ECU turns focus to Houston

Published 7:01 pm Monday, October 29, 2012

East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden (5) and the Pirates will look to bounce back from their loss to Navy this Saturday when they host Houston at noon inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. (ECU Photo/Rob Goldberg)

GREENVILLE — After allowing Navy to rack up 512 rushing yards during  its 56-28 victory over the Pirates, you can’t blame East Carolina head coach Ruffin McNeill for wanted to speed up the clock on his famed “24-hour rule.”
However, on Monday he took a minute to backtrack and addressed the Pirates’ loss before moving on to Houston, who ECU will host this Saturday at noon.
“It was a tough loss on Saturday. We prepared in practice with the expectations of playing well and winning the football game,” McNeill said. “I have high expectations for myself and my coaching staff as well as our players, and I was disappointed we didn’t meet those on Saturday. That was not the performance that we wanted or expected.”
After watching the game film McNeill said that his team’s failure to take on and shed blockers was one of primary culprits in the Pirates allowing 7.4 yards per rushing attempt.
“I saw guys not attacking the arc block, that was a big thing on the perimeter,” McNeill said. “We had talked about attacking blocks and making tackles and we did not do that in an efficient matter what so ever.”
The Pirates  (5-4, 4-1) don’t have long to dwell on the loss to Navy as they return to Conference USA play this weekend against a Cougars team that upped its record to 4-4 (3-1) by topping UTEP 45-35 on Saturday.

East Carolina star wide receiver Justin Hardy was held to six receptions for 31 yards and a score against Navy and his supporting cast didn’t fare much better.
Of the eight Pirates who caught passes on Saturday, none had over five catches or broke the 50-yard mark.
Heading into the season it was assumed that wide receiver position was one the strongest and deepest positions on the team, but as ECU heads into its 10th game of the year they have not had a 100-yard game from anyone else but Hardy.
In fact, only three wide receivers have cracked the 60-yard mark all season as Andrew Bodenheimer caught six passes for 60 yards against UCF, Justin Jones grabbed five balls for 80 yards against Memphis and Jabril Solomon pulled in one pass for 60 yards against UCF.

The Pirates have three players listed as questionable on Saturday in RB Michael Dobson (concussion), C Taylor Hudson (back) and DB/ST Cody Lyon (leg). Linebacker Montese Overton (knee) has been upgraded to probable.