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2011 ECU Pirates Gambling Odds | Predictions

2011-2012 Football Previews – Conference USA – East Carolina University Pirates

It would be easy to label a 6-7 initial season for Ruffin McNeill at East Carolina as a disappointment, but if you realize that he inherited a team that has just graduated 28 seniors, then it is clear he didn’t do a bad job at all.

Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter

Conference USA 2011-2012 Football Previews: East Carolina Pirates
Head Coach: Ruffin McNeill
2010 Record: 6-7
East Carolina Gambling Odds from BetOnline to win BCS: +1,500 (Part of Field)
East Carolina Odds from 5Dimes to win Conference USA Championship: +2,000
East Carolina Odds from 5Dimes to win Conference USA East Division: +750

ECU Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>


East Carolina was an extremely young team in 2010, and they made plenty of silly mistakes. McNeill and his assistants expect an improved team in 2011.

It wasn’t the offense that was the problem for East Carolina last year. The offense ranked 16th in the nation in scoring per game, and the passing game was the eighth best in the nation. The other side of the ball was a completely different story. The Pirates defense managed to rank dead last in all of college football by allowing a ridiculous 44 points per game in 2010.

Obviously, if East Carolina doesn’t improve defensively it will be tough for them to take much of a step forward.

Team Strengths:

Dominique Davis is a senior leader at the quarterback spot for the Pirates. Davis ranked seventh in the nation in total offense and he accounted for 46 touchdowns last season. He managed to put up those great numbers despite the fact that it was his first year in the system.

With an extra year of preparation in the spread offense, I fully expect Davis to have a huge year in 2011.

Michael Barbour is one of the best kickers in the nation, and he will be a real weapon for this team. Barbour managed to successfully convert all 16 of his field goal attempts from inside 41 yards last season. He was placed on the Lou Groza Watch List for this year.

While the defense as a whole is bad, the secondary has some solid senior leadership. Emanuel Davis is one of the best cornerbacks in the league.

Bradley Jacobs and Derek Blacknall form a nice duo at the safety position.

Team Weaknesses:

The single biggest weakness for this East Carolina team is clearly their rushing defense. Never was this more evident than when the Navy option attack chewed up this defense as the Midshipmen scored an amazing 76 points. The front four isn’t able to get a push off the ball, and that puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the defense.

East Carolina is switching to a 3-4 defense in 2011, but with a lot of question marks at the linebacker spot I’m not sure how that will work out. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

There is no real leader in the linebacker unit, and just about all of these guys are untested and inexperienced.

The Pirates love to air it out, but losing Dwayne Harris really hurt their receiving unit. Lance Lewis will be a reliable target on the outside, but depth could be a bit of an issue.

East Carolina’s spread offense relies heavily on receivers, so they’ll need some young guys to step up.

2011-2012 East Carolina Football Prediction: 5-7

East Carolina should improve a bit on defense, but I still think they’ll be one of the worst defenses in the nation. The offense will continue to pile up the points, but without the ability to stop the run they’ll likely lose to most of their quality opponents.

The Pirates have a tougher schedule than last year, which means they are liable to miss out on a seventh consecutive bowl berth. Home contests against UCF and Southern Mississippi in November will give the Pirates a chance to factor into the Conference USA East standings.

The Pirates won’t be an easy team to beat this year, but the tough schedule and the weak defense will likely keep them under .500.

2011 East Carolina Pirates Schedule

9/3/11 12:00 PM ET @SOCAR
9/10/11 12:00 PM ET VATCH
9/24/11 12:00 PM ET UAB
10/1/11 12:00 PM ET NCAR
10/8/11 7:00 PM ET @HOU
10/15/11 12:00 PM ET @MEM
10/22/11 3:30 PM ET @NAVY
10/29/11 12:00 PM ET TULNE
11/5/11 12:00 PM ET SOMIS
11/12/11 8:00 PM ET @UTEP
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET CENFL
11/26/11 12:00 PM ET @MARSH

Click here to check out MORE 2011 college football previews for the 2011-2012 NCAA Football Season!


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About Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter sports picks – A degree in finance and a great ability to follow important trends and statistics set him apart from the rest. Totals are Kyle's specialty, so look for a lot of totals picks from NBA, NCAAF, & the NFL. Check out his plays today.