WVU - East Carolina Game Preview

The East Carolina Pirates sail into Morgantown looking for their first-ever win in Milan Puskar Stadium.






BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series:14-2-0 WVU
Sat 9/24/05 Noon
Morgantown, WV

Milan Puskar Stadium
Record: 3-0
Poll Rank: NR
Last Game
Maryland 31-19

Rtn Lettermen: 41
Rtn Starters: 17
Click for College Park, Maryland Forecast
Record: 1-1
Poll Rank: NR
Last Game
Wake Forest 34-44
Rtn Lettermen: 47
Rtn Starters: 13
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2005 Schedule
First Meeting: 1970
Last Meeting: 2004
Rosters/Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2005 Schedule

Common Opponents to Date:

None

Injuries:

WVU - Erick Phillips (Knee) Out, Jay Henry (Knee) Doubtful, Adam Bednarik (Neck) Probable, Rayshawn Bolden (Foot) Probable, Josh Bailey (Shoulder) Probable

East Carolina - Markeith McQueen (Arm) Out, Patrick Pinkney (Shoulder) Out, Bobby Good (Hamstring) Questionable, Sean Harmon (Knee) Probable

Game Outlook:

WVU offense vs. ECU defense

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Game Info
WVU 3-0-0, 1-0
ECU 1-1, 0-0
Sat 9/24/05 Noon
Milan Puskar Stadium
Series: 14-2-0 WVU
TV:ESPN Regional
Sagarin: WVU-18 ECU-131
Line: WVU -21
Stats & Trends
The Pirate defense is lead by a preseason First-Team All-Conference USA pick Chris Moore (6-1, 235). The senior leads East Carolina in tackles with 20 along with three tackles for a loss.

Joining Moore at linebacker will be Richard Koonce (6-0, 235) and Josh Chilsom (5-10, 220). Koonce and Chilsom have combined for 26 stops and three tackles for a loss this season.

The defensive front is lead by junior Shauntee Hunt (6-5, 262). Hunt leads the team with two sacks and has totaled three tackles for a loss. Teaming with Hunt at defensive end is Michael MacDonagh (6-4, 253). MacDonagh will be starting his eighth game on Saturday.

Rounding out the Pirate down linemen are Fred Hicks (6-0, 290) and Mark Robinson (6-3, 274). Hicks and Robinson have combined for seven tackles in the first two games of the season.

Starting at the corner positions will be Erode Jean (5-9, 182) and Kasey Ross (6-0, 175). Jean, a two-time 2005 preseason All-Conference USA selection by Lindy's National College Football Magazine and Athlon College Football Preview Magazine, has recorded six tackles on the season while Ross, a junior, leads the team with four pass break ups.

The safties will be Zach Baker (6-2, 212) and Pierre Parker (6-0, 207). Baker has been the most active defensive back, racking up 14 tackles and two interceptions while Parker has totaled 12 tackles, one interception and three pass break ups on the young season.

By The Numbers :
WVU is ranked 44th in total offense (412.33 yds/game), seventh in rushing offense (270.67 yds/game) and 104th in passing offense (141.67 yds/game).

ECU is ranked 72nd in total defense (388.50 yds/game), 116th in rushing defense (284.50 yds/game) and first in passing efficiency defense (104.00 rating).

Advantage: WVU

WVU defense vs. ECU offense

Leading the ECU offense will be second-year starter James Pickney (6-3, 209). The junior signal caller has completed 37 of 66 of his passes (56.1%) for 527 yards and four touchdowns in two games. Pickney threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns in last years' meeting with WVU.

The leading ground gainer for the Pirates has been Chris Johnson (5-11, 190). The sophomore has totaled 167 yards on 33 carries, including one touchdown. Pickney is the team's second leading rusher with 31 yards on 19 totes.

Wideouts Aundrae Allison (6-1, 192), Bobby Good (6-1, 187) and tight end Shawn Levesque (6-3, 246) are listed as the starters for Pirates but look for Robert Tillman (5-11, 178) to see a few Pickney strikes during the contest. Allison and Tillman, a multipurpose back, have combined for 26 of the teams 37 receptions and all four touchdown catches.

The Pirate offensive line will be lead into battle by left guard Eric Graham (6-6,324). Graham was named to the 2005 Preseason All-Conference USA squad (second-team) by Athlon College Football Preview Magazine and will be making his 14th consecutive start on Saturday.

Joining Graham on the line will be Guy Whimper (6-6, 302), Gary Freeman (6-1, 330), Matt Butler (6-4, 308) and Chris Sellers (6-3, 290). This group is solid at pass blocking, allowing three sacks this season.

By The Numbers:
WVU is ranked 3rd in total defense (199.33 yds/game), 7th in rushing defense (48.67 yds/game) and 26th in passing efficiency defense (104.82).

ECU is ranked 64th in total offense (374.00 yds/game), 86th in rushing offense (110.50 yds/game) and 31st in passing offense (263.50 yds/game).

Advantage: WVU

WVU special teams vs. ECU special teams

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Tailgating
Handling the punting and kicking duties for the Pirates will be Ryan Dougherty (6-1, 221) and Robert Lee (5-11, 211), respectively.

On the season Dougherty has averaged 40.0 yards on 12 punts, with five being downed inside opponents' 20-yard line. The junior has had one attempt blocked.

Lee, a junior, has been perfect through two games, connecting on three field goal attempts (with a long of 51 yards) and seven extra points.

Returning punts and kickoffs for ECU will be Travis Williams (5-10, 182) and Chris Johnson.

The lightning-quick Williams has averaged 13.2 yards on four punt returns this season, with his long being 52 yards. The sophomore was selected to the Athlon College Football Preview Magazine's 2005 Preseason All-America squad (third-team).

Johnson, the team's leading ground gainer, has averaged an impressive 30.5 yards on four kickoff returns. The sophomore looks to see plenty of action against the Mountaineers.

By The Numbers:
WVU is ranked 80th in net punting (32.47 yds/punt), 15th in kick returns (27.14 yds/return) and 37th in punt returns (11.83 yds/return).

ECU is ranked 79th in net punting (32.54 yds/punt), 44th in kick returns (22.56 yds/return) and 25th in punt returns (13.25 yds/return)

Advantage: WVU

Picks to Click:

On Offense: Jason Gwaltney

On Defense: Mike Lorello

Totally Useless Facts:

  • The East Carolina roster shows that 62 players (51%) are from the Tar Heel State.

  • The Pirates have finished the season ranked only twice in the last 20 years (1991 & 1995)

  • The average height and weight of a ECU player is 6'0 222 lbs. The average Mountaineer is 6'1 226 lbs.

Be sure to check out our Stats & Trends section for lots more match up information!

Prediction:

Where's my BlueGoldNews.com t-shirt? Last week I chose Owen Schmitt and Jay Henry as my 'Picks to Click' and they dominated Maryland, earning WVU player of the week honors! No t-shirt, no key chain, not even a call from Coach Rodriguez? Oh well, at least my name isn't Matt Keller, who seems to be about as knowledgeable on WVU football as ESPN's talking head Mark May.

Now back to the game. Skip Holtz will not have the same success against the 2005 version of the Mountaineers as his famous father did against WVU in the 1988 National Championship game. WVU running backs will rack up over 300 yards rushing and have the Pirate fans looking for the nearest plank.

WVU - 41 ECU - 17


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