GAME DAY CAPSULE NO. 7 -
East Carolina vs. Memphis
Saturday, October 20, 2001
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (43,000), 3:30 PM EDT
Television: ESPN Gameplan
Weather Fx: Mostly sunny and mild, variable winds up to 10mph
Pirates and Tigers at a Glance
East Carolina entertains Memphis on Homecoming weekend in Greenville.
Unlike most homecoming opponents, the Tigers present a real threat to the
The Pirates are likely to have revenge on their minds after last year's
loss to the Tigers cost them a share of the C-USA title. If ECU has serious
thoughts about a holiday trip to Memphis, it had better take care of Memphis
The Pirate defense will get a stern test from the new-look Tiger spread
attack. Defensively, East Carolina can expect the same zone-blitzing schemes
Memphis has used over past few years.
Memphis Facts and Notes
Record: 4-2, 2-1 (C-USA). The new-look Tigers have aspirations of
a conference title.
Head Coach: Tommy West. 4-2 at Memphis (1st year), 39-37 overall
Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial (62,380).
Last Week: Beat Houston, 52-33. RB Dante Brown ran for a school
record four touchdowns to push Memphis to 2-1 in C-USA.
The Series: East Carolina leads, 7-3. The Pirates and Tigers have
met annually since the series began in 1990.
Last Meeting: 2000. Memphis jumped out to an early 17-0 lead, and
held off a late fourth-quarter Pirate rally, 17-10.
Last Bowl Game: 1971 Pasadena Bowl. Beat San Jose State, 28-9.
Similar Situations: ECU defensive coordinator Tim Rose and Memphis
head coach Tommy West have both been placed in similar situations while
directing the Tiger defense. Following the '94 season, Memphis head coach
Chuck Stobart was dismissed, with the job being offered to Rose, who
declined the offer. Following Rip Scherer's dismissal last year, the job was
offered to West, who, of course, accepted.
Mr. Notorious: At 6-foot-4, 335-pounds, Memphis defensive tackle
Albert Means is destined for an NFL career. Means, a 1999 Parade
All-American in high school, was so highly touted that his high school
coaches have been charged with trying to sell their prized prospect. Means
ended up at Alabama, where he spent one year before transferring to Memphis.
Football Claim to Fame: Memphis, which started playing football in
1912, has produced four undefeated teams . The most recent Tiger team didn't
reach total perfection, though, tying once in a 9-0-1 campaign.
Quotes of Note: "What's atypical is, suddenly, Memphis is really a
threat offensively. We used to go into a Memphis game and say, well if we
can find a way to get 17 or 21 points, we're going to be in good shape.
That's not the case now. We're going to have to score. They have indicated
that they are going to score; they've scored on just about everybody they've
played. We've got to make sure and show up on offense and we've got to make
sure our defense at least makes them snap the ball and see if we can't get a
turnover or make them make mistakes." -- East Carolina head coach Steve
Logan on the Pirates' need to score on Saturday.
"We've stayed relatively healthy this year. We've had a bang and a bruise
here and there. I'm hoping to get [starting safety] Kelly Hardy back in the
lineup this week; that will certainly help things. We struggled early with
several issues and we've been solving them one at a time. We're stopping the
run nicely now. We have not given up long pass plays as a rule, though
there`s been one or two. The next piece of the puzzle is for us to be a
little more efficient in the intermediate passing game. If we can get that
done, I think we can step forward. Maybe that'll happen this week. --
Logan on the state of the ECU defense.
"Leonard's had an extraordinary number of explosion plays this year, and
that`s where that nine-yards-a-carry number comes from. There's a lot of
interest in Leonard right now and it's deserved. But I would also point out
that it`s a community effort that`s taking place. Explosion plays from a
running back position require a lot of good downfield blocking. This is one
area where our wide receivers have been consistent. It's not sexy to talk
about downfield blocking; fans don't want to talk about that and you
certainly don't see highlights of it. But this is one area of consistency
that`s been there with our wide receivers all year long." -- Logan on
Leonard Henry and downfield blocking.
The punter and the kicker have been competitive this year. On kickoff,
Kevin [Miller] has done a good job putting height under the ball and
directing the ball and giving our coverage unit time to get down and cover
it. The other hidden part of special teams is the return game. Coming into
the season, I didn't know how well we would replace Keith Stokes. I was
thinking that Terrance Copper would be the punt return man. When Marvin
[Townes] showed up with the skills on the kickoff return, it became apparent
that we needed to see if he could catch a punt." -- Logan on the kicking
Army Players to Watch: QB Travis Anglin (373 yards passing), QB
Danny Wimprine (421 yards passing), RB Dante Brown (101.5 ypg), WR Bunkie
Perkins (21 catches), DB Glenn Sumter (3 int), OLB Greg Harper (9 tackles
Striking Stats: Memphis is plus-nine in the turnover department.
