College Football News Preview 2020: East Carolina Pirates

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

College Football News Preview 2020: East Carolina Pirates

East Carolina

College Football News Preview 2020: East Carolina Pirates

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College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the East Carolina Pirates season with what you need to know.


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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Schedule Analysis
– East Carolina Previews 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2019 Record: 4-8 overall, 1-7 in AAC
Head Coach: Mike Houston, 2nd year, 4-8
2019 CFN Final Opinion Ranking: 113
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 108
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 114

No one knows what’s going to happen to the 2020 college football season. We’ll take a general look at where each team stands – doing it without spring ball to go by – while crossing our fingers that we’ll all have some well-deserved fun this fall. Hoping you and yours are safe and healthy.

5. College Football News Preview 2020: East Carolina Pirates Offense 3 Things To Know

It all started to kick in. The East Carolina offense finished the season 46th in the nation in yards and 78th in scoring, but in Year One of the Mike Houston era, the O took things to a whole other level right after Halloween with the passing game explosion and the points coming in bunches. Now it’s time to do it on a regular basis.


CFN in 60 Video: South Carolina Preview
East Carolina at South Carolina, Sept. 12


The Pirate attack all starts with the QB Holton Ahlers and the passing game that has the potential to rip apart anyone on the schedule if it’s all clicking. Ahlers was hardly perfect, but he’s a big bomber who’ll scare defenses deep, and he can run, too. With Reid Herring transferring, though, the hope is for redshirt freshman Bryan Gagg or star recruit Mason Garcia to be ready right away.

The receiving corps was young and needed the work, and now five of the top six pass catchers are back, starting with the trio of sophomores CJ Johnson and Tyler Snead, and junior Blake Proehl. These three combined for 174 catches and 13 touchdowns, and now … watch out. They should be ready to blow up.

But …

The offensive line has to do a little something for the running game. The pass protection was terrific, but the line allowed too many plays behind the line and didn’t do enough for a ground attack that averages 141 yards per game. Three starters are back around all-star left tackle D’Ante Smith, and North Carolina transfer Avery Jones and NC State transfer Justin Chase are coming in to add more talent.

And now they all have to pave the way for the deep backfield.

Ahlers will run, but he shouldn’t be the team’s second-best rushing option. Speedy sophomore Demetrius Mauney – who led the team with 446 yards and a score – joins 234-pounder Darius Pinnix and Arkansas transfer Chase Hayden to give the Pirates a dangerous group to take the heat off the passing game.

NEXT: College Football News Preview 2020: East Carolina Pirates Defense 3 Things To Know

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