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2011 East Carolina Football Preview Predictions and Schedule
Skip Holtz proved that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree by taking over a 2-9 East Carolina football team in 2005 and winning 5, 7, 8, 9 and 9 games in his 5 years there before bolting to South Florida. He likely saw the writing on the wall as the cupboard was bare. Ruffin McNeill took over with a rebuilding job on his hands. The team had new starters across the board on the defensive line and it showed as they were ranked dead last in total defense last season.
The offense picked up the slack though, ranking 8th in the nation in the passing game and 16th in scoring. That enabled East Carolina to win 6 games by simply outscoring those opponents, landing them in the Military Bowl where they lost to Maryland 51-20.
When Holtz was at the helm, he had the East Carolina defense giving up 21 points per game in 3 of his 5 years. That was a big part of their success. Last year this defense gave up on average, 44 points per game. Needless to say, the success of this team hinges on just how far along this defense is in 2011. Offensively, they will score on everyone. No one was able to completely stop them last year. North Carolina held them to 17 and Maryland to 20, otherwise this team score 30+ points per game on everyone.
The defense will switch to a 3-4 this year and has 7 starters back. With more experience this year, we'll call for some moderate improvement on defense. The offense won't be a problem. They could boost their win total but we really don't see much more than 6 or 7 wins for this team in 2011. They have two killer games right out of the gate with South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Last season they were only able to beat two teams by significant margins, Memphis and Marshall, every other game was either a loss or a close shootout win. We see more of the same.
2011 East Carolina Football Schedule
9-3-11 South Carolina @Charlotte, NC
9-10-11 VIRGINIA TECH
10-1-11 NORTH CAROLINA
10-8-11 at Houston
10-15-11 at Memphis
10-22-11 at Navy
11-5-11 SOUTHERN MISS
11-12-11 at UTEP
11-26-11 at Marshall
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