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View from the East
Saturday, April 14, 2012

By Al Myatt

Al Myatt

Stay tuned for sequel in QB race

By Al Myatt
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Images from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium

 Purple-Gold Spring Game Photo Gallery

(Slide show contains 14 pictures. Photography by Al Myatt)


Audio: Spring Game Pressers

East Carolina head coach Ruffin McNeill (top), offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley (bottom left) and defensive coordinator Brian Mitchell (bottom right) spoke with the media after Saturday's Purple-Gold scrimmage: Select clips...

Bonesville Logo

Audio recorded by Brian Bailey.

(Photo credits — McNeill by W.A. Myatt; Riley, Mitchell by ECU SID)

Ruffin McNeill's disposition was as sunny as the weather which blessed the region during East Carolina's spring football game on Saturday.

The East Carolina coach saw a lot of what he wanted to see as the program rose to the occasion before a crowd of 7,114 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

"We went into the game today thinking execution on all three sides of the ball," McNeill said. "We had fans in the stands and how would we execute with that game atmosphere? We'll have to watch film but I thought it went pretty good for the most part.

"Coming out healthy was the second part. I got a little worried when (outside linebacker) Montese (Overton) got banged but I think he's OK."

McNeill saw good things from three quarterbacks as last year's backup, Rio Johnson, had the best numbers, completing 17 of 23 passes for 153 yards. Redshirt freshman Cody Keith was nine for 18 for 69 yards with one interception. Brad Wornick, the backup in 2010, completed four of six for 26 yards.

Keith was five of nine on third down conversions and Johnson converted on both of his fourth down calls.

Redshirt freshman Chris Hairston led the running backs with six rushes for 52 yards.

McNeill talked about a running back committee that would possibly include Reggie Bullock, transfer Hunter Furr, Michael Dobson and Torrance Hunt. Bullock scored the offense's only touchdown on a 1-yard run after a long gainer from Johnson to Justin Hardy on a sprint out pass play.

Hardy had two catches for 48 yards. Reese Wiggins had six receptions for 47 yards. Derrick Harris made four catches for 38 yards and Dayon Arrington had four grabs for 32 yards.

Inside linebacker Zeek Bigger led the defense with eight tackles and fellow inside backer Brandon Williams was in on seven stops. Defensive back Desi Brown had a 32-yard fumble return for a score.

Warren Harvey connected on a 48-yard field goal into the wind at the close of the third quarter. Shawn Williams connected on a 27-yard field goal and Matt Millisor was successful on a 24-yarder.

McNeill was pleased with the offensive line. Developing depth among the blocking corps was a spring practice objective.

The ECU coach said the quarterback competition would continue in preseason camp and would involve Shane Carden who missed the last two weeks of spring after his throwing hand hit a helmet as he followed through on a pass.

The Pirates open the 2012 season at home against Appalachian State on Sept. 1.

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09/01/2012 08:19 PM


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