The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the East Carolina Pirates.
No. 101: East Carolina Pirates
Spring Practice Starts: February 19
Spring Game: March 24
East Carolina Spring Status
Alright, Scottie Montgomery. Time to turn this thing around. Fast.
After two straight 3-9 seasons, he’s got to find a defense – after last year’s version being more than 100 points worse than the 2016 D – and he needs to find wins, wins, wins.
He’s got to figure out the quarterback situation, some of the top receivers are gone, and that defense that struggled so much has to grow up fast. It’s still a young team being built up for the long haul, but it would be nice to see something positive happen. Again, fast.
East Carolina Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Wide receiver. The quarterback situation is a bigger problem with Gardner Minshew transferring to Alabama, recruit Holton Ahlers will be the main man, and sophomore Reid Herring and redshirt freshman Kingley Ifedi will be in the mix for the gig, but they need someone to throw to.
Leading receiver Trevon Brown is back, but the next three top wide receivers are gone, along with tight end Stephen Baggett. The passing game has to work to keep up and make up for another mediocre defense.
East Carolina Biggest Issue
The defense has to get into the backfield. And come up with a third down stop, and stop someone from scoring. East Carolina had the nation’s worst defense in yards and scoring, and it all started with the pass rush. It wasn’t there.
The Pirates only generated 11 sacks on the season and a nation-low 39 tackles for loss. They’ve got to find some way possible to start getting behind the line.
East Carolina Biggest Positive
The running backs should be solid … if they get any room to move. The running game stunk last season – finishing with just 1,292 yards averaging 3.26 yards per pass – but that was a function of the team as a whole.
They weren’t used enough in an offense that had to throw and throw some more – finishing 12th in the nation in passing – but Hussein Howe and Darrius Pinnix are decent backs if they can get more help from the O line. The tackles have to be replaced, but the interior will be okay.
Really, Why Are The East Carolina Pirates Ranked Here?
The defense has miles to go before it’s merely mediocre, but eight starters are back. The other concern is a passing game that loses way too many parts, and now the offense has to work.
It’s not like the Pirates lost a slew of close games – only one of the nine defeats was by a touchdown or less. It’s been a building process having gone through the growing pains with a slew of young guys, but the payoff needs to come.