Riveting Realities: N.C. State at East Carolina

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm ET

College Football

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ECU Pirates Logo N.C. State Wolfpack Logo

Don’t you get tired of talking heads, print journalists, and anyone that just happened to have learned some HTML over a holiday weekend a few years ago (ahem, Ciaran) ramming their college football analysis down your throats on a weekly basis? Sure, we all do.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone just compiled some allegedly intriguing facts about an upcoming match-up, and then let YOU decide what to make of them? Well, here’s an opportunity to find out — or just gather some tidbits to throw out for discussion at your Saturday morning tailgate — after the jump…

First, some historical perspective:

  • N.C. State leads the all time series in this one 16-10.
  • The total all time score in the series is 734-550, N.C. State holding a substantial lead.
  • The first game in the series was played in 1970, in Raleigh.  N.C State won 23-6.
  • ECU and N.C. State played every year from 1970-1987, with the Pack logging a 12-6 record against the Pirates during that time frame.
  • Every one of the games played between 1970-1987 was played in Raleigh.
  • 21 of the 26 games in this series have been played in Raleigh. Two have been played in Charlotte, two in Greenville, and one in Atlanta (the 1992 Peach Bowl (1991 season)).
  • After the 1987 game (in Raleigh)  – which ECU won 32-14 – the two teams stopped playing each other on a year-to-year basis.
  • After the 1987 game, Pirate fans stormed the field at Carter-Finley stadium and tore down N.C. State’s goal posts.
  • ECU and N.C. State did not meet again until the aforementioned ’92 Peach Bowl (1991 season) in Atlanta. ECU won the game 37-34.
  • The next game between the two teams was held in Charlotte in 1996. ECU won the game 50-29.
  • The first game ever hosted by the Pirates in Greenville was on November 20th, 1999. ECU won 23-6, the same score by which  N.C. State won the series’ first ever game in 1970.
  • Butch Davis, while coach of the Miami HurricanesEarlier during the 1999 season, Hurricane Floyd forced ECU to host the #9 Miami Hurricanes in N.C. State’s Carter-Finley stadium.  ECU won the game 27-23 – and proceeded to tear down the goal posts.  Current, under fire UNC Coach, Butch Davis, was the coach of the Hurricanes at the time.  The Wolfpack lost 31-7 to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem that day.
  • Since 1999, N.C. State and ECU have only played four times: once in Charlotte (’04), twice in Raleigh (’06, ’08), and once in Greenville (’07).
  • N.C. State holds a 3-1 advantage over the Pirates in these last four meetings.
  • The last time the two teams played was 2008, with N.C. State emerging as a 30-24 victor in Raleigh.
  • When playing in Greenville or at a neutral site, ECU is 3-2 all time against the Wolfpack.

Now, onto slightly more current events:

