East Carolina Pirates (0-3 SU, 0-3-0 PS, 2-1-0 O/U) vs Connecticut Huskies (1-1 SU, 0-2-0 PS, 1-1-0 O/U)
When: 2:00 PM EDT, Sunday, September 24, 2017
Where: Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut
Lines: UConn -5
College football action on Sunday afternoon and the East Carolina Pirates will head to Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut to rumble with the Connecticut Huskies. The Pirates enter this contest off a 64-17 loss at Virginia Tech, while the Huskies come in off of a 38-18 road loss to the Virginia Cavaliers. The teams met last year at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and the Pirates took a very easy 41-3 win in that game.
Pirates Have Many Issues On Defense
The East Carolina Pirates have not played a lot of defense the last few years and this year is no exception as they have been torched so far and have been one of the worst defenses in the nation in the early going. Last week, they took on Virginia Tech at home and they were blasted by a score of 64-17. That was on the heels of a 56-20 loss at West Virginia. They even fell at home to James Madison by a score of 34-14. Normally, the Pirates have been able to outscore most of their opponents with a high-powered attack, but they do not have that luxury this year and they look like they will be in for a very long season. In the loss to the Hokies, they actually led the game 17-14 in the 2nd quarter, but after that, it was all Virginia Tech. The Hokies outgained them 675-281 in the game and out-first-downed them 34-12. It was a total beatdown from the early stages of the 2nd quarter on. In the loss to the Mountaineers, they were outgained 619-470 and in the loss to the JMU they were outgained 614-347. The good news here is that they are not facing a good offensive team, but they are facing a bad defensive squad, so they will look for their offense to have a good showing in this one.
They have not been very good on offense so far this year as they come in ranked 93rd in the nation in total offense (372.7 ypg), 34th in passing (287.0 ypg), 120th in rushing (85.7 ypg) and 117th in scoring at 17.0 ppg. On defense, they have been very poor as they come in ranked 129th in total yards allowed (636.0 ypg), 123rd against the pass (327.7 ypg) and 129th vs the run (308.3 ypg), while allowing 51.3 ppg, which is 128th in the nation.
Edsall May Be Re-Thinking Coming Back
The last few years, the Uconn Huskies have been under the direction of Bob Diaco and that experiment failed, so back is Randy Edsall, who went 70-63 in his first stint here, but he will not have as much success in his 2nd go around. The Huskies did beat Holy Cross in their opener, but they were also outgained 447-438 in the game. In their next game, they took on Virginia on the road and lost 38-18 in that game and were outgained 626-434 in that game. This is not a team that is used to giving up 626 yards of offense and that has to be a real concern for Edsall, especially since they don’t have nearly enough offense to combat bad defense like that. Yes, they had 434 yards against Virginia, including 207 yards on the ground, but they also had two costly turnovers. Still, it that defense that is an issue for them and last year they allowed around 28 ppg, but they look to be even worse this year as they have just five starters back on that side of the ball and very little depth. The offense put up just 15 ppg last year and while they are improved on that side of the ball, it is still minimal. QB Bryant Shirreffs look to get this offense going against one of the worst defenses in the nation.
The Huskies enter this contest ranked 54th in the nation in total offense (436.0 ypg), 54th in passing (252.5 ypg), 54th in rushing (183.5 ypg) and 105th in scoring at 22.5 ppg. On defense, they have been very poor so far as they come in ranked 125th in total yards allowed (536.5 ypg), 130th against the pass (406.5 ypg) and 52nd vs the run (130.0 ypg), while allowing 29 ppg, which is 86th in the nation.
East Carolina is:
- 5-18 ATS in their last 23 games following an ATS loss
- 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game
- 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game
The Connecticut Huskies and the East Carolina Pirates have both been horrible on defense this year and neither has done much on offense either. I like the Huskies in this game as I feel they have a bit more defense than the Pirates do as they have allowed 29.0 ppg, while the Pirates have allowed 51.3 ppg. The Pirates are horrendous on defense and that should allow the Huskies to put up enough points to get a win of at least seven points in this one. The clincher is the fact that the Pirates are 4-20 ATS in their last 24 conference game. Big win for the Huskies here.