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West Virginia is 18-3 all time against East Carolina. These two programs have had a lot of close games over the years and typically the games end up closer than what the experts predict. It’s no different going into week two for the Mountaineers. West Virginia is favored by 24 after East Carolina dropped their season opener at home to James Madison 34-17.
East Carolina will come into this game with more certainty at quarterback. Gardner Minshew started the first game for the Pirates before head coach Scottie Montgomery went with Thomas Sirk in the second half. Sirk was more efficient running the offense, finishing the game going 21-35 for 200 yards, but with 2 interceptions. That should bring some continuity to this offense in their second game.
Sirk has some talent on the outside, starting with 6’2″ 187-lb Davon Grayson, 6’1″ 185-lb Deondre Farrier and 5’10’ 184-lb Quay Johnson. These receivers will test the Mountaineer corners in the second game of the season. The Mountaineer secondary will be looking to bounce back after some missed assignments against the Hokies.
The Pirates running attack will be lead by 5’11 194-lb Derrell Scott. Scott some trouble against James Madison finding running room, but the offensive line will look to improve in week 2.
On the defensive side of the ball, East Carolina runs a 3-4 defensive scheme. This is their first year under the new system but they do have the athletes to run the 3-4 led by inside linebacker Jordan Williams and Ray Tillman. Coming off the edge to disrupt things in the backfield will be defensive end Kiante Anderson.
In the secondary, East Carolina will be led strong safety Edward Fulp. The Pirates lost a lot in the secondary from a season ago and they are trying to find their way under the new system.
For the Mountaineers they need to correct some of the mistakes they made in the season opener, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Offensively, it should not be a problem getting the running game going against the Pirates. James Madison was able to run for 422 yards.
For some reason, in this series history, these games tend to be closer than they ever should be, but with the talent West Virginia has and being that East Carolina is still under transition with second year head coach Scottie Montgomery, this game may get out of hand early. The Mountaineers need to test some of their players that’s deeper on the depth chart and this would be a good opportunity to get some guys on the filed and get them ready for conference play.
I have West Virginia cruising in this one to a tune of 45-17.