It has been a tough month for East Carolina. They have not won a game since Sept.10, when they beat the N.C. State 33-30. Since that game, ECU has lost four straight and Coach Montgomery and company are having a hard time putting the pieces of a shattered season back together.
Lets first start with the inefficiency of the offense. It seems like a common thread: ECU puts up a crazy amount of yards and asserts themselves as the dominant team on the field, however, due to turnovers, the Pirates fail to convert on the opportunities they give themselves. For example, against Central Florida, ECU put up almost five hundred yards passing but still managed to come up short.
One aspect that could contribute to their "struggling" offense is the vanishing act of starting running back Anthony Scott. During ECU's last four losses, Scott has only run for 153 total yards, and put up a dismal eight yards against UCF, and followed that with a 28 yard performance next weekend against USF. Performances like this shatter the dynamic of an offense because now the defense knows the run game is struggling, and they can expect a heavy pass attack.
Speaking of the pass attack, Philip Nelson's health is still a huge concern going into the second half of the season. The offensive line has been dominated in recent games, which has opened the tackling floodgates for defenders. After taking huge hits in back to back weeks, his health has to be diminishing, and if he is forced out, then Gardner Minshew will take his place. Minshew is a young quarterback with wishy-washy performances, and I doubt he has the leadership and skill to lead ECU to a bowl game.
A bowl game -- what are the odds ECU reaches a bowl game? They would have to win four of their last six games. However, with the way they have been playing, and the inability to turn this skid around, it is very unlikely ECU will be playing football in December.
So halfway in, and where is ECU? ECU is definitely stuck in some quick sand and has been sinking rapidly. But here is still time to wrestle their way out and gather themselves for a successful second half of the season.