Monday's Notes

Four televised college football games this past weekend featured teams that East Carolina will play this season. Unfortunately for the Pirates' strength of schedule ratings all four lost. Nebraska downed TCU, BYU walloped Tulane, Syracuse dropped one to Georgia Tech and of course UNC fell to defending national champs, Oklahoma.

TCU, Syracuse and yes, even the Tar Heels had their moments against their highly ranked opponents. The Horned Frogs and Orangemen showed some mettle on defense, but stagnant offenses let them down. UNC quarterback Darian Durant's second half performance against the Sooners (12-26, 152 yards, 2 TDs) has stirred up a whirl of speculation about Ronald Curry's immediate future as the Carolina starter. That situation will be an interesting one to follow leading up to the ECU-UNC contest on October 6 in Chapel Hill.

One other game of note for Pirate fans was Fresno State's 24-22 win over Colorado. This past week, Bulldog coach used East Carolina's program as a measuring stick for success when he said, "We see a lot of East Carolina out here. Now, the East Carolinas are going to be seeing a lot of Fresno State."

Now, to the game in Greenville this weekend - Wake Forest comes into town with a new coach and a new offensive scheme. Jim Grobe's Deacons hope the element of surprise will work in their favor, especially offensively. The Pirates' defense has little to base its preparations on. Says ECU's defensive coordinator Tim Rose of the challenge,"This is as tough an opener as I've ever had to get ready for. Not only is it a new staff, but it's a new staff that, from all reports, is putting in a lot of things they did before and a lot of things they didn't."

The element of surprise only goes so far. As the game progresses and Rose makes his defensive adjustments, superior personnel will be the difference. If Wake scores more than 10 points in this contest I will be surprised.

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