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Houston vs. ECU Game Preview

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Which ECU will show up? Can Houston's defense continue improving?

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Houston Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Saturday, October 13th

Kickoff Time: 6:00pm CT

Location: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (Greenville, NC)

Watch: CBSSN

Line: Houston -16


Houston Outlook by Joe Broback

It wasn’t the best showing by the Houston Cougars last week, but there were multiple good things that came out of it. Houston played arguably its worst half of football all year, and still won. The defense still has a long ways to go, but we at least saw some different looks from the Cougars. Ed Oliver was move around the line quite a bit, and Mark D’Onofrio implemented some different blitzes that proved to be effective. If they can build on that, and capitalize on more of their turnover opportunities, the offense won’t have to carry the load as much.

Speaking of that offense, D’Eriq King accounted for five touchdowns against the Golden Hurricane. This came after having arguably his worst half in his collegiate career. Once he settled down, we got to see the King that had been dominant all year. This offense is one of the best in the country because of their quarterback, and he has made tremendous strides under Kendal Briles. His first touchdown pass to Keith Corbin was a dime, and Corbin’s athletic ability helped make the throw look even better. Expect Houston to do more of the same this week against ECU.

Prediction: Houston 56 ECU 27

ECU Outlook by Dylan Johnson

The East Carolina Pirates weren’t favored to beat Temple last Saturday, but a 49-6 loss was surprising given how improved the defense has been and how the offense is usually reliable. Head coach Scottie Montgomery is addressing both this week, opening up the Pirates quarterback position for competition, and changing up the way the cornerbacks handle receivers.

Whether it’s Reid Herring, who has started all five games so far but has struggled in the last three weeks, Kinsgley Ifedi or Holton Ahlers, count on ECU to try to give playmakers the ball with space. Montgomery said that ECU isn’t doing a good enough job of maximizing its playmakers, specifically naming Trevon Brown and Tahj Deans. While it’s unsure who will be under center on Saturday against the Cougars, but what is sure is the defense will be fired up. Defensive coordinator David Blackwell was “mad as hell” over the defense’s performance recently, and said the players should be too.

With Ed Oliver and a Houston team averaging 50 points per game so far coming to Greenville, a better ECU performance likely still won’t lead to a win.

Prediction: Houston 42 ECU 24