Preview 2018: East Carolina Pirates. When Will The Turnaround Come?

Preview 2018: East Carolina Pirates. When Will The Turnaround Come?

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: East Carolina Pirates. When Will The Turnaround Come?

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What You Need To Know About The East Carolina Defense

– What defense? This was the worst D in the nation last season, giving up 45 points and 542 yards per game. There wasn’t any pass rush, there weren’t enough takeaways, and it was an ugly year against both the run and pass.

Really, how bad was it? ECU allowed 50 points or more six times, and 34 or more in nine games. Whatever any opposing offense tried to do worked really, really well. So …

– Do the Pirates have anyone who can make this better? Start with new defensive coordinator David Blackwell – a former ECU offensive lineman – as he comes in to try providing a new energy to that side of the ball. He knows how to coach up linebackers, and that’s going to take some work around Cannon Gibbs and Aaron Ramseur.

– Both starting corners are back – Colby Gore and Keyshawn Canady – and safety/nickelback Devon Sutton is the team’s best returning defender. However, they’re sitting ducks if there isn’t more of a pass rush. The defensive front returns Kendal Futrell on the outside, and Jalen Price and Alex Turner in the interior.

And now it’s up to everyone to play with a higher sense of urgency and a whole lot more energy. At least, that’s what Blackwell is pushing for.

Biggest Key To The East Carolina Defense

Find one thing the defense can do at a reasonably high level. SOMETHING has to work, and it all starts with getting better play from the defensive front that couldn’t get behind the line. Ever.

The Pirates generated a pathetic 39 tackles for loss and just 11 sacks, with five in back-to-back weeks against UCF and BYU, and no multiple sack games in any other game. On the plus side, that’s an improvement after generating just eight sacks in 2016.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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