East Carolina Pirates Vs. Old Dominion Monarchs Free Pick 8/31/13
2013-08-31 06:00:00 EDT
The Old Dominion Monarchs begin their foray in to the big time when they visit the East Carolina Pirates in their opener for both squads.
Old Dominion will begin life in the FBS as an Independent before eventually joining the CUSA. The Monarchs probably aren’t well known to the world of big time college football but they did finish 11-2 a year ago behind a prolific offense that was tops in the FCS with 548 yards and over 45 points per game. The Monarchs will try to match those numbers behind quarterback Taylor Heinicke who was voted the best player in the FCS. Heinicke threw for over 5,000 yards and has three of his top four recievers back which is key for a team that averaged over 400 yards per contest. ODU ran for less than 155 yards and gets back their second leading runner but he won’t be getting a ton of work with this pass first unit. The defense was a weak link with over 420 yards and almost 31 points given up with opposing ground attacks averaging nearly 200 yards.
With around nine players returning on each side of the ball East Carolina has the ammunition to challenge for the CUSA title once again. It could also mean plenty of points being scored and given up which has been the status quo for the Pirates. ECU’s specialty was putting the ball in the air behind quarterback Shane Carden who threw for over 3,100 yards and completed 66.1% of his thitems which gets a boost from leading receiver Justin Hardy (68-1105) back. The Pirates weren’t known for grinding out the yards on the ground but that doesn’t mean this unit couldn’t run the ball. Vintavious Cooper was a talented work horse that rushed for 1,105 yards on 200 carries and things shouldn’t change much with all the bodies back. That might be the case on defense as well which isn’t necessarily a good thing with a unit that was torched through the air for almost 277 yards and over 31 points
The line isn’t out for this one because I suspect the odds makers don’t know what to do yet. My best guess would be a total in the high 60’s and ECU favored by 8-9 points but I could be way off but please check back…