Bits and Bytes: WVU - ECU

We offer a life preserver of menu items for West Virginia's trip to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and a date with the high-riding Pirates of ECU.






BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series: WVU 17-2
Sat 09/06/08 4:30 PM
Greenville, NC

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Record: 1-0
USA: 8th
Last Game
Villanova W 48-21

Click for Greenville, North Carolina Forecast
Record: 1-0
USA: 28
Last Game
VaTech W 27-22
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2008 Schedule
First Meeting: 1970
Last Meeting: 2008
Rosters/Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2008 Schedule

GOOD AND BAD

Common wisdom has Patrick White throwing the ball against ECU to loosen up the Pirate defense. While that's likely to happen (barring hideous weather conditions), there is both a plus and minus to the approach.

First, on the good side, White is 40-52 for 461 yards and five scores in his three previous games against East Carolina. Included in that total is White's best single day percentage-wise: last year's 18-20 performance which resulted in 181 yards and two scores in WVU's 48-7 rout. However, in the previous two seasons, White suffered s total of five interceptions.

Swinging back to the positive side, White has made steady improvement each year, and if he can avoid the turnover bug (or should I say, waterbug) this year, West Virginia should be in good shape to steal off with a win.

NO COUNTRY FOR PIRATE METAPHORS

One good thing about the approach of Tropical Storm Hanna and its threat to the game – it has caused a definite decrease in the use of tired phrases such as "walk the plank". Arrrgh, mateys.

PLAYING THE UPPER CLASS

East Carolina is one of just five non-BCS teams that is playing four non-conference contests against BCS opponents. The Pirates play Virginia Tech, West Virginia, N.C. State and Virginia. Hawai'i faces Florida, Oregon State, Washington State and Cincinnati, while Middle Tennessee State squares off against Maryland, Kentucky, Louisville, and Mississippi State. Rounding out the grouping is Navy and Western Kentucky.

RECORD WATCH

Barring a shocking outcome, kicker Pat McAfee will move into second place on WVU's all-time kick scoring list against East Carolina. McAfee, with 309 points, is currently one point behind Jay Taylor, who scored 310 points in his career. Standard-bearer Paul Woodside's record of 323 points will likely fall sometime at home in October.

With his next scoring strike, Patrick White will move into a fifth-place tie with Major Harris on the career touchdown pass list with 41. Marc Bulger's record of 59 may be out of reach, but White should finish no worse than second by career's end. Rasheed Marshall has 45 to hold down that spot on the list.

Of course, if White continues at his current pace, he could threaten Bulger's hold on that mark as well.

I THINK THERE'S A PATTERN HERE

Four times in its history, East Carolina has failed to gain a single yard passing in a game. Three of those contests occurred in 1974. The Pirates drew blanks against Appalachian State, Southern Illinois and Bowling Green that year.

TAKING THE MIC

In a sweeps week ratings promotion, ECU head coach Skip Holtz made his television sports anchor debut in early May, 2008. Holtz hosted the 11 p.m. broadcast/segment on the set of Greenville NBC-affiliate WITN-TV. ECU media relations staff were quick to point out that Holtz is not trying to horn in on his father's ESPN gig. From our perspective, he could hardly do any worse.

RANDOM OFF-TOPIC NOTE OF THE WEEK

Occasionally, an item comes up that requires comment, but doesn't fit the theme of the column. Thus, the ROTNOTW is born. This week: Ben Mauk.

In a phrase – give it up, man. We admire your perseverance. But what possible good could come of continuing to drag this case out? Even if you finally did win, your return to a Cincinnati team that has clearly moved on (and has a solid QB) would only be detrimental. Do you want to do that to your teammates – even those that you only played alongside for one year? And please, no bleating about "laying the groundwork for future cases". This is about you, as your actions clearly show.

One outcome of this case could be a more formalized system of record keeping of injuries, including treatments. Players would then have a paper trail to fall back on when cases such as this crop up.


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