Today's matinee affair started off very promising, as East Carolina forced a three-and-out, then proceeded to score on the ensuing drive.
It was a back and forth battle for a while, as SMU was answering ECU's scores almost immediately, and it seemed we were in for a gold old fashioned shootout.
However, this was not the case. When things started to go bad for ECU, they did so quickly. It started with a consecutive turnovers, which SMU turned in scoring opportunities,
The woes continued as Philip Nelson started to lose his poise, throwing an interception that was returned 70 yards for a touchdown. Shortly after, Nelson threw another interception that went for a touchdown -- this time for 80 yards.
This game was a classic case of the wheels completely falling off the wagon -- and in the case of ECU, all the wheels came off at once. Gardner Minshew came in and replaced Nelson before the half was over.
Minshew proved to be just as ineffective as Nelson. After a poorly thrown ball that could have been a touchdown to Zay Jones if thrown well, Minshew was picked off, and SMU returned it 80 yards for a touchdown.
It is clear that ECU still struggles tremendously with handling the ball. SMU took advantage of the ball security problems and turned ECU's mistakes into points.
It is really hard to beat a team when you keep giving them the ball with great field possession. It is also hard to win when you allow the opposing team's defense to put up 21 points by themselves, let alone the contributions from the SMU offense.
All-in-all, a very dissapointing afternoon of football for the Pirates. Any amount of hope that was left for a bowl is completely diminished, and ECU is on another losing streak.