirates prepared for final home contest

Published 12:52 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — After wrapping up Conference USA’s East Division with a 17-13 win over UAB last Saturday, East Carolina (7-4, 5-2) will play host to UTEP (5-6, 4-3) this afternoon in a game that has virtually no implications on the Pirates.
Just don’t tell coach Skip Holtz that.
Last week, the Pirates committed five turnovers, but managed to squeak by the Blazers. With ECU set to take on the explosive offenses of either Houston, Tulsa or Rice in the C-USA championship game on Dec. 6, Holtz realizes his ball club must get better offensively. The Pirates are averaging just 13 points per game in their last four outings.
Today, the Pirates take on a UTEP squad that is averaging 39.8 points per game in its last four contests.
Miners coach Mike Price’s air-it-out offense is led by quarterback Trevor Vittatoe, who has thrown for 2,961 yards and 31 touchdowns on the year.
Vittatoe is surrounded by plenty of talent on offense, led by receivers Jeff Moturi and Kris Adams. The two wideouts have combined for 89 catches, 1,484 yards and 22 touchdown receptions this season.
While UTEP has been stellar on offense, its defense has been less than impressive. The Miners are allowing 35.5 points and more than 468 yards of total offense per contest this year.
Holtz says today’s game will be a great tune-up for his team as they prepare for next weekend’s C-USA title tilt.