coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 08/31/2014 11:38 AM in NCAA Football

East Carolina at South Carolina Game Day Central

The South Carolina Gamecocks will try and rebound from an ugly loss when they host East Carolina in week two of the college football season.

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coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/01/2014 11:44 AM

Steve Spurrier continues to be an innovator, as the Ol' Ball Coach has invented a new term for all those injury reports out there.

Spurrier said that South Carolina running back Mike Davis was "sort of doubtful" for the Gamecocks next game against East Carolina. I'm guessing that "sort of doubtful" falls somewhere in between doubtful and questionable. So doubtable, or questionful if you will.

Davis has been dealing with bruised ribs, and there was some question as to whether or not he'd be available against Texas A&M after those ribs held him out of fall practice for a while. Davis did play, but he reaggravated the injury during the loss and managed only 15 yards on six carries.

As for whether or not he'll miss the East Carolina game that's sort of still up in the air. While it seems logical that Spurrier would want to rest Davis for the game to make sure he's healthy for what's now become a must-win game against Georgia on Sept. 13, East Carolina isn't exactly a pushover. The Pirates averaged over 40 points per game last season playing an offensive style similar to Texas A&M's, and we all saw the kind of trouble the Gamecocks defense had against the Aggies on Thursday night.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/02/2014 03:42 PM

East Carolina Facts:

KEY PLAYER: Quarterback Shane Carden. The senior had a stellar junior campaign. He passed for 4,139 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and completed over 70 percent (387-of-549) of his passes. He could give a young, inexperienced USC secondary headaches.

UNSUNG PLAYER: WR Justin Hardy. Carden might have grabbed the attention, but Hardy was just as impressive as a receiver last season. The senior had 114 receptions for 1,284 yards and eight touchdowns. The Pirates arguably have the best receiving corps in the AAC.

BEST FRESHMAN: Running back Anthony Scott. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound speedster from Virginia Beach, Va., could find his way into the ECU rotation at running back. The backfield has retooled after the departure of Vintavious Cooper, and Scott will be given an opportunity to see if he can carry the load. He rushed for over 2,200 yards as a high school senior and chose the Pirates over Old Dominion and Virginia Tech.

AREA OF CONCERN: While the offense returns plenty of experience, the defense must find a replacement for seven starters. The defensive line should be the cornerstone of the group, but the Pirates must replace three linebackers and three defensive backs from a unit that ranked 36th nationally last season. They bring back a little more than half of last year’s tackles, which ranks 113th in FBS.

ODD STAT: East Carolina has had its share of success, but last season’s 10-3 mark was the Pirates’ second double-digit win season. The Pirates won six of their final seven games, including a 37-20 win over Ohio in the Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl. The only only other double-digit win season was 1991, when ECU went 11-1. The Pirates defeated South Carolina 31-20 at home that season.

COACH FACTOID: Ruffin McNeill is entering his fifth season with the Pirates. The former defensive back at East Carolina took over for Skip Holtz after the 2009 season. There were rumbles of letting McNeill go after ECU went 11-14 his first two seasons, but the Pirates are 18-8 the past two seasons.

NEW SURROUNDINGS: East Carolina was a member of Conference USA last season and now is in its first season in the AAC. The Pirates aren’t unfamiliar with their new conference-mates. They faced Tulane and Tulsa last season and have been a regular opponent of UCF, Cincinnati, Temple and Connecticut. ECU is 57-34 against current members of the AAC.

WHO: USC (0-1) vs. East Carolina (1-0)

WHERE: Williams-Brice Stadium

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday


LINE: USC by 16

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/03/2014 09:06 AM

12-5 – South Carolina’s all time record against East Carolina. The Gamecocks have won the last two in 2011 and 2012, and East Carolina last won in 1999 when Lou Holtz was the coach here.

330 – the number of yards Dylan Thompson threw for against East Carolina in 2012. Dylan started the game because of an injury to Connor Shaw and with Marcus Lattimore led the Gamecocks to a dominating 48-10 victory. Also, Thompson’s top two receivers in that game just happened to be Rory Anderson and Damiere Byrd, who are expected to be two big targets for Thompson again two years later.

2 - jersey number of Justin Hardy, the senior wide receiver for East Carolina, who had eight catches for 111 yards in that 2012 game. Hardy has become one of the nation’s top receivers and will certainly be a threat Saturday night.

582 – total yards for East Carolina in their season opening win last week. They not only threw for 374 yards, but also ran for 208 more, so they are clearly a potent offense. Although last week was against a lesser opponent, don’t let that fool you, as ECU averaged 468 yards and 40 points per game last season.

70.5 – Shane Carden is FBS leader in completion percentage for returning quarterbacks. He has set many school records, and considering the Gamecocks’ struggle against Texas A&M last week in passing, he is definitely going to be a concern. He got the starting job coming off the bench against South Carolina in 2012, going 12-18 for 140 yards, and has never looked back.

67 – rushing yards for South Carolina last week. Ultimately, the Gamecocks have to establish a running game, even without leader Mike Davis, who could miss because of a rib injury. They also need to not fall behind early which happened last week, which will make it hard to get the running game going.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/04/2014 10:48 AM

Point spread: The Gamecocks opened as 15.5-point favorites. The total was 63 in early wagering (line updates and matchup report).

