I didn’t catch the ECU vs. Southern Miss game down in Hattiesburg last weekend, but I did happen to catch a bit of the box score when I was doing the research for our latest Riveting Realities post. It was, well, intriguing, to say the least.
At first glance one simply sees a nice road win for the Pirates. 44-43 at Southern Miss – while perhaps not remarkable in and of itself – is pretty sweet for a program that had only won 9 of 35 games in the series’ history. What is remarkable, however, is a second glance – specifically at the team stats columns.
ECU rushed 24 times for 33 yards? Only completed 50% of its passes for 305 yards, getting picked off 3 times in the process? Lost a fumble as well? Forced zero Southern Miss turnovers, and lost the time of possession battle by a whopping 15 minutes?
I mean, just how in the hell did they manage to win this game – let alone score 44 points along the way?
Well, scenes like those seen after the jump probably had something to do with it…
Overcoming a mounting 20-0 1st quarter deficit, the Pirates would eventually score on TD’s of 46, 32, 46, 89, 7, and 13 yards.
Digging a bit deeper, it appears that 11 of the Pirates 25 TD’s this year have come on plays of 30 yards or more. ECU’s average TD goes for 22.3 yards, and only one of the Pirates’ 5 games has seen them not score a TD of at least 39 yards – a 27-49 loss to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the Pirates will almost certainly need to add to their big play total significantly if they want to improve to 4-2 on the year. ECU’s 116th ranked scoring defense (42 points allowed per game) plays host to Russell Wilson and N.C. State’s 13th ranked scoring offense (37.5 points per game) in Greenville.
The Pirates offense, led by Junior QB Dominique Davis, ranks 12th in the nation in scoring offense (37.6) while the Wolfpack’s allowance of 22.2 points per game ranks them as the 52nd best scoring defense in the country. Expect fireworks…