It is upon us; State week. This weekend's game transcends a simple win or loss in the record book. This game is all about bragging rights in the state.
So what must ECU focus on in order to come out victorious?
The first key to success is keeping their composure. Obviously, this game embodies a magnitude that not even a Richter scale could properly measure. Coach Montgomery and the players must keep their cool.
It will be very hard to win against a very talented opponent if the players and coaches cannot calm their nerves and execute their duties with high precision.
The second key will be handling N.C. States' defensive line. This has been a focal point from both Montgomery and quarterback Philip Nelson. State loves to bring the pressure and get to the quarterback. The Pirates' offensive line is going to have to put on their game faces, dig in, and give 110 percent to hold back the Wolfpack defensive front.
The third key to success is continuing to be efficient on offense. Against Western Carolina, Isaiah Jones and Anthony Scott both went for well over 100 yards, and quarterback Philip Nelson threw for almost 400 yards. It is imperative that the ECU offense find a way to continue this efficiency and put up points, especially with a defense such as the Wolfpack's.
A fourth key to success is putting pressure on N.C. State's star player Jaylen Samuels, and being able to contain him as much as possible. He provides a problem at both the tight end and running back positions. At 5-foot-11 and 236 pounds, Samuels is a very flexible option for the Wolfpack offense, and will definitely be a huge challenge for Kenwick Thompson and his defense.