Zay Jones (James Guillroy/USA Today)

5 Players to Watch: SMU vs. East Carolina

Demo breaks down five East Carolina players to watch on Saturday when SMU heads on the road to face the Pirates.

Sr. Wide Receiver Zay Jones

Jones enters Saturday’s game having caught a pass in 44-straight contests dating back to 2013. Last week he torched Tulsa for 206 yards on 13 catches—marking his 16th double-digit reception outing and his 17th 100 yard receiving game as a Pirate. Jones is the current FBS leader in receptions and reception yards with 127 receptions and 1300 yards over nine games in 2016. His 368 career receptions also lead all active FBS receivers

Sr. Wide Receiver Jimmy Williams

Williams has made 16 catches for 234 yards with three touchdowns over his last three games and leads the team with six touchdown catches. He is the Pirates third leading receiver through nine games, but his 704 yards are second on the team and his 20.1 yards per catch average leads the team by a hefty margin (10.1 yards). Williams provides a serious deep threat to the Pirates offense and the Mustangs will have to give him a certain level of respect or he’ll burn them.

Sr. Running Back James Summers

In his last four games, Summers has rushed for 349 yards on 71 carries. Summers has five touchdowns on the year and has 594 yards on the year. The _ running back has elevated his play recently and seems to be getting stronger with every game. Stopping him will be key for SMU, if the Mustangs want to rebound from last week’s blowout.

James Summers (© James Guillroy/USA Today)

Fr. Defensive Back Colby Gore

Gore is seventh on the team with 34 total tackles, but has been solid in pass coverage. The true freshman leads the team with two interceptions, four pass breakups and six passes defended. He also has a sack. The 5-11, 175 pound defensive back has proven himself through the first nine games and has a bright future at ECU ahead of him. That isn’t to say he is finished turning heads just yet. He’s young, and eager to make plays. We can expect to see him flying around on Saturday.

Sr. Linebacker Dayon Pratt

Pratt stepped into a starting role this season after coming off the bench in most of 2015 and has met most of the lofty expectations place on him coming out of camp.  He has paid his dues, mostly seeing the field on special teams and coming on in relief since his redshirt freshman season in 2013. He finally got his shot in 2016 and has made the most of it.  Pratt has paid his dues, mostly seeing the field on special teams and coming on in relief. He finally got his shot in 2016 and has made the most of it. Pratt leads the Pirates with 58 tackles in 2016 including 7.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

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