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Pack. Pirates. Dowdy-Ficklen. Saturday, High Noon

Fri, Oct 15, 2010

Featured, Football, Greenville, Tailgating

It’s a game Pirate fans crave to win and a game Wolfpack fans hope not to lose. That’s just the nature of a rivalry where one team wears the BCS shirt and the other is still sewing away hoping to make it fit one day.

N.C. State leads East Carolina 16-10 all-time in a rivalry that dates back to 1970 … Although the Pirates trail the overall series against the Wolfpack, ECU has has won five of the last nine meetings since 1987 (and seven of the last 13 since ‘83) … ECU and NCSU have split the only two contests in Greenville, and the Wolfpack are 14-7 in Raleigh … The Pirates have taken two of three neutral site matchups, two of which were played in Charlotte. I think we all know where the ultimate game of games was played. If not, eat a peach and click here.

It’s very exciting where these two teams find themselves at this point in the season. NC State at 5-1 looks like one of the best teams in the ACC and led by one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Russell Jesus Obama Wilson. Their only blemish is a battle with Va Tech which the Pack could and maybe should have won.

Notable: Wilson is second in the nation in passing yards, with 1,802. He has thrown 17 touchdown passes, seven more than any other quarterback in the ACC and the third most nationally. He is also the Wolfpack’s third-leading rusher with 59 attempts for 163 yards

ECU? At 3-2 the only thing predictable thing I can say about this Pirate ship is that it’s unpredictable. That, and they give up a lot of points. For a team that lost more letterman than any team in the country these Pirates finds themselves with a legitimate shot at winning C-USA for a 3rd consecutive year. That’s not bad considering the complete overhaul in everything from the coaching staff, offensive and defensive schemes, and even the stadium in which they play.

Notable: East Carolina is one of eight programs at the FBS level that possesses a 100 percent conversion rate on fourth down. The Pirates top the nation with eight successful tries. ECU is also 18-of-18 this season when inside the opponents’ 20-yard line … ECU is one of only three teams to have a 100.0 percent red-zone efficiency rating and have the most chances of any of the trio. East Carolina has also made the most of its 18 red-zone trips with 14 TDs.

October 16, 2010, high noon

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Tom O’Brien has done a phenomenal job getting NC State ready for these in-state rival games. NC State comes to Greenville favored by around 8 points. I’m pretty sure it would be more but ECU did upset Sothern Miss in another instant ECU classic. Also, ECU fans are hungry. Pirate Nation hasn’t been fed a home game in over a month so Dowdy will be rowdy. ECU players will get that extra energy from an electric crowd but what they do will be up to them.  What’s more, you can bet the players that were on the team two years ago remember when State ruined their dream of “BCS busting” in an overtime loss at Carter-Finley. This time the tables are turned, with NC State in the midst of one of their best seasons, they now have to come to Purpleville to face a surprising and determined East Carolina team.

I really don’t know what to expect; it could be close, it could be an upset or it could be a Wolfpack rout. With ECU giving up so many points and facing a good defense I would lean torward the latter. On the other hand when Dowdy gets rowdy anything can happen. Both teams can put points on the board so this could likely be a very high scoring shootout. It will come down to a few questions. Can NC State settle down and force their will in a ruckus atmosphere? Can ECU play a little defense and a complete game?

I do know this. It will be fun and when the dust is settled I hope both teams go on to win their respective conferences. In conclusion I’ll leave you with a good Tom O’Brien quote about this rivaly game. “It’s a great atmosphere. They love football. They’re like our people, they love football. These are the two best football loving schools in the state and it should be a great game on Saturday.”

And with that, lets eat some bbq, drink some beer and enjoy the game.

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