We are just a fewdays away from the Pirates kicking off versus Appalachian State at bank of America stadion in Charlotte. East Carolina will be spring to keep their six-game success streak intact, dating ago to 1975. Your last matchup to be a 35-13 Pirates success inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. However, nine years have passed because that day, and also both teams look very different. Eastern Carolina is looking come finally find itsrhythm under the Mike Houston regime, having actually posted a document of 7-14 in his very first two years v the club. New talent via the move portal and also recruiting should make the Pirates much more competitive in year three. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers are looking to save their momentum going. They posted a solid 9-3 record during the 2020 season, capping that off through a dominant win end North Texas in the Myrtle beach Bowl. The Pirates will have actually their work cut out because that them ~ above Thursday night, and if they desire to return to Greenville with a victory, right here are 5 players they need to emphasis on.
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QB Chase Brice
Brice is now on his 3rd team in as plenty of years. His college career started at Clemson, however heunderstandablycould no beat the end Trevor Lawrence for the beginning job. He then moved to Duke, whereby he was the starter critical year. He posted less than stellar stats, finishing with just over 2,000 yards with the air and also a 10:15 TD-INT ratio. In spite of these numbers, Brice still has actually all the tools to it is in a dynamic playmaker and the Mountaineers have put him in a position to succeed. The receiving corps features guys favor Corey Sutton, Thomas Hennigan, and Malik Williams, who all have familiarity through the offense and also have displayed the potential to make big plays. Brice will likewise benefit from having Camerun Peoples in the backfield, among the height backs in the NCAA. Having these tools will assist take the press off that Brice and enable him to focus on the fundamentals. He has a strong arm and also has the capacity to right the ball into tight windows. He"s additionally pretty agile because that a big-bodied quarterback, offering him the capacity to escape the pocket and pick up some yards ~ above the ground. But, he is additionally prone to making mistakes. Through ECU"s boosted defense, this can be a lengthy day because that the an elderly if the Pirates space able to get pressure and force that to make some bad throws.
DE/NT Demetrius Taylor
Taylor is another Mountaineer making a solid NFL situation for himself. In ~ 6-1 290, Taylor matches increase well through just around any offensive lineman in the league. Combine that v his elite strength and also speed and you"ve obtained a human being wrecking round on the defensive side. He also has tremendous length, i m sorry has permitted him come force 5 fumbles and break up ripe passes over the previous two seasons. He"s among those football player that appears to live in the backfield, through 26 TFL and 13 sacks in two years. Also when he"s not making a beat on the football, Taylor is still making his presence felt by acquisition on blockers and enabling his teammates to seek the ball carrier. He"s been called to countless watchlists this offseason and is projected to be among the top defensive linemen in university football. The Pirates will definitely have your hands complete with Taylor this week, and also it would certainly not surprised me to watch him double-teamed for much of the game.
C Baer Hunter
Hunter has had an interesting career in Boone therefore far. He began on the defensive side of the ball, before being request to transition to offense. His shift was practically seamless, being called All-Sun Belt in two of his three periods at guard. Now, he"s being asked to switch positions again, and also with very high expectations. Hunter is taking over the facility spot because that his last season as a Mountaineer, and also has already been named to the Rimington Trophy clock List, an award that goes to the top center in the country. He is the true meaning of a mauler ~ above the attack line, finishing v 68 pancake block in the 2020 season. Hunter was one of the main reasons why individuals was for this reason successful, and also why the Mountaineers finished seventh nationally in rushing yards. Baer has a daunting first test against the Pirates brand-new and improved defensive front. If the Pirates desire to disrupt this offense, they have to make Hunter uncomfortable in his assignments.
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TE Henry Pearson
App State has actually a variety of offensive weapons qualified of do a beat on any kind of given down. But, one player civilization often skip is tight finish Henry Pearson. Maybe this is since he"s never had the numbers you"d mean from a top tight end. But, his affect on the violation cannot it is in understated. The scored 2 touchdowns versus North Texas in critical year"s key game, help propel the Mountaineers come a 56-28 victory. His 4-32-1 stat line may have actually been the difference device in a victory over Georgia State last year. And also when he"s not catching the football, he"s help the huge men up front. Pearson has become one the the best blocking tight ends in university football, and has aided the Mountaineers end up being one of the height rushing teams in the country. ECU has actually not excellent a an excellent job of spanning tight end in recent years, and Pearson is among those guys that deserve to fly under the radar then make a big play once you least expect the to. The Pirates" linebacking corps need to keep him in inspect if they desire to win this game come Thursday night.