Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Midseason Report: East Carolina
By Andrea Adelson
East Carolina Pirates
Record: 3-2 (3-0 Conference USA)
It appeared the Pirates were in for a rebuilding year when the season began. With just six starters returning off their league-championship team and a new head coach, it would stand to reason there would be a transition period. East Carolina lost 34 lettermen from 2009, the highest number of all FBS schools. But Ruffin McNeill has found a quarterback to run his high-octane offense. Boston College transfer Dominique Davis emerged as the starter following a heated fall competition and perhaps set the tone for the rest of the season with his Hail Mary touchdown pass to Justin Jones as time expired to give his team a 51-49 win over Tulsa in the opener. The Pirates also came from behind to beat Southern Miss and are in the conversation for the league title. The defense has been shaky at best, and depth on the defensive line is a question.
Offensive MVP, QB Dominique Davis – Davis had thrown for 14 touchdown passes and rushed for three more. He leads Conference USA in passing, averaging 288 yards a game. No question Davis has been put in the position to keep up with the opposition, but he has proven to be more than capable of leading this offense.
Defensive MVP, LB Dustin Lineback – No question the defense has struggled this season, giving up an average of 42 points a game. But Lineback has been the consistent leading tackler. He just posted back-to-back double-digit tackle games against Memphis and Southern Miss. He leads the team with 41 tackles, a career-high already.