Coaches Corner: Lincoln Riley

Inside ECU Sports caught up with offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley to chat about East Carolina's upcoming showdown with Ohio University in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.

Ohio's had a lot of success against Conference-USA this season. Have you looked at the games they played against Marshall and North Texas?

A: We will. We found out [last Monday] night that we've got a chance to take a look at a bunch of them. But yeah, we'll have them studied up and we'll be ready to go. They've played some other teams, but they haven't played us. They can say the same thing about us, so it'll be a good matchup.

Q: Like you said, they haven't played ECU. But, they played the Thundering Herd earlier on in the season. Have you seen anything from the Bobcats in the later stage of their season?

A: I have. They're well coached. They'll get lined up. They do a really good job getting guys in position to make plays. It looks like they play really hard. It looks like that's been the strength of their team. Taking a quick look at their numbers, they've done a nice job defensively.

With two bowl teams, you're not going to play a bad team or a bad defense or a bad offense in a bowl game. There's a reason why both these teams are in bowl games. A lot of people will be sitting at home watching them. We understand it's going to be a test. We understand we're going to have to improve over this time and not remain stagnant or you'll lose some of the things that we've worked so hard to get. We've got to improve, go in and play our best game.

Q: With a lot of time to focus on Ohio, how does only having one team on your mind help you?

A: It helps you get the guys healthy. We were a little banged up against Marshall. We've had some warriors. Guys like Shane Carden, who breaks his hand and has surgery after the N.C. State game and he's right there. Justin Hardy, too. A bunch of these guys are pushing through stuff. We've had a chance to get them healthy and get them fresh.

We've played so many plays. We've played so fast this year. We've played so many plays. It's good to get our offensive guys a break in this last week and then getting back to the fundamentals and improving on some of the things we need to improve on. I think we had a pretty good record this year after bye weeks, which is similar. We've got a similar plan and we'll be ready to play.

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