While many in the Pirate Nation, like myself, took in the “Carolina Kickoff” concert, the East Carolina football team went on a road trip.
First-year ECU coach Scottie Montgomery loaded up his squad and took off for Charlotte for a practice and scrimmage, which wrapped up the camp portion of the August practice schedule.
Coach Montgomery said before the trip and that he looked forward to it.
“It will give us a chance to ride on a bus for four hours and learn what that’s like,” said Montgomery last week. “I may jump off one bus and hop on the other, just to see how everyone is doing.”
Montgomery had also said last week that the scrimmage in Charlotte would be very basic. The workout was held at Rocky River High School in Charlotte.
Overall the session was the 19th and final practice of fall camp. The schedule included a 10-minute flex period and 25 minutes of individual group drills before moving into the 50-play scrimmage.
While scrimmage one went to the offense, the defense had its day in scrimmage number two. The Pirate “D” held the offense scoreless for the first eight possessions on Saturday. The offense did bounce back late, but Coach Montgomery was glad to see the defense assert itself.
“The defense came out with a whole lot of energy and intensity, which is something we have been waiting on,” Scottie Montgomery said. “They have been hearing some things from the coaches on how they played in the first scrimmage and it was good to see them respond the way they did. We did give up two scores on drives that started inside the 40 and 21-yard line, but overall I liked what I saw.”
While Montgomery liked the defensive play, he was critical of his offense. He knows there is still plenty of work that needs to be done.
“Offensively we struggled a bit early on,” Montgomery added. “It seemed that when we had the ball in our own territory we couldn’t get anything going, but once we crossed midfield we were able to punch the ball into the end zone. Good teams have to be consistent all the time and can’t have false starts or foolish penalties. We have a couple weeks to clean that up before we kick off the season against Western Carolina.”
While the Pirates worked across the state, ECU’s football home was hosting a long day and night of entertainment. Over 20,000 came out to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the “Carolina Kickoff” event, headlined by Kid Rock and Eric Church.
Both entertainers put on a great show. Kid Rock could probably benefit from having his mouth washed out with soap, but he was really good.
I’ve been a fan of Eric Church for a while now. He really put on a great show. The sound quality was excellent and I haven’t heard anyone say they didn’t have a good time.
This is apparently going to be an annual event. Next year’s headliner is expected to be announced at ECU’s home football game with N.C. State on September 10th.
Montgomery and the Pirates missed a good show, but they’ll be responsible for the entertainment going forward.
Hopefully it was the first good show of many to come in the 2016 season at ECU.