GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – ECU football hosts FCS Campbell Saturday night at 6 o’clock. The Pirates are about four touchdown favorites going in according to multiple online sources.
They know what needs to be done to prove the expectations right.
“Stay disciplined. Guard your receivers to the end of the whistle even as the quarterback scrambles,” says ECU safety Jireh Wilson, “You have to find a guy, match them, plaster them if you are in zone. Get deep when he scrambles, stay in your zone. Little things like that stay disciplined.”
Camels quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams is the focal point for the ECU defense. Run and pass guy who is similar to Charleston Southern quarterback Jack Chambers who torched the Pirates last year.
“He’s a lot better player than Jack was,” says ECU head coach Mike Houston, “He’s bigger, he’s probably more explosive, throws it better in the pocket. Just really stood out to me how dynamic of an athlete he is. Certainly its going to be a huge challenge on Saturday.”
The Pirates made long sustained scoring drives in their win over Old Dominion on Saturday. They look to control the play again.
“We got a lot more play makers that we can disperse the ball to,” says ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers, “We got Jsi Hatfield coming back this week. Really our big play threat.”
“This year we all understand that we all have our role. We understand we are making plays even if the ball doesn’t come to you the next guy is making a play as well,” says ECU tight end Ryan Jones, “So, we all have a mindset of winning and just want to see everybody improve.”
It all starts up front for ECU. The offensive line has really gelled. Transfer Justin Redd has claimed his spot at left tackle.
“His attitude has been fantastic. You couldn’t ask for anything any better. He is a big, athletic, strong kid so he has some God-given abilities,” Houston says, “It has been a little bit of a transition but he has been improving every single day. I think you will see him as you go throughout the season you will see more of the same.”
The Camels allowed 271 yards rushing and three touchdowns last week against William & Mary. ECU hopes to have more of the same.
“Coach was telling us the running game is going to be there,” says ECU running back Keaton Mitchell, Make some adjustments. Keep telling the O-linemen y’all do what you got to do. It will eventually pop.”
“As you saw this week with App State beating Texas A&M you got to come with the right mindset or you can lose games you are not supposed to,” says Jones, “So we have to stay focused and stay locked in on what we want to do.”
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