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October 4, 2013
Preview: MT vs ECU
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Last week, the Blue Raiders traveled to Provo, Utah, for the first time ever to take on a tough BYU team. The Blue Raider offense looked like they came to play in the first quarter as they were able to put 10 points on the board against a stout Cougar defense, but after that opening quarter, the Blue Raider offense became inept and did not put another point on the board.
The defense tried to control QB Taysom Hill and did at times, forcing five turnovers on the night, but it still was not enough as the Cougars would put up 37 unanswered points and en route to the 37-10 victory.
As for the ECU Pirates, they took on instate rival North Carolina last Saturday in a game that they completely dominated from start to finish. ECU jumped out to the early 14-0 lead and never looked back from there. The Pirates totaled 603 yards while putting up 55 points as they handled UNC, 55-31.
The offense will be going up against a pass defense that has played questionable of late, something that should play in MT's favor. ECU has allowed an average of 301 yards per game through the air and has given up 10 passing touchdowns while snagging just four interceptions. If there were ever a week that QB Logan Kilgore could step up and figure some things out with his receivers, this would be that week. If not, then it might be time to start thinking about making a change at the position.
The Key to the Game for the defense this week will center on stopping ECU QB Shane Carden, who has been playing lights out all season for the Pirates. The game plan is pretty simple, but it is much easier said than done. On the season, Carden has averaged 293 passing yards per game and nearly three touchdowns per game. Those are some impressive stats, but the most impressive stat for Carden would be his 73 percent completion percentage, which is incredible given the amount of passes he throws.
The Blue Raider secondary, who have been playing better each week, will have to step up their coverage again this week or they will get picked apart by a QB that can sling it around. They could also use the help of some timely turnovers, which has been a big plus for a defense this season. Through five games, MT has gathered a total of 16 turnovers.
Although ECU has some holes on their defense, I look for Kilgore and the offense to continue to struggle. For whatever reason, things just are not clicking for the senior signal caller and his receiving corps. With pressure mounting, I just do not see them getting over the hump this week, which will have many pleading for a change at the helm.
MT will keep this one close for the first half, but I believe ECU will erupt in the second half and leave the Blue Raiders in the dust.
Middle Tennessee NEWS