On Oct. 13, the East Carolina Pirates will continue conference play with a matchup against the Navy Midshipmen.
The Pirates will be coming off a road game against the University of South Florida. This game will be nationally televised on ESPN and will be one of the most watched AAC games of the 2016 season.
Last year, the Pirates lost to Navy 45-21 in Maryland. Navy's star quarterback Keenan Reynolds had a tremendous game rushing for 142 yards and five touchdowns. With those five touchdowns, Reynolds broke the AAC single-game record. Navy proved to be unstoppable on the ground rushing for a total of 415 yards. Fullback the Chris Swain also had over 100 yards and a touchdown.
ECU on the other hand could not keep up with the barrage of scoring from the Midshipmen. The Pirates started strong and we're in the game until they made a few costly mistakes. Former pirate Blake Kemp threw two touchdowns and the Pirates trailed 28-14 at the half. East Carolina had two turnovers, two more turnovers on downs, a punt, and a missed field goal. The Pirates simply could not capitalize on the opportunities they had to stay in the game.
This year Navy will comes into the season after losing stars such as Reynolds and Swain. The Midshipmen will have to work with a new quarterback in the system and try to establish a decent running game. With two sky scrapers at wide receiver -- Jamir Tillman (6-4) and Tyler Carmona (6-4) -- Navy may pose a threat through the air this year.
With a new and improved defense, the Pirates will be eager to take on Navy. ECU's offense should have some good chemistry by this point in the season and could be firing on all cylinders.
But with a new season comes new obstacles. The Pirates have been working hard all spring and summer this offseason. Neither team should take this matchup lightly. Both teams will look significantly different this fall, but it has a chance to be a classic AAC battle.