Nov. 21, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina will officially complete its 2012 regular season schedule when it welcomes in Marshall to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Friday beginning at 2:00 p.m. (EST). The bowl-eligible Pirates, who have won four consecutive Conference USA games, still have an outside chance to capture a division title with a victory over the Herd and a UCF loss to UAB on Saturday. In addition to claiming its fifth win in the last six contests, ECU will look to post its first 4-0 home league slate since 2009 and make it seven-straight over Marshall in Greenville.
East Carolina Records and Streaks
- Qualified for 12 bowls since 1990; eight since 2000 (six of last seven years) ...
- Has won eight-straight games (and 36 of 41) when scoring 30 or more points ...
- Has lost 11-straight games when scoring 20 or less points ...
- Has won 20 of the last 21 games when converting third downs at 50% or higher ...
- Has lost 13-straight games when surrendering 200 or more rushing yards ...
- Has won four-straight (and 20 of 28) Conference USA games ...
- Has won four-straight, 16 of the last 18 (and 21 of 25) C-USA home games ...
- Has won 16 of the last 20 (and 22 of 28) C-USA East Division games ...
- Has won 12 of its last 13 C-USA East Division home games ...
The Last Meeting
November 26, 2011
The Pirates Against The Thundering Herd
East Carolina leads 9-4 ... Most recently, the Pirates have taken five of the last seven and seven of the last 10 matchups ... The Herd owns the only neutral site victory after posting a thrilling 64-61 overtime win at the 2001 GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala. ... ECU has taken all six contests in Greenville, while the two teams have split six meetings in Huntington.
Ruffin McNeill Against Marshall - As A Player
Ruffin McNeill squared off against Marshall only once during his playing career at East Carolina ... As a safety under Pat Dye, McNeill enjoyed a junior season matchup that resulted in a 45-0 Pirate victory on what was the first meeting between the two schools since the tragic plane crash in 1970.
McNeill Against Marshall - As A Coach
Ruffin McNeill has faced Marshall as a coach nine times prior to Friday's game, all but two (2010 and 2011 matchups) occurring during McNeill's tenure at Appalachian State when the Mountaineers and Thundering Herd were fierce Southern Conference rivals ... He is 1-1 all-time against Marshall as ECU's head coach.
Doc Holliday Against the Pirates
Doc Holliday has seen East Carolina on the opposite sideline a total of 13 times (9-4) during his career, 11 as an assistant coach (10 while on the West Virginia staff) ... The Mountaineers were 7-3 against the Pirates during Holliday's two tenures in Morgantown (ECU wins in 1995, 1999 and 2008)... He also racked up a 52-14 victory in 2004 while on Chuck Amato's staff at N.C. State ... He is 1-1 all-time against ECU as Marshall's head coach.
Last Meeting In Greenville - East Carolina 37 - Marshall 10
East Carolina used a season-high 194-yard ground attack and a dominating second-half defensive performance to post a 37-10 Conference USA triumph against Marshall ... Jonathan Williams rushed for a career-best 111 yards on just 10 carries, an average of 11.1 yards per attempt, to spearhead the Pirates' offensive efforts ... Williams also added a 29-yard scoring run late in the second quarter that broke a 10-10 deadlock and sparked a run of 27 unanswered points ... Quarterback Dominique Davis, who completed 23-of-39 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns, also reached paydirt on a 26-yard scamper to cap ECU's initial second-half drive ... In all, the Pirates scored on their first three possessions in the third quarter, while limiting the Thundering Herd to just 142 total yards (69 rush, 73 pass) in the final 30 minutes, which helped produce ECU's first second-half shutout in two years ... After East Carolina opened the game's scoring with Lance Lewis' five-yard TD reception in the first period, both teams exchanged field goals before the Herd's Brian Anderson threw a nine-yard scoring pass to Troy Evans to tie the contest at 10 midway through the second quarter ... Williams' TD run then helped the Pirates cash in the second of three Anderson interceptions.
Against Conference USA Opponents
Since playing its first season in Conference USA (1997), East Carolina has produced an all-time 71-48 (.597) league record ... Overall, the Pirates have won 20 of the last 28, 24 of the last 33 and 29 of the last 40 C-USA games, while in home league contests, ECU has won four straight ... The Pirates are trying to get to 7-1 in C-USA league for only the second time (2009) in school history.
Battling Within the East Division
The Pirates are 28-11 (.718) against Conference USA East Division opponents since the league implemented divisional play in 2005 ... ECU is 15-4 at home and 13-7 on the road in games against Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB and UCF ... Before taking three of the first four (win at USM, loss at UCF, wins vs. MEM and UAB) to open league play in 2012, the Pirates were 3-2 in 2011 (wins over UAB, MEM and UCF, losses vs. USM and MAR), 4-1 in 2010, 5-0 in 2009, 4-1 in 2008, 3-2 in 2007, 4-1 in 2006 and 2-3 in 2005.
