Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule – Michigan’s long and winding road to eternal college football glory in the 2023 season begins tomorrow with one of three non-conference wins. First on the schedule is the East Carolina Pirates, the first meeting between ECU and the Wolverines. The Pirates hail from the American Athletic Conference and are coming off a solid 8-5 campaign, although they have failed to live up to the program’s lofty expectations for the year. Now comes the projected decline because the Pirates have lost weight on both sides of the football in the offseason: Bill Connelly ranked 130th in ECU’s 133-team scoring rankings in February, and that was before he suffered another loss from -for disqualification. – spring This team is completely different.

Mike Houston is a great coach who has won everywhere he has gone: Lenoir-Rhyne (DII), The Citadel (FCS), James Madison (then FCS), and now East Carolina. ECU was 9-27 in the three seasons before Mike Houston arrived and took several years to shake it off. They were 4-8 in 2019 and then 3-6 in the COVID-shortened season. After the pandemic, Houston claimed ECU’s eligibility for the tournament and a 7-5 season (the Military Tournament was never played because BC withdrew after the virus outbreak). In 2022, they had to go all in with veteran players on the roster, but they repeated their terrible 7-5 season, losing games by 1, 2 and 3 points. The season finale win over neighboring Coastal Carolina was just a small treat to ease the pain of the 2022 season.

Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

ECU’s defensive strength appears to be its defensive line. On a team with a ton of instability and fresh faces, the Pirates have three returning players on the DL who are better as defenders than passers. The team was ranked 21st nationally last season with a 118.9 mark, and will look to build on that mark this season with experience in the trenches.

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East Carolina runs a 3-3-5 with an EDGE rush that could be considered a fourth DL if desired. Chad Stevens plays one of the EDGE spots with his hands in the dirt at 261 pounds, along with a pair of defensive tackles in lightweight Elijah Morris (264) and larger D’Anta Johnson (294). The backups are also quite experienced, including NT giant Jason Shuford (6’4, 322), who I think will come to the rescue in short situations and quick breakdowns. When you factor in EDGE rusher Jeremy Lewis, who is a better defender than a pass rusher, you have a pretty strong unit against last year’s series against a 5-forward team.

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Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

Of course, we’re talking about Michigan here, not the Gof5 offense. And while Morris and backup J.D. Lampley have proven themselves to be valuable FBS football players, it’s hard to believe they can match Michigan’s big boys on the interior. Now ECU will want to do what most 3-3-5 teams want their DL to do, step up and let the linemen get to work. They may be a distraction, but it’s hard to imagine them winning the battle outright.

This places an emphasis on the linebackers, which is a weakness for the Pirates. The LB spot was wiped out in the offseason, leaving the FCS with a lot of upside, bringing back players that were rarely used, and moving one step down from P5. South Carolina State’s BJ Davis and Taylor Jackson (the only LBs with >100 snaps last year) could start WILL and MIKE respectively, but I’m not sure how that works. These two players will undergo a baptism of fire tomorrow, but the same can be said about their substitutes. When ECU moves up the EDGE for a true SAM, it will be UNC transfer RaRa Dillworth, a former Blue Chips player who was terrible last season and opted out of the ACC. If you’re DC Blake Harrell, you can’t feel good putting a lot of effort into these LBs, but if you have 260-pound defensive tackles going up against Zach Zinter, you have no choice. It probably won’t end in your defense.

Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

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KEY MATCHUP: MICHIGAN IOL vs. NO DC SIZE. We saw this matchup quite a few times last year, and Nebraska was probably the most famous. Michigan’s IOL is against teams with smaller DTs and more often than not results in forcing the opponent out of the water. If this happens to ECU, given the state of their LB room, Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards could have a big advantage on the ground.

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If Michigan wants to acquire JJ McCarthy and show that their passing attack will be the focus of the offense in 2023, this game seems like a good opportunity to do so. ECU had a lot of sacks last season, and their secondary has grown this offseason as well. Even with some receivers out of action, the home team will have no problem getting the ball into the Pirates’ pass defense tomorrow.

Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

The same defensive front mentioned in the previous section was quite solid compared to last season. Doesn’t do much to create a stir. The team ranks average in the FBS in sacks, but the reality is likely worse: PFF ranks ECU 125th in the team pass rushing category. For example, Jeremy Lewis, an EDGE forward, is better against the run and does not provide a pass rush, although that is a key role for a hybrid role. None of their DTs ranked higher than 61st in pass rush with Lewis.

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Best EDGE pass rusher last season. They’ll probably hit their LBs and DBs because it gives a 3-3-5 defense, but I don’t see much potential for organic passing. In some ways this will be a good first light bulb test for Michigan’s tackles because if the ECU gets organic pressure it will be a bad sign.

Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

In the secondary, ECU returns two starting cornerbacks in Teagan Wilk and Julius Wood. They played with a retired third baseman last season, so this won’t be their first rodeo. The bad news is that the defensemen are all new, having lost four of their top defensemen from last season. Shavon Revel, a former JUCO player, could start at outside cornerback while another could be among multiple starters. Isaiah Brown-Murray is only 5-foot-9 and redshirted last season, so that’s good luck for him. Another option is a combination of FCS upshifts and P5 downshifts. For most (all?) of the corners ECU uses tomorrow, their Trip to the Big House will be their first real dose of FBS action. Decent return security might help, but it won’t help much.

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KEY MATCHUP: FRESHMAN WRs vs. PETCHWORK GROUP FIVE SECONDS. Let’s be real. Michigan’s starting WRs will likely be able to prepare these guys, especially if McCarthy will likely have plenty of time to throw the ball. The thing about this game is that the players are lower on the depth chart, and we’ve heard a lot of good things about Michigan’s freshman receivers in camp who have committed to play in the opener. Let’s see them against this DB-podge group!

Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

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ECU was raided (shouldn’t the Pirates be raiding?) after spring training on the OL, and as a result, their lockout situation will likely be much worse than it could have been. After all the smoke had cleared, only one returned OL starter, the serviceable RG Isaiah Foote, remained among the wreckage of the sunken pirate ship. A flurry of OL transfers has changed things ($), but the OL player pool for ECU will likely include a decent USF transfer (Dustin Hall), last year’s sixth man, a former player in the program, RS Fr, then Foot . No.

East Carolina’s OL ranked in the top 100 in various run blocking metrics in Football Outsiders’ stats last season, and this team will likely be significantly worse. It would be a surprise if they were able to hold their own against Michigan’s monstrous interior defense as well as the EDGE players who have been playing very well in this series. This is a long way of saying, “I think you need to pray for his back now.”

Ecu Fall 2023 Schedule

The running backs fill the huge hole left by star RB Keaton Mitchell and will likely be the group to get the job done. This player is clearly a step up from Mitchell last season and doesn’t seem to have the range needed to have a big day on the ground if his blockers are feeding the gators. Marlon Gunn Jr. and Rajai Harris had 67 carries last season, Harris has more than one Musbeck despite being the same weight. Gerald Green transferred from Georgia Southern to finish third.

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