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Week 12 - East Carolina at Tulane
Posted Nov 16, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction – East Carolina at Tulane

East Carolina (6-4) at Tulane (2-8) Nov. 17, 3:30, CST

Here’s The Deal: East Carolina became bowl eligible with last week’s blowout win over Houston. Now it has its sights set on remaining in the East Division hunt. The Pirates are just a game behind front-running UCF, but did lose to the Knights on Oct. 4. They’ll settle for a share of the division, which would qualify as progress for third-year head coach Ruffin McNeill.

While Tulane has been more exciting of late, firing up the offense, the results on the scoreboard haven’t changed for the better. The Green Wave continues to have problems breaking through, locking up a tenth straight losing season with back-to-back losses. The latest defeat to 1-8 Memphis was particularly humbling because it relegated Tulane to the West Division cellar.

Why East Carolina Might Win: After tooling around with the offense in the first half of the year, the Pirates have finally found the right formula for success.

The only time East Carolina failed to score 40 points in the last four games, Navy was able to dominate time of possession. Since Tulane doesn’t employ the triple-option—or sport a very good defense—the Pirates will move the ball liberally behind hot QB Shane Carden and surprising JUCO transfer RB Vintavious Cooper.

Why Tulane Might Win: The Green Wave is going to need to score to keep up with ECU. If the past few weeks are any indication, it should be up to the challenge.

Tulane doesn’t have the balance of the Pirates, but it does have a big-armed quarterback who can stretch a defense. Ryan Griffin has been prolific since coming off IR, throwing 15 touchdown passes in the last five games. He’s surrounded by a talent collection of receivers led by Ryan Grant, who’s on the verge of going over the 1,000-yard mark.

What To Watch Out For: Tulane has allowed 19 touchdown passes this season. That number could go up by three or four this Saturday afternoon. Carden has performed as if he plans on being the starter for the next two seasons. Plus, Justin Hardy is the Pirates’ version of Grant, a steady playmaker who’ll still get open when faced with double-teams.

What Will Happen: A little too much East Carolina offense, and not enough Tulane D will lead to a road victory for the Pirates. Where ECU has balance with Carden and Cooper, the Green Wave has no semblance of a running game, allowing defenses to commit more resources to stopping the pass. Both teams will move the ball without a lot of resistance, but the Pirates will be better in the red zone to cop the win.

CFN Prediction: East Carolina 42 … Tulane 34
Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) East Carolina -9.5 O/U: 61
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 1