Tiger quarterbacks have thrown just one interception this year.
When the Pirates have the ball:
The Pirates were unsuccessful on the ground in last season's tilt with
the Tigers, but have had success against every opponent this year, save for
Wake Forest. Look for the Pirates to continue to ride Leonard Henry, who is
averaging a nation's best 9.2 yards per carry.
The Tigers have given up plenty of yards through the air, and rank an
uncharacteristic 85th in pass defense. David Garrard should be able to find
openings in the Pirate secondary, but it will be up to the receiving corps
to put together its second consecutive solid game. Arnie Powell at tight end
now gives Garrard an additional option in the passing game.
Don't look for Doug Martin to put together a special game plan for this
one, as the Pirates will continue trying to do what they have all season,
which is to achieve balance on offense. A good dose of run and play-action
will be plenty for Memphis to think about.
Advantage: East Carolina.
When the Tigers have the ball:
Tommy West may have found the system that best suit the athletes at
Memphis. The Tigers run a true spread attack, much like Clemson and
Northwestern. Thus far, the new offense has produced points by the bushel,
accentuated by the Tigers' 52 last week against Houston.
The Pirate defense can expect to see formations much like it did against
Wake Forest, though Memphis poses a bigger passing threat than did the
Deacs. The Tigers like to line quarterbacks Travis Anglin and Danny Wimprine
up in shotgun formation, where the two have been effective both passing and
The spread attack is based on misdirection and deception, which the
Pirates had much trouble with against Wake. Memphis should find success
through the air with its intermediate passing game.
Memphis kicker Ryan White has been one of the more consistent kickers in
C-USA history, and has connected on five of seven attempts thus far. ECU's
Kevin Miller has been just as accurate, hitting on seven of ten tries, and
has not missed an extra point.
Jarad Preston gives the Pirates the advantage in the punting game, and
ECU's kick coverage has been solid all year. Return specialist Marvin Townes
poses a serious threat, and the Pirates rank third nationally in kickoff
Advantage: East Carolina
Tommy West directed Clemson to four bowls during his brief tenure, and is
poised to take Memphis to one this year. Logan, Rose, and Martin get the
experience nod, though, and also have a great chemistry together.
Advantage: East Carolina
With each game, the pressure mounts on ECU, which is trying to notch its
first-ever C-USA championship. There will be added pressure to perform well
The Pirates feel like they owe the Tigers, who won last year's tilt. That
extra emotion, as the Pirates discovered in last season's loss to UAB, can
have a negative effect.
What East Carolina must do to win:
- Make the reads. The Pirate DBs need to make the right reads,
especially when Anglin and Wimprine roll out.
- Precision in passing game. Memphis has yielded plenty of yards through
the air, but has intercepted ten passes thus far. If Garrard is on the
money, and the receivers are making the catch, the Pirates should have
- Pressure, but don't overpursue. The Pirates haven't gotten adequate
opposing quarterbacks since a victory over William and Mary. When they
have, mobile QBs have found ways to escape the heat.
- Continue ground success. The Pirates need to continue to flex their
muscle on the ground. A repeat performance like the one last year's
against the Tigers will most certainly result in a loss.
- Create turnovers. The Pirates haven't exactly created turnovers by the
bushel in recent weeks. With a bend-don't-break mentality on D, the Bucs
best be opportunistic against the Memphis spread attack.
What Memphis must do to win:
- Win field position battle. Giving Garrard long fields with which to
work could go a long way toward limiting the Pirates' quick-strike
- Chew the clock. Though time of possession isn't a great concern to
Logan, the more the Pirate offense stays on the sideline, the better off
Memphis will be.
- Limit big plays. If the Tigers allow the Pirates to get their usual
quota of big plays, it will be a long day at the office.
- Mix it up. If Memphis can achieve balance on offense, the Pirates will
be playing the guessing game all afternoon long.
- Strike early. Memphis needs to score early to take the raucous
Dowdy-Ficklen crowd out of the game.
Prediction: This has the makings for an exciting, high-scoring,
nip-and-tuck C-USA battle. Both teams are likely to put up points. The
Pirate offense is more seasoned for a shootout, and should have enough to
win a close one, 31-27.
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02/23/2007 02:05:43 AM