Preview: Connecticut at East Carolina

When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 23, 2014
Where: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina saw its prolific passing offense stalled early, but contributions from its less-heralded ground game and defense in its last contest saved the day. The 17th-ranked Pirates, who can match their best start since 1999 when they host Connecticut on Thursday, threw for a season-low 250 yards in a comeback victory over South Florida on Oct. 11. Despite being held 145.6 yards below its average through the air, East Carolina ran for three scores and shut out the Bulls in the second half.

The Pirates also did not help their cause with 12 penalties for a season-high 148 yards, but they used 231 rushing yards to complement a passing attack that still ranks fourth in the country (371.3 yards). East Carolina is one of 12 schools averaging at least 40 points, which likely makes them a formidable challenge for the struggling Huskies, who rank second-to-last in FBS in scoring offense (12.8 points). Connecticut suffered its fourth straight loss on Oct. 11, a 12-3 setback at Tulane, and is averaging nine points in three American Athletic Conference contests.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU. LINE: East Carolina -27.5.

ABOUT CONNECTICUT (1-5, 0-3 AAC): The nation’s 123rd-ranked total offense (out of 125)  has yet to top 21 points this season and has been nearly as inept passing the ball (106th, 178.5 yards) as it is running it (121st, 77). The Huskies often have been their own worst enemy as well and rank 122nd in FBS with a minus-1.50 turnover margin. As a result, Connecticut’s best chance to hang with the Pirates might be with its defense, which is holding opponents to 325 yards per game - the 17th-best mark in the country.

ABOUT EAST CAROLINA (5-1, 2-0): Justin Hardy finished with 10 receptions for 114 yards in the win over the Bulls, giving him multiple catches in an FBS-best 42 straight games. Hardy, who needs 37 more receptions to break the NCAA Division I-A career mark of 349 held by Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles, has teamed up with Shane Carden for 23 career touchdowns – the most for a quarterback-receiver duo in the country. Breon Allen leads the team in rushing yards (504) and touchdowns (four) while also ranking second nationally in yards per carry (8.26).


1. East Carolina is averaging 57.6 points and 616.4 total yards over its last five home games, while also defeating opponents by 35.6 points over that same span.

2. Outside of their three-game winning streak at the end of last season, the Huskies have scored 21 or fewer points in 16 straight contests.

3. The Pirates are 23-2 under coach Ruffin McNeill when they outrush their opponent.

PREDICTION: East Carolina 38, Connecticut 6


Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Connecticut 1-5 L4 12.8 25.7 1-3 0-2 1-4 0-0 0-3
East Carolina 5-1 W4 41.0 23.8 3-0 2-1 5-1 0-0 2-0

Last Meeting

Connecticut East Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No Previous Meeting.

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TDs Player TD
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
CONN C. Whitmer 55.0 856 5 3
ECU S. Carden 65.9 2129 16 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
CONN M. DeLorenzo 58 194 3.3 0
ECU B. Allen 61 504 8.3 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
CONN G. Davis 33 431 13.1 3
ECU J. Hardy 47 593 12.6 5
TDs Player TD
CONN G. Davis 3
ECU B. Allen 5

Quickchart Matchup

Connecticut Off vs  East Carolina Def
256.2 yards
363.8 yards
2.3 yards/rush
3.4 yards/rush
6.1 yards/attempt
5.8 yards/attempt
East Carolina Off vs  Connecticut Def
564.7 yards
325 yards
6.1 yards/rush
3.4 yards/rush
8.4 yards/attempt
7.2 yards/attempt

Live Game Odds

Lines History | All Odds
Currently no lines available.

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Connecticut Overall East Carolina
1-5-0 W/L 5-1-0
0-6-0 ATS 4-2-0
1-5-0 O/U 3-3-0
12.8 Pts For 41.0
25.7 Pts Against 23.8
Connecticut A/H East Carolina
0-2 W/L 3-0
0-2-0 ATS 2-1-0
0-2-0 O/U 3-0-0
8.5 Pts For 55.7
14.5 Pts Against 24.0