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    [2022] Week 2 ECU postgame

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    ECU Fails to Closeout Northwestern

    Young Pirates Make Big statement in Season Opener



    5* QB (Fr) Kyler Wilson Makes his Debut. 24/39 299, 3 TD, 0 Int


              The 2022 season opened up for most teams last week, however East Carolina opened up with an early season bye. According to the headcoach, they did not take it easy last week.
    "We practiced as if we had a game on Saturday. We studied game tape of last season, and various practices from spring and fall camp. We want to come into this game with as little rust as possible. They will have some game time experience already and we can't be caught trying to play catch up if we expect to win." And for 3 quarters on Friday night, the Pirates seemed like they might come away with a huge win in Evanston. But alas, it was not to be as the pirates couldn't hold on and loss 45-31 against a tough Northwestern team. Despite the loss however, there are a lot of positive things that can be taken out of this game.


              Kyler Wilson might be legitimate starter we all believed him to be. Sometimes stats to a game can be inflated when you're playing catch up, but going into the 4th quarter, the game was tied at 24. The line coming into this game was going to be suspect for the Pirates. And it really showed. Yet the young quarterback stood tall in the pocket and delivered the ball to his receivers, racking up 299 yards. He also managed to find the endzone three times, and no turn overs. Even though it was a lost, for a young freshman quarterback, the start to his career could not have been much better. He was under pressure all night and still found ways to keep it close until the very end. The O-line being what it is, will make us all miss Liam Carver and his ability to use his legs. But if the coaching staff can find some protection, and continue to give him weapons, Wilson should become the greatest QB the school has ever seen.



    WR (Fr) Kenneth McCormick, 7 Receptions 94 yards, 1 TD


              Wilson wasn't the only Freshman that was impressive Friday night. In fact the pirates had a number of freshmen take starting roles at various positions. Kyler Wilsons performance was obviously very important, and highly anticipated. However, there was another big name on offense Friday night. A name that perhaps have been flying under the radar. Kenneth McCormick, a WR out of Goldsboro North Carolina, had the best debut of any freshmen receiver in school history. This includes Leon Burris(3 rec for 20yds), and Jared Talbert(4 for 30) who both have had amazing careers to this point. McCormick had 7 receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. Burris when asked about McComicks performance,
    "Yeah man..he came out and did his thing. He is a big guy with a lot of speed. We've known for a while that he's dangerous. He has those long arms, he is gonna have a great year..but Jared and I..we are gonna make it hard for him to beat our records." The trio all found ways to record a touchdown against Northwestern. But the level of production seen out of the young man was not expected. With his size and speed, it would not be out of the question to say he might push for that number one spot. Es specially if he can keep up this level of production.



    (Fr) LOLB Richard Jack(5tkls,1FL,1Sack) and (Fr) LDE Theo Guinn(2 Tkls, 1 Sacks)


              But it isn't just the offense that has a lot of young faces. The defense has plenty of young guys starting out for the first time. In fact, 7 of the 11 starters on defense played their first game for the Pirates. You could say inside linebacker Logan Bird played for the pirates last season, but he was low on the depth chart, and didn't even play with special teams until half way through the last season due to some injuries. However, Richard Jack, Theo Guinn, and Logan Bird were all very impactful Friday night. All three recorded 1 sack, Jack had five tackles and Bird recorded 6. The defense held Northwestern to only 67 yards rushing, with the longest run on the ground only 10 yards. This is perhaps one of the most interesting statistic to come out of the game. Last season, the pirates were horrendous defending the run. They ranked bottom three last season in the conference, even with their defensive turn around half way through the season. The secondary during this game looked awful..however it was expected they were going to be challenged. Both Safeties are new, the second CB, Javier Landry, is a freshmen, as well as their dimeback Samuel Amos. That is a lot of inexperience in that backfield. At least last season, the guys had experience in the system and had some years on them. The players now, only two played football at all last season at the college level. And those two haven't exactly been productive. It was a big first test, and the secondary came out limping in the end. Next week they get an easier challenge against NC State, but that doesn't mean they won't be challenged. They've been exposed and teams will continue to challenge them until they can stop it.


              Overall, it was a good effort from a young team to go into enemy territory, and play them to the end. An entire offensive line unit who has never started a game, a new runningback, a new quarterback, a freshman receiver, 7 new starters on defense, 4 of those freshmen..a win would have been huge for this team. The future looks bright.
    "We went toe to toe with a much better team. I'm proud of my boys. I saw a lot we have to work on, but i saw a lot to be proud of. We are going to continue to grow, and continue to get better everyday. Next week we take on the wolfpack of NC State. A rivalry I enjoy, and a rivalry these kids enjoy and look forward to playing. It was close last year, but we are looking to setting the record straight." The Pirates are hoping to bounce back next week in a very important game. Not only would it be a big instate win, but it would also mean Coach Weeze is tied for the winningest coach in school history. We could think of no better opponent than Nc State for that to happen.

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