East Carolina will not have the luxury of playing a team with a suspect quarterback this week. West Virginia QB Pat White has been given the green light to put the ball in the air to¬†complement his running ability. White was 25 of 33 for 208 yards with 5 TDs and 1 INT while running for 63 yards in the Mountaineers 48-21 win over Villanova. The new found passing attack will give West Virginia the ability to beat teams that stack the line of scrimmage with eight, and sometimes nine, in the box.
The West Virginia defense will have to improve on their performance last week. Villanova, a Champion Subdivison member, was able to move the ball with ease at times before either turning the ball over or getting bogged down at midfield. The Wildcats were able to amass 28 first downs and 399 yards of total offense. The Mountaineers will have to stop a balanced Pirates’ attack this week and the best way to do that is to get off the field after third downs. Villanova was able to convert 8 of 14 third down chance and that could be a problem against a hungry East Carolina squad.
East Carolina will be trying to defeat their second Top 25 foe in as many weeks after upsetting VA Tech last week, 27-22. The Pirates were able to beat the Hokies at their own game with a stifling defense and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown with under two minutes to play. Look for the Pirates to try and disguise their defense before the snap and shift into a different scheme like they did to VA Tech QB Sean Glennon. East Carolina QB Patrick Pinkney leads a balanced offensive attack with an accurate arm. He completed 82.6% of his passes last week while throwing for one touchdown and running for another.
This game will come down to the Pirates’ ability to stop Pat White’s arm and legs. Do you pack the line of scrimmage or play a base defense? Which ever they choose, their offense will have to put points on the board to keep up. West Virginia 38-17
– Pat White moved past Marc Bulger to assume the top spot as the all-time total yardage leader in West Virginia history
– Expect conditions to be a little damp after Tropical Storm Hanna moves through the area dropping several inches of rain before game time
– East Carolina hopes to avenge their 48-7 loss last year in which Patrick Pinkey was held to 18 total yards.