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East Carolina Pirates 2013 College Football Preview

East Carolina Pirates 2013 College Football Preview: Scott’s C-USA Analysis

2012 Record: 8-5 (7-1) C-USA

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2012 Record: 8-5 (7-1) C-USA

Head Coach: Ruffin McNeill

East Carolina Pirates 2013 College Football Preview


Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium

2012 Recap: The East Carolina Pirates were one of the better teams in C-USA last season as their only conference loss came against Central Florida, who is no longer in the league.  Shane Carden emerged as the starting quarterback as the season went on and wound up throwing for 3,116 yards and 23 touchdowns.  The Pirates also had a 1,000 yard rusher in Vinatvious Cooper and a 1,000 yard receiver in Justin Hardy.  It was quite miraculously East Carolina had the record they did in 2012-2013 as their Points For per game and Points Against per game were only off by .1.

2013 Offense:  All 3 of the big time playmakers (Carden, Cooper, and Hardy) for the Pirates are back this year and are looking to improve on last year’s success.  The importance of having a balanced attack for the Pirates will go a long way of keeping opposing defenses guessing who is going to strike next.   Look for freshman wide receivers Isaiah Jones and Trevon Brown to get into the mix to help open up the offense for Carden.

2013 Defense: Defense is not the strong suite in C-USA and the Pirates are certainly no different.  The defense ranked 90th last season in points allowed and is going to have to improve if the Pirates want to win the conference.  The pass defense is the most cause for concern as the secondary struggled last season and is going to have to replace its top two corners from last year.  The highest profiled recruit in the 2013 class was linebacker Devaris Brunson and should see the field this season in an effort to improve the Pirates much maligned unit.

2013 Prediction: East Carolina is a team built around the offense side of the ball and has enough talent to win the league.  If the defense can improve from last year and at least slow down the opposition, I believe the Big Three of Carden, Cooper, and Hardy can do the rest.  The Pirates play a rather daunting nonconference schedule and go up against Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and NC State.  Don’t’ be surprised if East Carolina isn’t able to upset one of those teams get a big victory.  In the conference the Pirates get Tulsa at home and go on to road to face Marshall in the last game of the regular season which could have league implications in play.  Overall, look for the Pirates to finish around 8-4 and be in contention for the C-USA crown.

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