This East Carolina football team is literally at a loss for words.
Head coach Scottie Montgomery is calling for better discipline.
Quarterback Thomas Sirk says it’s time for some to be more accountable.
Wide receiver Jimmy Williams says he has never been around a team that’s so close, so full of love for one another.
All of this came in wake of the Pirate’s embarrassing 34-10 loss to Temple on Saturday.
The game was embarrassing on several fronts.
The announced crowd was 31,326, but that number was total of tickets sold. There couldn’t have been more than 16,000 in the stadium at any given time on Saturday.
Temple came to town with the American’s worse offense. The Pirate defense made the Owls look like an offensive juggernaut.
The numbers are piling up against this Pirate football program.
Scottie Montgomery is just 4-14 in his two seasons as head coach. His team has lost 14 of 16 games since beating Western Carolina and N.C. State to open the 2016 season.
I remember walking off the field that day after the win over the Wolfpack. I told one of my co-workers that this was a magical day, one that he would always remember.
Little did I know that the win over N.C. State in 2016 would be the last big win in the better part of two seasons.
The frustrations are mounting. Montgomery has admitted his frustrations.
One of the big problems is that many of the team’s issues aren’t showing up during the week’s preparations.
“We are not seeing a lot of those problems in practice,” said Montgomery.“ It would be a lot easier to fix them if we were seeing a lot of them in practice.”
Saturday’s crowd also is on the list of concerns. An athletic department in a budget crunch certainly doesn’t need sparse crowds at the football games. Unfortunately, that was certainly the case on Saturday. Homecoming may be a little better, but it has to be a concern when the fans stop showing up.
“I really wasn’t focused on it too much,” said Montgomery. “I had heard that sometimes fall break is a certain way and I have played in stadiums with a lot less people and won games. So as far as that’s concerned, we’ve got to handle our business on the field.”
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Next up is a Central Florida team that was 0-12 in 2015. Scott Frost has turned the Knights’ fortunes around and the Pirates will be big underdogs this Saturday night.
“They have a lot of speed and what they do offensively is they like to stretch you horizontally in the run game,” explained Montgomery. “Then they will stretch you vertically in the passing game.
“They are playing at a higher level on offensive than we have seen this year. They are averaging a ridiculous amount of yardage per play and last week. I think they had fewer than 50 plays but they had so many big plays in the passing and running game.”
That doesn’t bode well for an ECU defense that is giving up a half-yard short of 600 yards per contest. The Pirates are making bad offenses look great. Great offenses, like UCF’s, salivate at the thought of getting a shot at this Pirate ‘D.’
So far at home this year the Pirates have been outscored 193-72 in four losses. ECU has given up over 60 points in half of those games.
No offense in the country can keep that pace.
Things look bleak as the Pirates head to Orlando as somewhere in the neighborhood of a 30-point underdog.
UCF has demonstrated that a lot can happen in two years. That alone gives Pirate Nation hope.