Ecu Spring 2023 Schedule – Michigan’s long and winding road to the 2023 season begins tomorrow at three non-conference tracks. The first meeting between ECU and the Wolverines on the schedule is the East Carolina Pirates. Hailing from the American Athletic Conference, the Pirates are coming off a strong 8-5 campaign, although they may not live up to the lofty expectations this year. This postseason comes as the Pirates suffered a number of losses on both sides of the ball: Bill Connelly ranked 130th among 133 teams returning in February, and he did not suffer another loss through the goalpost. – Ours. This team is completely different.
Mike Houston has been a great coach everywhere he’s been, winning at 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 it took years to get them off the ground. They are 4-8 in 2019; Then went 3-6 in the SNAP-shortened season. After the epidemic Houston ECU earned bowl eligibility with a 7-5 season (never played in the Military Bowl due to BC’s withdrawal after the virus). They were charged with adding veteran players throughout the roster in 2022, but had a disappointing season, going 7-5 and 1. We lost by 2 and 3 points. A season-ending victory over neighboring Coastal Carolina was just a small satisfaction to ease the pain of the 2022 season.
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ECU’s defensive strength may be their defensive line. In a team with severe instability and a new face. The Pirates have three returning starters on the DL; He has a better profile as a rusher than a pass defender. Last season, the team was 21st nationally with 118.9 yards per game and will look to build on that this season, relying on experience in the trenches.
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East Carolina runs a 3-3-5; Works with an EDGE rush that you can count as a fourth DL if you will. Playing the EDGE spot with one hand in the dirt, Chad Stevens weighs 261 and has a pair of defensive tackles; Weigh in with lightweights Elijah Morris (264) and D’Anta Johnson (294). Their copycats are experienced, very experienced; That includes giant NT Jason Shuford (6’4, 322), who I assume will come in for yardage and rush situations at short notice. When you consider EDGE rusher Jeremy Lewis, who is better as a run defender than a pass defender. You have a very strong unit against last season’s Group 5 offenses.
Yes, We’re talking about Michigan here, not your Gof5 attack. Morris and backup J.J. now, ECU is 3-3-5 to do what most teams want their DLs to do; They will shut it down and make their quarterbacks work. They may be unsettling, but it’s hard to see them as unwinnable battles.
It brings attention to the linebackers, a weakness for the Pirates. The LB room was decimated in the offseason, with several transfers from the FCS. Fewer returning players and transfer from P5 dropped. South Carolina’s BJ Davis and Taylor Jackson (the only LB returning for more than 100 snaps last year) are in line to start at WILL and MIKE, respectively, but it’s unclear how clear that is. Those two players will have their baptism of fire tomorrow, but the same can be said for their backups. When ECU picks up an EDGE rusher for a true SAM. It will be UNC transfer RaRa Dillworth, a former blue chipper who was so good last season that he was rejected by the ACC. If you’re DC Blake Harrell; It can be unpleasant for these LBs to put a lot on the plate, but when you have a 260-pound linebacker going up against Zak Zinter, you have no choice. It won’t end well for your defense.
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KEY COMPARISON: MICHIGAN IOL vs. ENHANCED DT. We’ve seen this play many times over the past year, perhaps the most famous in Nebraska. Michigan’s IOL often blows the opposition out of the water against a team that doesn’t have enough big DTs. If it happens with ECU in terms of their LB chapter. Could be a big prop for Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards.
If Michigan pushes JJ McCarthy and their passing attack shows the big focus of the offense in 2023. This game will be a great opportunity for them. ECU improved greatly in terms of sacks last season, and their secondary was completely blown away in the postseason. Even with some receivers getting tapped, the home team should have no problem moving the ball in the Pirates’ pass defense tomorrow.
The same defense mentioned in the previous section was pretty stout against the run last season. There isn’t much in the way of generating a rush. The team is ranked in the middle of the FBS, but in reality it could be worse: PFF ranks ECU 125 in team passer rating. for example, Jeremy Lewis, their rush EDGE, is a much better player against the run, and while he plays a key role in his hybrid role, he doesn’t offer much against the run. Their DTs are no better than Lewis with a 61 rushing grade.
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Best pass rusher among EDGEs last season. They play a 3-3-5 defense, so they can cut off their LBs and DBs, but they don’t see much organic passing potential. Anyway, This will be a proper first litmus test for Michigan’s defense. Because if the ECU is naturally under pressure, that would be a very bad sign.
For the secondary, ECU returns two starting safeties, Teagan Wilk and Julius Wood. This isn’t their first rodeo, as they rolled with the now-departed third security system last season. The bad news is that all of the linebackers who lost their cornerbacks last season are rookies. Former JUCO Chevon Revel could start one job at cornerback, and another could be among several players. Isaiah Brown-Murray is only 5’9″ and redshirted last season, which makes him lucky. Other options are a mix of FCS up transfers and P5 down transfers. Lots of (all?) corners using ECU tomorrow, trip to the Big House, first real FBS action. Having a decent safety to return. They may help, but they don’t help much.
Key comparison: Brussels WR and PATCHWORK group of five intermediate strikes. Be real here. Michigan’s starting WRs will likely fix these guys, especially as McCarthy will have plenty of time to throw. The point of this type of game is to get players to look further down the depth chart. We’ve heard a lot of good things about Michigan’s rookies in camp, with promises to play in the opener. Let’s contrast this oji midget DB team.
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ECU was raided after OL’s spring practice (shouldn’t the Pirates be raided?) and as a result, their blocking situation is likely to be worse than ever. After the smoke cleared, The Pirates’ wreck found only one serviceable OL starter in returning RG Isaiah Foote. OL transfer injury mixed around ($), but decent roundup of OL players for ECU USF transfer (Dustin Hall); Last year’s sixth man; old walking program; RS Fr and then Foot are likely to be involved. . Ah
East Carolina’s OL ranked in the 100s in block metrics across Football Outsiders’ various stats last season, and this group is expected to get significantly worse. It would be a surprise to get any pressure with Michigan’s tremendous interior defense as well as the EDGE players playing so well. All of this, I think we need to say a prayer now for their long back.
Running backs fill the huge hole left at RB. Keaton Mitchell seems like a parallel that will get the job done. These players are a clear departure from Mitchell last season, and there’s no need to shy away from putting together a significant field day if they feed the Gators. Marlon Gunn Jr. Rahjai Harris had 67 carries last season, and Harris looks more like a “Mooseback” even though he’s the same weight. Gerald Green, a transfer from Georgia Southern, was third.