League Statistical Comparison
In its seven C-USA contests this year, East Carolina has averaged 33.0 points, 147.1 rushing yards, 277.3 passing yards and 424.4 total yards per game so far ... By comparison, the Pirates only booked 19.8 ppg, 117.8 rypg, 223.2 pypg and 341.0 ypg averages in their four NC tilts.
Last Time Out - East Carolina 23 - Tulane 23
East Carolina used a strong defensive effort that completely halted Tulane's rushing attack in a 28-23 Conference USA road victory on Nov. 17 ... The Pirates held the Green Wave to only nine ground yards, marking their best single-game rush prevent performance since 1980 ... ECU matched a season best with five sacks, four in a swarming second-half blitz ... After generating 32 yards on the ground in the opening 30 minutes in a 14-13 contest, Tulane was limited to -23 after intermission and was made one-dimensional to hamper its comeback hopes ... On the other hand, the Pirates averaged nearly six yards per carry in the final two quarters after managing just 59 on 18 attempts (3.2) in the first half ... East Carolina also benefitted from its damage control efforts, forcing three Tulane field goals in four trips inside the redzone ... Pirate quarterback Shane Carden weathered a slow start by connecting on seven of his last 10 throws to finish with a 19-of-33, 215-yard, two-touchdown performance, while also adding 36 rushing yards and a ground score ... After Carden hit Justin Hardy with a seven-yard scoring strike to even the contest, 7-7, early in the second quarter, ECU answered three Cairo Santos field goals with touchdowns to enjoy a 28-16 lead with 4:29 remaining in the contest ... Andrew Bodenheimer, who hauled in Carden's last TD pass from 11 yards out to extend his reception streak to 31-straight games, also fielded a Tulane onside kick to ice the win.
At Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium - 4-1 in 2012
East Carolina's all-time record at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is 166-85-1 (.661) ... The Pirates opened the facility on Sept. 21, 1963 with a 20-10 win over Brian Piccolo and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in front of 17,000 fans ... Before a 3-3 mark in 2011 and a 4-2 clip in 2010, ECU won a combined 10 of 12 home matchups in 2009 (6-1) and 2008 (4-1) ... Overall, ECU has turned in 37 winning seasons at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
The Pirate Nation - 7 Million Strong
East Carolina has always been able to claim plenty of hometown support, even more so when playing at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturdays during the fall - establishing itself as C-USA's attendance leader on an annual basis ... In all, a total of 7,105,101 fans have seen the Pirates in action since 1963, and in the last four-plus years, ECU has averaged 46,537 (1,303,038/28 regular season games) ... Since the completion of a 7,000-seat expansion project in 2010 that pushed the capacity to 50,000, the Pirates have set back-to-back school records in total attendance and season average attendance, breaking 2010 marks (297,987/49,665) with 300,069 and 50,012 figures in 2011 ... The Pirates have opened the 2012 campaign by welcoming 49,023 to the Appalachian State game, 47,817 to the UTEP clash, 45,137 to the Memphis contest, 48,327 to the Navy battle and 45,455 to the Houston tilt.
Analyzing the 2012 Starters By Class
The list of starters for ECU's first seven games include three freshmen (CB Josh Hawkins, OLB Montese Overton, NT Terrell Stanley), nine sophomores (SS Desi Brown, QB Shane Carden, OLB Maurice Falls, ILB Jeremy Grove, IWR Justin Hardy, C Taylor Hudson, DE Chrishon Rose, IWR Danny Webster, NT Terry Williams), 17 juniors (CB Adonis Armstrong, RB Vintavious Cooper, OG Jordan Davis, RB Michael Dobson, OT Adhem Elsawi, OLB Derrell Johnson, QB Rio Johnson, DE John Lattimore, FS Damon Magazu, FB/IWR Zico Pasut, NT Lee Pegues, OWR Lance Ray, OG Will Simmons, SS Chip Thompson, ILB Kyle Tudor, OWR Reese Wiggins, OLB Gabriel Woullard) and eight seniors (OWR Andrew Bodenheimer, RB Reggie Bullock, NT Michael Brooks, C Josh Clark, ILB Daniel Drake, IWR Derrick Harris, CB Jacobi Jenkins, OT Robert Jones).
Shutout Free ... 191 and Counting
ECU will enter the Marshall contest with an active streak of 191 games of not suffering a shutout - a new school record (17 points at Rice in `06 surpassed the previous mark of 110 set from 1971 to 1981) ... The last time the Pirates were blanked was on Oct. 4, 1997 (56-0 at Syracuse) ... In terms of a national standing, East Carolina's 191-game run currently ranks ninth among all active FBS streaks and is the 20th-longest in the all-time annals.
Already A Popular Target
Sophomore IWR Justin Hardy ranks among the top six active career leaders in receptions per game ... He has already surpassed the 100-yard mark four times in 2012 and logged three career double-digit catch games.
