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at East Carolina 28 … UAB 23

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 24, 2011


Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - UAB at East Carolina


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 4 - UAB at East Carolina

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Sept. 24 at East Carolina 28 … UAB 23
CFN Analysis: Did East Carolina get the memo that UAB was awful? The only possible way the Pirates could’ve missed the two foot putt was by making a ton of big mistakes. Seven turnovers later, ECU did everything it could to give away the game. Fortunately, Reggie Bullock came up with a perfect time to tear off 169 yards and a touchdown, coming up with yards in chunks, and Dominique Davis made up for his mistakes with 361 yards and three scoring passes, spreading the ball around well. ECU isn’t disruptive enough defensively and is too soft up front, and that’s a problem with North Carolina coming to town next week.

UAB can’t catch a break. The one positive was the emerging play of QB Bryan Ellis, and he suffered a scary injury and had to be carted off the field. The defense did its part with seven takeaways, but the pass rush continues to be non-existent and the running game isn’t there. Jamie Bender did what he could defensively with 11 tackles, a pick, two forced fumbles, and a tackle for loss, and Marvin Burdette added 11 tackles, but the offense couldn’t take advantage of all the opportunities. Jonathan Perry will likely run the offense now, and he should be able to run a little bit.

(AP) GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Dominique Davis threw three touchdowns and three interceptions as East Carolina survived a school-record seven turnovers and held on for a 28-23 win over UAB on Saturday to win its first game of the season.

The Blazers (0-3, 0-2 Conference USA) remained winless and suffered a loss at quarterback with 1:09 left in the third quarter when Bryan Ellis was injured in his upper body. Ellis had to be taken off the field on a backboard.

East Carolina running back Reggie Bullock rushed for 169 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. Davis was 35 for 42 for 361 yards for the Pirates (1-2, 1-0).

UAB backup quarterback Jonathan Perry led the Blazers on an 80-yard scoring drive that made the score 28-23 midway through the fourth quarter. He also led another drive that ended with a fourth-down incompletion in the end zone with 2 minutes left in the game.

UAB (0-2) at East Carolina (0-2) Sept. 24, 3:30

Here’s The Deal … East Carolina had an off week on Saturday. UAB wished it did as well. The Blazers, which started the season with a ton of returning starters and high hopes, were annihilated at home by lowly Tulane, 49-10. It’s the kind of crushing defeat that forces a program to reevaluate where it stands and where it’s going. Adding to the distractions on campus, fifth-year head coach Neil Callaway has never been on thinner ice than he is right now.

With an extra week to prepare, the Pirates used the time to get beyond their first two games—both losses—to South Carolina and Virginia Tech. ECU did show enough flashes versus ranked programs to remain among the favorites to win the East Division and play for a Conference USA. However, beginning this weekend, it needs to start playing with a higher degree of consistency on both sides of the line if it plans to fulfill expectations.

Why UAB Might Win: Can the Blazers offense really be this bad? Yeah, the unit has been horrific, but the East Carolina D has had a knack for breathing life into opposing attacks. If UAB is ever going to get on track, this will be the time and the place to do it. The return to health of RB Pat Shed provides a major boost to a backfield that already houses veteran QB Bryan Ellis. Together, the pair infused life into the program a year ago with an ideal mix of balance and steady play. Operating behind LT Matt McCants and an experienced O-line, the Blazers are poised for their best output of the month, a welcomed awakening.

Why East Carolina Might Win: While the UAB should perk up, the D will remain in hibernation. Forget the opener with Florida. Allowing more than 500 yards to Tulane a week ago is what really raised flags for coordinator Tommy West’s crew. The Pirates offense will get back on track after being stifled for 60 minutes by Virginia Tech before the break. Without a lot of help from the ground game, East Carolina and prolific QB Dominique Davis will take to the air on Saturday afternoon. The Blazers, which are light on quality cover guys, will wilt at the prospect of trying to contain the Pirates’ twin towers at wide receiver, Lance Lewis and Justin Hardy.

What To Watch Out For: In the loss to the Hokies, East Carolina had its best game on defense in more than a year. Was it the result of an unsteady young quarterback across the line or a new trend in Greenville? The Pirates need it to be the latter in order to elevate beyond last season’s mediocrity. Two of the standouts in the early going have been newcomers to steady reps, linebackers Daniel Drake, a former Marshall transfer, and redshirt freshman Jeremy Grove. The pair has already accounted for 51 stops, providing ample support in run defense.

What Will Happen: The UAB offense will finally show signs of life, but not nearly enough to overcome the resurgent East Carolina offensive attack. Picking away at the myriad weak spots on the Blazers defense, the Pirates will harken to 2010, when 500-yard games were commonplace. Davis will account 350 of those yards and three touchdown passes, helping guide his team to its first victory of the year.

CFN Prediction: East Carolina 41 … UAB 21  
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: East Carolina -14 . O/U: 60.5

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