At this point, four games into the season, it is a pretty well-established fact that ECU's offense is very good. It is an equally well-established fact that SMU in its entirety is the complete opposite. Those perceptions were borne out on the field today during the Pirates' 45-24 victory, though there was one interesting detail to be noticed.
Yes, no surprise here that Shane Carden 22-for-25 for 265 yards and 4 touchdowns in the first half, while SMU managed to cross the ECU 25-yard line exactly once in that span. And I can understand that it can be challenging to stay pumped for a game when you run out to a 28-7 halftime lead against a team with a reputation for being bad, but that's when you get in trouble.
I would definitely argue that, considering Garrett Krstich went 15-for-22 for 153 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter alone, there's a good chance that the Mustangs found and tried to exploit a weakness in the ECU secondary. Their last third quarter drive fizzled out into a field goal that cut the score to 35-24 ECU, but they recovered the ensuing kickoff after it was fumbled,
Fortunately for ECU, the Mustangs took over at the Pirates' 26 yard line and did nothing, not even earing points after Cody Rademacher's 40-yard field goal attempt went awry. ECU kept putting points on the board, while the Mustangs did no further damage the rest of the way.
The Pirates (and their likely improved ranking) will look to tighten up their defense as they prepare to face South Florida next Saturday, while SMU will hope to turn their offensive success into a trend against Cincinnati.