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Caulton Tudor

McNeill, Pirates lone weekend highlight

Posted October 7, 2013

East Carolina Pirates wide receiver Justin Hardy (2) runs around the outside during todays game.East Carolina defeats Houston 48-28 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville North Carolina. (Photos By Anthony Barham)

Dave Doeren, N.C. State, D: The Wolfpack should be a significantly better team upon quarterback Brandon Mitchell’s return but heck, Wake Forest gave up 21 points to Louisiana-Monroe.

The Wolfpack’s offense in Saturday’s 28-13 loss in Winston-Salem was depressingly inept at times in the second half and Wake receiver Michael Campanaro had a virtual hall pass through the State secondary.

Maybe it was just a case of bus lag from the first road trip of the season, but the performance was the first glaring misstep of the Doeren era.

Previous grades: Three Bs, one C.

Larry Fedora, UNC, D: The Tar Heels obviously missed quarterback Bryn Renner’s arm in the 27-17 loss Saturday at Virginia Tech, but the pass defense quickly went AWOL yet again.

Offensive coordinator Blake Anderson didn’t seem have a comfortable feel for reserve QB Marquise Williams’ skill set. Reverses, double reverses and east-west running plays were seemingly thrown at random at the Hokie defensive map.

The intensity level improved from the previous game against ECU and freshman T.J. Logan will help the rushing attack. But on balance, the Tar Heels (1-4, 0-2 ACC) are beginning to drift aimlessly.

If Renner isn’t ready go play against Miami on Oct. 17, Fedora may need to start working younger quarterbacks into the mix. Williams had some positive moments, but not enough to keep everyone else out off the list of possibilities.

Previous grades: One B, one C, two Ds.

Ruffin McNeill, ECU, B: The Pirate defense struggled a few times in a 24-17 win at Middle Tennessee, but the offense was solid again even after running star Vintavious Cooper was knocked out of action.

The developmental job McNeill and his staff have done with former walk-on receiver Justin Hardy (5-11, 185, West Craven) is worthy of national attention.

One NFL scout sized Hardy up as a “Poor Man’s Sammy Watkins (Clemson).” If so that’s one rich neighborhood.

Previous grades: One A, two Bs, one C.

Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers, F/X: Viewer discretion warning! Viewer discretion warning!

No one under the age of Steve Beuerlein should have been allowed to watch the hideous Panther offense in Sunday’s 22-6 loss at Arizona.

That game – the Cardinal offense was almost as ugly – is Exhibit-A in the case that the NFL’s popularity is bullet proof.

Previous grades: One A, one C, one D.

10 Comments

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  • Pirate01 Oct 7, 11:43 a.m.

    The Pirates this past weekend showed the traits of a good team. Going on the road in a horrible environment after a big win and still being able to win after really some poor play. The Pirates won by 7 but left 13 points on the field by missed kicks and poor clock management. Plus 7 more points that they gave up and were able to just run out the clock.

  • RaleighPirate Oct 7, 11:51 a.m.

    Not a pretty win but a win none the less. I'll take it.

    We do not need a letdown in a near empty Superdome this weekend against Tulane.

    Go Pirates!

  • tdebord Oct 7, 12:20 p.m.

    I thought Williams played QB fairly well against the Hokies. It's impossible to say but I think Renner would have been a sitting duck against the Hokies' pressure. Either way, UNC was not going to run the ball against Bud Foster's defense...not this year. So, it probably didn't matter who UNC had at QB.

  • aschmidt11 Oct 7, 12:59 p.m.

    Third straight road game this weekend against an improved Tulane team. Enviornment (or lack of) will again be tough. Trap game # 2 for the Pirates.

  • PirateGrad2009 Oct 7, 1:18 p.m.

    Go Pirates!

  • 78FJ40 Oct 7, 3:01 p.m.

    My Pack looked BAD this weekend. Sure, everyone is focusing on QB, but with Cato-Bishop, and TY McGill out, our front 4 really takes a hit. Add Byrd's injury and the defense really fell off. Rashard Smith's absence was also felt in a game where we could do nothing right. Hoping adding a few of those guys back into the mix this weekend will be the recipe to get a road win against a pretty bad Orange team and get Mitchell back at the helm for the balance of the schedule. We are/were a few injuries away from being decent, to being flat out bad. I supported TOB to the bitter end, but let's not mince words, this roster has a LOT of holes ("holes" not "Holes", thank God).

  • nctrooper27560 Oct 7, 9:06 p.m.

    Ball spotted on the goaline where it is a first down......Piratesssssssss arghhhhhhh

  • tcoutouzis Oct 7, 10:51 p.m.

    We beat a team with a winning record! That is the first since beating NC State 3 years ago.

  • naztcheez Oct 8, 12:01 p.m.

    all that cheating, all that LOIC, 20+ million in bcs money, incredible nfl talent and the most they can manage is 7 and 8 win seasons and this year maybe 4? As a high school coach I will tell you that many in-state 3 stars are moving quickly away from chill. Not even free bball tix, bogus classes and free rentals are enough. G-vegas is on their radar. I even heard some in-state big time 4a coaches from the west saying that sec might look to expand footprint in nc and will consider pirates. pipe dream, sure, but look out, stranger things have happened.

  • rocheccw Oct 8, 1:02 p.m.

    Ball spotted on the goaline where it is a first down......Piratesssssssss arghhhhhhh

    — Posted by nctrooper27560

    Umm...technically if the ball is spotted on the goal line then it is Touchdown Pirates!!!!!! ARRRRRGH!

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    Tomorrow at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

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