East Carolina's running backs struggled for the majority of the 2016 season. The combination of injury, poor play, and overall offensive discourse did not provide a stable foundation to establish a consistent running game.
Let's first focus on the loss of Shawn Furlow. Furlow, who came in for an injured and struggling Anthony Scott, has transferred to Kennesaw State. The 5-foot-10 191-pound Greenville native made the move on Dec. 27. In the 2016 campaign, Furlow recorded a meager 23 yards on five attempts.
Anthony Scott, who will be a senior next year, had his fair share of troubles. His season started off strong, scoring the go ahead touchdown in the "famous" N.C. State game, and everything seemed to be looking up for him and the rest of the team. We all know how that tale ended, however. At any rate, not counting the last four games he missed due to injury, Scott had 384 yards with two touchdowns on 78 attempts last season.
Before we go any further, it is important to mention ECU's "jack-of-all-trades", James Summers. Summers, who could throw touchdowns, catch touchdowns, and even run for touchdowns, proved to be the best rusher on the team. He finished with 869 yards with seven touchdowns on 162 attempts. Summers also ripped off an 81-yard touchdown against Navy. But the Pirates lose Summers to graduation in the spring.
So with all this in mind, and considering ECU will have Scott, along with Derrell Scott, Devin Anderson, and Hussein Howe, what can we expect for the 2017 season? The first prediction for next year is that there will be a serious battle between Scott and Anderson for the starting spot. Though Scott is a year older and has more experience, his ball security issues and injuries allowed Anderson opportunities last season, and he showed promise . On the year, Anderson finished with 258 yards and two touchdowns on 57 carries.
A second prediction is that we will not see serious improvement in the running game. A lot of that hinges on what direction head coach Scottie Montgomery wants to go with the offense, though/