The Pirates will be returning to Greenville after a conference road game against Cincinnati. The game against the Huskies will be highly anticipated by the players and fans, for it will be homecoming weekend.
Last year in the American Athletic Conference match up against the Huskies, the Pirates were defeated on the road 31-13. The game started off well for ECU with a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive back Dashawn Benton.
Offensively, ECU was held to their lowest passing total since 2012 after managing to put up only 137 yards through the air. Going into the half, UConn led 10-6, and the Pirate's chance of winning was soon squandered in the second half. The Huskies went on to score 24 unanswered points before a late touchdown by the Pirates.
The problems ECU faced last year were turnovers. The Pirates were intercepted a season high four times, three of which were inside UConn's 35-yard line.
The defense had a tough time stopping UConn's Arkeel Newsome who rushed for 179-yards and two touchdowns. The Pirates' defense also couldn't get off the field in 3rd down situations, only stopping the Huskies on 50%(7-14) of their attempts. With the new principles head coach Scottie Montgomery instilled in his team, they hope to improve in the areas they lacked last year.
Starting quarterback Philip Nelson has excelled during the offseason and has a chance to have a remarkable season. With the great talent returning to the team at receiver, running-back, and offensive line, the outlook is bright. The defense also expects to step up to the challenge this year, starting with the defensive line. Demetri McGill and Fred Pressley will set the standard for the defense locking down the interior.
At ECU's media day, McGill spoke about the upcoming season.
"We prepared totally different from last year." he said. "We ran harder, studied a lot, and had more intense practices, and this all should pay off for us this year" said McGill.
Many changes have been made to the Pirate football team and be assured this is not the 5-7 team from last season.