Senior outside receiver Andrew Bodenheimer will open the Marshall contest with a streak of at least one reception in 31-straight games - the 13th-longest active clip in FBS ... His last no-catch outing was at Southern Miss (10/09/10), but since then, he's made 102 grabs for 988 yards and four TDs ... Dwayne Harris holds the all-time ECU record with 44 straight from 2007-10.
Cooper A Committee Of One
Junior RB Vintavious Cooper has led East Carolina in rushing the last 10 contests, and in the last seven games (UTEP, UCF, MEM, UAB, Navy, UH, TLN), has averaged 117.9 ground yards per outing ... He followed a 151-yard performance with 58 and 96 yards vs. the Knights and Tigers, respectively, before booking a career-high 172 yards against the Blazers - the highest rushing total by a Pirate since 2009 (172 by Dominique Lindsay vs. MEM) - and adding 121 against Navy, 140 vs. the Cougars (on a personal-best 33 carries) and 87 at Tulane ... Cooper (978 yards) currently accounts for over 65 percent of the Pirates' overall rushing total in 2012 and needs just 22 more to become ECU's first 1,000-yard rusher since Lindsay (1,180 in `09).
C-USA Offensive Prowess
After generating only 228 total yards in its Conference USA opener at Southern Miss, East Carolina appears to have found its offensive throttle in its last six league games ... The Pirates have racked up a collective 2,743 vs. UTEP (475), UCF (362), Memphis (369), UAB (season-high 600), Houston (550) and Tulane (387) - an average of 457.2 yards per contest.
Band On The Run
The Pirates have posted the top three single-game rushing totals of the Ruffin McNeil era this season, following up a 217-yard effort against UTEP with a 214-yard outing at UAB and a season-high 245-yard performance versus Houston ... ECU added its fourth-highest total of the '12 campaign with 172 against Tulane, and has averaged 210.3 in its last three games.
Limited The Run
ECU held Tulane to just nine rushing yards last week, the fewest allowed by a Pirate defense since 1980 (and sixth-lowest in history) ... East Carolina has only surrendered 37 ground yards in its last two games (18.5 rypg).
Rolling The Dice Well
The Pirates rank second nationally in fourth down conversion percentage this season, successfully handling eight-of-10 attempts (80 percent) so far ... ECU has been perfect in five contests during the 2012 campaign - 2-2 vs. Navy; 1-1 vs. South Carolina, North Carolina, UAB and Houston; and were 1-2 against UCF.
Reaping Redzone Awards
ECU has cashed in 24-straight redzone visits (20 TDs, 4 FGs), beginning with its last three against Memphis and a 21-of-21 ledger vs. UAB (6-6), Navy (4- 4), Houston (7-7) and Tulane (4-4) ... The Pirates are 38-of-42 overall (90.5%) in 2012, currently ranking 14th among all FBS programs
Getting the First Shot
East Carolina has received the opening kickoff in nine-straight games - the third-longest active streak nationally (15/Marshall, 12/San Diego State).
To Pillage And Plunder
The Pirates have recorded a takeaway in 26 of its last 31 games ... In all, East Carolina has created two or more turnovers in 10 of the last 18 games, which includes two against Memphis and Houston, three each vs. Appalachian State and Southern Miss, and a season-high four vs. UTEP this year ... ECU has won 14 of 19 games (14-5) when it forces two or more turnovers in the Ruffin McNeill era, but are just 4-13 in contests when it doesn't ... The Pirates currently rank 46th nationally in fumbles recovered with 10 and are only one of 17 teams who have returned at least two for TDs.
Conference / National Individual Rankings
Inside receiver Justin Hardy ranks third in punt return average (9.67), third in the conference in receiving yards per game (79.55), third in receptions per contest (6.09), 10th in all-purpose yards (95.36) and is tied for 14th in scoring (5.45) ... He is also among the NCAA leaders and is placed 36th in receiving yards a contests and is tied for 36th in receptions per game ... Running back Vintavious Cooper ranks third in the conference in rushing (88.91), fifth in all-purpose yards (109.36) and 13th in total offense (88.91) ... Quarterback Shane Carden is third in passing efficiency (139.79) and sixth in total offense (224.36) ... Punter Trent Tignor ranks sixth in the conference and 41st in the country in punting (42.13) ... Safety Chip Thompson is tied for fifth in the league in interceptions a game (0.27) ... Kicker Warren Harvey currently is placed tied for sixth in Conference USA in field goals per game (1.09) and is 11th in scoring (6.73) ... Kick returner Lance Ray is seventh in kickoff returns with his average of 22.31 per game ... Fellow returner Derrick Harris is ninth in the same category (21.75)... Linebacker Derrell Johnson is tied for 13th in tackles for loss (.82) and tied for 16th in sacks (0.30).
Conference USA Team Rankings
The Pirates enter this week ranking third in rush defense (152.50), fourth in scoring defense (28.09), fifth in total defense (397.73), passing offense (257.64) and passing efficiency defense (131.95) ... The team is sixth in punt returns (9.16) and sacks allowed (2.27)