Yes, we all know that the ECU program desperately needed a win and by virtue of a 35-17 outing in Memphis, accomplished the primary mission. And, statistically at least, the Pirates are completely in control of their own East Division destiny, sitting at 2-1 in the league and 2-0 in the East. Still, there is an uneasy feeling hanging over the program – thanks to the lackluster, ill-prepared debacle in Houston two weeks ago.
The Pirates found a pulse in Memphis at least and perhaps with it, a new fire. For the game, there were some things to be impressed with starting with the offense seemingly finding itself for one of the few times this season. Yes, there was the one God-awful turnover, but in general, Dominique Davis seemed to be his former self: confident, decisive, accurate. He spread the ball around well and went vertical more than he has all season.
Of course, having time helps. And, having a running game helps. Torrance Hunt ran well and with his speed, has the ability to cut back hard against the grain, which could help immensely as the OL tries to heal up. That is, if he continues to find the cutback lanes. I am not convinced that Memphis’ defensive front is worse than Houston’s so perhaps this game is an indicator that the OL played better rather than a sign that they played a terrible defense (love to hear others opinions on that though).
Defensively, the guys only gave up 10 points (7 points were compliments of our ever-generous offense) and generated two INTs. Of course Memphis is horrible, but with young players who don’t know the difference, it is all about confidence and you could see our players welling up with it defensively and the solid play followed.
Even the coaches showed a level of intensity that has not been seen this season. To me, that is the biggest positive coming out of this game. To see Coach Ruff, Coach Riley and Coach Wiley as jacked up as they were, indicates to me that there is a sense of urgency now within the staff (maybe just wishful thinking though).
Bottom line is that the Pirates an still win something this year and built toward the future. With Navy up next, it could all come crashing down just as quickly, but for now, at least, there is joy in Purpleville.