  • N.C. State is 5-1 this season, with wins over Western Carolina, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, and Boston College.  Virginia Tech handed the Pack its only loss.
  • ECU is 3-2 this year, with wins over Tulsa, Memphis, and Southern Miss. The Pirates fell to North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
  • Neither N.C. State or ECU has played an opponent that is currently ranked in the Top 25 of either major poll, although Virginia Tech is ranked 29th and 30th – based on votes received – in the Coach’s Poll and AP Poll, respectively.
  • N.C. State is ranked 27th in both the Coach’s Poll and AP Poll based on votes received.
  • Jeff SagarinN.C. State’s Strength of Schedule ranking according to Jeff Sagarin: 49th
  • ECU’s Strength of Schedule ranking according to Jeff Sagarin: 35th
  • In its loss to Virginia Tech, in Raleigh, N.C. State rushed 33 times for 145 yards (4.39 YPR), and completed 21 of 49 passes for 326 yards (6.65 PYA) and 3 touchdowns.  The Wolfpack offense’s yards per play was 6.18. They also turned the ball over three times via Russell Wilson interceptions.
  • In its loss to Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, ECU rushed 30 times for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns (3.66 YPR – repeating, of course), and completed 30 of 44 passes for 251 yards and a touchdown (5.70 PYA).  ECU’s offense averaged 4.87 yards per play against the Hokies.  They also turned the ball over twice via Dominique Davis interceptions.
  • Virginia Tech rushed 37 times for 317 yards against the Wolfpack defense (8.56 YPR), but were held to just 123 yards on 12/24 passing (5.13 PYA).
  • Virginia Tech rushed 41 times for 249 yards against the Pirates defense (6.07 YPR), but were held to just 199 yards on 8/16 passing (12.44 PYA).
  • Both ECU and N.C. State held leads well into the 2nd half of their respective games against Virginia Tech.
  • Against the Pirates, the Hokies took a 28-27 lead with 4:34 to play in the 3rd quarter on their way to a 49-27 victory in Blacksburg.
  • Against the Wolfpack, the Hokies took a 28-27 lead with 12:24 to play in the 4th quarter – and reclaimed a 34-30 lead with 1:27 in the game – on their way to a 41-30 victory in Raleigh.
  • Tom O'Brien is a former Defensive EndN.C. State head coach Tom O’Brien played Defensive End for the Naval Academy from 1968-1970.
  • ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill played in the secondary for the Pirates from 1976-1980. Ruffin McNeill is a former DB for the ECU Pirates
  • According to the Pirates’ official depth chart for the N.C. State game, the average weight of ECU’s starting defensive line is 242.5 pounds.
  • According to various internet sources, the average weight of N.C. State’s starting offensive line is 310 pounds.
  • ECU ranks 40th in the nation in sacks per game. The Pirates get to opposing QB’s an average of 2.4 times a contest.
  • N.C. State ranks 98th in sacks allowed. Apparently Russell Wilson goes down an average of 2.83 times per game.
  • ECU leads the nation in Red Zone offense efficiency.  The Pirates have converted all 18 of their trips to the Red Zone into scores – 14 TD’s and 4 FG’s.
  • N.C. State ranks 70th in Red Zone efficiency, scoring only 81% of the time they’re inside an opponent’s 20 yard line (25/31, 17 TD’s, 8 FG’s).
  • While ECU ranks 1st in Red Zone offense efficiency, their 18  trips inside opponents’ 20 yard line ranks 77th.
  • N.C. State’s 31 trips to the Red Zone is tied for 5th most in the country – Only Stanford (37), Ohio State (35), Tulsa (35), Wisconsin (33), TCU (32), Nevada (32), and Arizona State (32) have more Red Zone appearances than the Wolfpack. Florida State also has 31.
  • Notorious pirate enthusiast - and former Texas Tech coach - Mike LeachNotorious Pirate enthusiast – and former Texas Tech coach – Mike Leach will be the “arghnalyst” during CBS College Sports’ coverage of this weekend’s game. If you haven’t yet heard, Leach’s color commentary has been… well … colorful so far.
  • N.C. State ranks 107th in Red Zone defense efficiency — Opponents have scored on the Wolfpack 11 of the 12 times they’ve been  inside the 20 yard line (10 TD’s, 1FG).
  • Those 12 trips inside the N.C. State 2o yard line ties the Wolfpack defense for the 2nd lowest total in the nation amongst teams that have played at least 6 games (Tied for 5th overall).  TCU leads the nation, having allowed opponents just 7 Red Zone opportunities on the year.
  • ECU ranks 106th in Red Zone defense efficiency — Opponents have scored 20 of 22 times inside the Pirates 20 yard line (17 TD’s, 3 FG’s).
  • Having allowed 22 trips inside their 20  yard line, the ECU defense ranks 88th in Red Zone opportunities allowed.
  • ECU Coach Ruffin McNeill may believe in the power of the Q-Ray bracelet
  • N.C. State’s offense has posted a 17:6 touchdown to interception ratio this season.
  • ECU’s pass defense has given up 13 passing touchdowns to 2 interceptions on the year.
  • Pirates QB Dominique Davis has thrown 14 TD’s and 9 interceptions this year.
  • The Wolfpack defense has allowed 10 passing touchdowns to 7 interceptions so far this season.
  • ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill may or may not believe in the supposed powers of the Q-Ray bracelet(s).
  • The Pirates defense ranks 116th in the NCAA in points allowed per game (42), and 114th in passing efficiency defense (158.37 rating allowed to opposing QB’s)
  • N.C. State’s offense ranks 13th in the nation in scoring offense (37.5 points per game), and QB Russell Wilson ranks 37th in passing efficiency (140.28).
  • The Wolfpack defense is allowing 4.4 yards per rush on the ground this year; 6.8 yards per passing attempt through the air.
  • The ECU defense is allowing 4.6 yards per rush; 8.6 yards per attempt.
  • N.C. State is +3 in turnovers this year; ECU is -4.

Finally, for the gamblers:

  • The line on the game is currently N.C. State -7 .  The total hasn’t been set yet as far as I can tell.
  • N.C. State is 5-1 ATS this year.
  • ECU is 1-6 ATS vs ACC opponents over the last 3 years.
  • N.C. State is on a 17-5 Over run the last three years when playing on a Saturday, and 14-5 Over during the same time frame when playing on 6 or less days rest.
  • N.C. State is also 8-1 Over in October games over the past 3 seasons.
  • ECU has hit the Over in 4 of its 5 games this season.

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9 Responses to “Riveting Realities: N.C. State at East Carolina”

  1. dbj Says:

    That is a lot of words.

  2. dbj Says:


  3. DR Says:

    Goal post, goal post, goal post.. wah wah wah…

    You forget to metion the game where State beat ECU at State and the state fans tore down their own goal posts!

  4. Ciaran Says:

    I actually wasn’t aware of that, DR. What year was it? Regardless, one has to admit it’s a little odd for the guests to tear down the hosts goal posts, yeah?

    And to do it again, when they were simply “loaning” the stadium to ECU, well, things just get cooky at that point!

    Thanks for reading.

  5. Chris Washburn (no, not that one) Says:

    DR, everyone tears down their own goalposts after a huge victory. What is exceptional is when you tear down your OPPONENT’S goalpost. That should never happen!

    Tearing down the Pack’s goalpost when we upset Miami was quite symbollic and hilarious.

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