GAME: East Carolina at USC, 12:20 p.m., Saturday
The Pirates opened their season with a 35-13 win over FCS power Appalachian State, a victory that was jump-started by Lance Ray’s 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter. Quarterback Rio Johnson passed for 242 yards and two touchdowns while also running for another score. The ECU defense gave up 419 yards to the Mountaineers but held them to one touchdown and two field goals. The Pirates returned seven starters on both offense and defense from last season.
... ECU played in five straight bowl games from 2006 to 2010.
Former Davidson and Virginia basketball coach Terry Holland is beginning his ninth season as East Carolina’s athletics director.
The Pirates won five of eight meetings against the Gamecocks during the 1990s.
ECU has won 32 of the last 37 games when scoring 30 or more points but has lost 11 straight games when scoring fewer than 20 points.
The Pirates line up in a spread offense, and they use a 3-4 defensive scheme.
This is the first game in a three-week road swing for ECU.
The Pirates have over a dozen players on their roster from the Palmetto State. Some of the more prominent players from S.C. include junior defensive end Lee Pegues (Marlboro County HS), sophomore center Taylor Hudson (Mauldin HS), freshman receiver Jabril Solomon (Hemingway HS), freshman offensive tackle Isaac Harris (Dutch Fork HS), senior cornerback Leonard Paulk (Richland Northeast HS), and sophomore linebacker Brandon Williams (Northwestern HS).
PIRATES TO WATCH
- Compiled by Neil White