Week 7 - Memphis at East Carolina

Posted Oct 11, 2012

Week 7 Fearless Predictions - Memphis at East Carolina

Memphis (1-4) at East Carolina (3-3) Oct. 13, 4:30, CSS

Here's The Deal:
East Carolina's first attempt to prove that it's the class of the East Division suffered a body blow with last Thursday's 40-20 loss to UCF. The Pirates were literally an up and down team in the first half, trading each win with a loss. They'll need to maintain that trend this weekend in order to keep alive those hopes for a Conference USA crown. One of the teams ahead of ECU in the East? Memphis. Okay, it figures to be short-lived, but the Tigers are coming off an important upset of Rice, the first victory in the head coaching career of Justin Fuente. His team is young and impressionable, so every success gets magnified in Memphis.
Why Memphis Might Win: Yeah, the offense needs to be retooled, but Fuente and his staff are beginning to maximize the raw talent of the defense. The unit was the reason the Tigers emerged from the ranks of the winless, holding Rice to just 221 yards. With the likes of DE Martin Ifedi, LB Tank Jakes and SS Mitch Huelsing playing fast and smart in the open field, the 105th-ranked East Carolina offense will have trouble moving the ball.

Why East Carolina Might Win: Can Memphis score enough points to win a second straight game? The team is averaging just 20 points a game, and is regressing. The Pirates are third in Conference USA scoring D, and with last Thursday being an exception, have played relatively well this fall. Kyle Tudor, Jeremy Grove and Damon Magazu are very active out of the back seven, while NT Terry Williams is emerging as a playmaker from the inside. An inability to complete passes downfield will hold back the Tigers this weekend.

What To Watch Out For: East Carolina is experiencing its own problems on offense, having an especially difficult time running the ball. Shane Carden is never going to be Dominique Davis at the controls, but he can get the ball in the hands of RB Vintavious Cooper and WR Justin Hardy and let them make things happen. Cooper can ignite the ground game when the blockers support, and Hardy is an all-star on the outside.

What Will Happen: Memphis is inching north, but its rebuilding plans will suffer a detour in Greenville. The Tigers have a lot more growing to do, and the Pirates are still thinking division crown in 2012. With help on the ground from Cooper, ECU will build an early lead, one that its puttering visitor will be unable to erase in the second half.

CFN Prediction: East Carolina 34 … Memphis 16
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) East Carolina -17.5 O/U: 51.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 1