-- Why the East Carolina Pirates can cover the spread

The Pirates opened this season with a 52-7 victory over FCS North Carolina Central, covering as 39-point favorites. EC spotted the Eagles the first score of the game on a fumble return, then scored the last 52 points.

The Pirates led 31-7 by halftime, then later beat the spread by tacking on one last touchdown with a minute-and-a-half to go. East Carolina outgained NCCU 582-174, ran the ball for over 200 yards and threw it for 375 more.

The Pirates only return nine starters this season, but fortunately, they include senior quarterback Shane Carden and his two favorite pass-catching targets, Justin Hardy and Isaiah Jones, who combined for 18 catches for 240 yards and three scores last week.

-- Why the South Carolina Gamecocks can cover the spread

It's difficult to sift a silver lining out of last week's performance, other than perhaps to say that QB Dylan Thompson, in his fourth career start, threw for 366 yards and four scores. The Gamecocks should just put last week behind them, and go forward from here.

South Carolina returned 14 starters this year—including 1,000-yard rusher Mike Davis—four along the offensive line and six on defense. As mentioned above, the Gamecocks had an 18-game home winning streak going, with a 12-6 against-the-spread run. So they've been a good value at Williams-Brice Stadium.

South Carolina also beat East Carolina just two years ago 48-10, covering as 21-point favorites.

The Gamecocks might be angry heading into this one, and that doesn't bode well for an East Carolina team that has to replace three starters along the offensive line and seven starters on defense.

Last week, South Carolina ran into a buzzsaw in Texas A&M, and sometimes things like that just happen. This week, the Gamecocks hold advantages across the board. Also, the worst thing bettors can do is handicap a game based simply on what happened last week.

-- Trends
•East Carolina is 1-4 ATS in its last five games on the road.
•South Carolina is 4-2 ATS in its last six games at home and 20-1 straight up.

trytrytry Posts:1845 Followers:5
09/04/2014 12:21 PM

great info here. this is a situation type game that would tend towards s Carolina in my systems

  • All Time Record: 52-25-1

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
09/05/2014 12:07 PM

Steve Spurrier quickly corrected himself after saying No. 21 South Carolina needs to play a little better when it faces East Carolina on Saturday night.

''Play a LOT better,'' Spurrier emphasized Tuesday, referring to his team's performance in last week's season-opening 52-28 loss to Texas A&M.

Spurrier hasn't been accustomed to such beat downs - or the regrouping that typically follows - over the past three 11-2 seasons. But when they have, the Gamecocks (0-1) were up to the challenge.

South Carolina's largest margin of defeat the last three years was a 44-11 loss at Florida in 2012. Following the loss, the Gamecocks ended the season with a five-game win streak.

Spurrier hopes his team can replicate that this time.

''Hopefully, we can come out there and run around and show some fire and act like we really love playing the game,'' Spurrier said. ''I hope we can do that. That remains to be seen because we didn't do it very well, obviously, the other time.''

The Gamecocks had hoped to kick off the season by continuing the run they'd been on the past few seasons. They entered with an 18-game home win streak and put an 85-foot poster of Spurrier outside the stadium for fans, opponents and the SEC Network to see.

But inside the stadium was a South Carolina horror show. The Gamecocks gave up 680 yards of offense, the most ever, and turned first-time A&M quarterback starter Kenny Hill into that program's next star as he passed for 511 yards and three touchdowns.

South Carolina's defense didn't generate much of a pass rush and its secondary had trouble deny receivers the ball or tackling them once they made the catch.

Spurrier acknowledged there were too many times when a Texas A&M player would be tracking in one direction while Gamecock defenders went the opposite way. Both corners were first-time starters at that position, along with three of its four down linemen.

''We had some players get confused at times and the other team executed pretty well,'' Spurrier said.

He has made changes in the practice routine, speeding up the pace and having his defensive line starters go up against those starters on the offensive line. That's something he would usually only do individually at this point of the season.

''We've just tried to keep our guys moving better, a sense of urgency,'' Spurrier said. ''It seems like we've been a bit lackadaisical.''

Spurrier hinted there also could be some personnel changes, something he said he'd detail later in the week.

East Carolina, a 10-game winner last year, enters with a similar offensive style as No. 8 Texas A&M. Quarterback Shane Carden set a school record with 4,139 yards passing last season and threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns in a 52-7 win over North Carolina Central last week.

Pirates coach Ruffin McNeill says his team won't count on the Gamecocks playing this poorly again.

''I know (Spurrier) will have his team ready to go. Of course we'll watch the film, but it goes back to controlling what we can and that's our preparation and how we plan,'' McNeill said.

Defensive tackle J.T. Surratt, the lone returning starter on the line, said he was frustrated with the defense's problems, but believes the players have the mindset to improve.

''Anything we can do to push ourselves to do more while we're out there on the field, I believe we have that drive this week,'' he said. ''Everybody does have that chip on the shoulder.''

That's something Spurrier would love to see Saturday night. He says while losing's always painful, it's a long season with all of South Carolina's goals still intact as long as things perk up.

''We were ready to play, they just completely outplayed us, outcoached us and everything else,'' the coach said. ''So we have no excuses and I'm hoping and believing that we can play a whole bunch better.''