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East Carolina’s offense showed up but the defense didn’t as USF defeated the Pirates 61-31

The offense was good, the defense was bad, but we learned ECU is not overall bad.

NCAA Football: South Florida at East Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

USF dominated from the first series. In fact, ECU never took a lead in the game. At no point in the game did USF fans feel threatened as the Bulls always felt in control, even when ECU made it a one-possession game. A 61-31 blowout, at home, may not sound like many good things happened for ECU, but the Pirates put up a good fight.

In the first half they were incredibly explosive. ECU started off with a punt on the first series. USF, contrary to how they have started out before this season, put together a great drive that was capped by a D’Ernest Johnson rushing touchdown. Then a flurry of scoring occurred. The following possessions were FG (ECU), TD (USF), and TD (ECU). The score was 14-10, Bulls.

USF then punted to ECU after the scoring frenzy, giving ECU a chance to take their first lead. This was quickly shutdown when Auggie Sanchez got USF’s first pick six of the year, off a tipped ball. ECU got the ball back, and followed the pick six with a weak series that resulted in a punt. Then another scoring frenzy occurred when USF got a FG, followed by an ECU touchdown, and finished with a USF touchdown. The score was 31-17 at the point.

USF really asserted their dominance both on the ground, and in the air. Quinton Flowers and co. took over the game to continue their nation leading 22nd 30+ point game streak. ECU could have folded in, but stayed resilient. Thomas Sirk led a drive that resulted in a “Tebowesque” jump throw touchdown at the goal line. ECU was using the quarterback run all drive, and they got USF to bite. Sirk got ECU within striking distance at the half 31-24.

The second half was completely dominated by USF. They scored 31 more points as they finally played a complete game on offense. The opposite is true of ECU. Their opening series in the second half was their only score of the half. As the score got more out-of-hand, Pirates fans knew they would just have to wait a different week for an upset.

Game Notes:

  • Thomas Sirk is the leader ECU needs. He was the leading rusher, running for 87 yards, and had a good day passing the ball too, throwing for 302 yards, and two touchdowns.
  • ECU defense continued to struggle, giving up 575 yards to Quinton Flowers and his plethora of weapons.
  • USF scored 21 points points in the first quarter. Thus, finally playing a complete game offensively.
  • USF gave up 31 points total this game when the defense was allowing 17 points per game.
  • ECU may be one of the worst teams in the AAC, but they look much improved. Sirk has given the offense some life. If the defense could get some stops, ECU could pull off an upset during conference play.