Things to look forward to during the bye week

With no football game this week for Pirate Nation, Chase Kroll looks at what's ahead for ECU.

Cooper breaking the thousand-yard mark

Vintavious Cooper needs just 109 more yards this season to be the first Pirate running back to run for one thousand yards since Dominique Lindsay (2009). It is encouraging that Tulane's defense ranks 118th against the run, giving up over 241 yards per game and over five yards per carry. If those statistics hold true, Cooper could be well in line to eclipse 1,000 in this game against the Green Wave.

Hardy's tenth TD

Only nine players in all of college football have 10 or more receiving touchdowns this season. ECU's standout wide receiver Justin Hardy is just one touchdown shy of joining that club, with nine touchdown grabs this season. With Hardy not scoring against Houston last week, and with this bye week to rest, it seems only logical that No. 2 is due to score his 10th touchdown sometime soon.

UCF losing against UTEP and Tulsa

Currently, ECU sits behind rival UCF in the Conference USA East Division standings with just a few short weeks left to determine who will represent the East in the C-USA title game. In order for the Pirates to overtake UCF (who holds the tie breaker since they beat ECU earlier in the season), Pirate Nation needs the UCF Knights to lose two of their remaining three games: at UTEP, at Tulsa, and/or home against UAB. By the time ECU kicks off against Tulane, in a little over a week, we will know the outcome of UCF's first two games. With two UCF losses in three weeks, the Pirates are still alive in C-USA. Keep your fingers crossed people.

How the Pirates will contain Tulane's passing attack

The one good thing about The Green Wave's offense is that it can move the ball through the air (compared to averaging just 38.1 yards per game on the ground. Yikes). The one bad thing about ECU's defense is that it has been giving up big plays in the passing game. I'm looking forward to see how the Pirates plan to limit Tulane's aerial attack, as Green Wave quarterback Ryan Griffin is coming off of two back-to-back 400 yard games (He threw for 466 yards against UAB and 476 against Rice). Actually, just seeing the opponent quarterback's name is R. Griffin is enough to make some shudder.

Tulane's porous defense

As mentioned slightly before, Tulane's defense has been less than stout (to put it nicely). The Green Wave is giving up just under 40 points per game, and ECU has scored at least 40 in three of its last four games. Tulane ranks 80th against the pass (giving up over 250 yards per game) and 118th against the run (over 241 yards per game). If my math is correct, those totals add up to just under 500 yards a game that this defense is giving up. Somewhere Carden, Cooper, Hardy and the crew are licking their chops.

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