Blog: ECU handles Heels 55-31
Posted September 27, 2013
Updated September 28, 2013
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — FINAL; ECU 55, UNC 31: The East Carolina Pirates take their first victory since 1975 in Kenan Stadium with a 55-31 win over North Carolina Saturday. The Pirates had 603 yards on the day, quarterback Shane Carden threw for three and rushed for three touchdowns to carry the team to victory.
3:33 4th; ECU 55, UNC 31: A 48-yard touchdown pass by Shane Carden to Lance Ray pushes the Pirates over 50 points on the day with a 55-31 lead over UNC.
8:53 4th; ECU 48, UNC 31: The Pirates are again forced to kick a field goal, this time a 29-yarder, bringing the score to 48-31 midway through the fourth.
13:52 4th; ECU 45, UNC 31: UNC quarterback Bryn Renner launches a 56-yard pass that Quinshad Davis pulls in for a touchdown bringing the score to 45-31 in the fourth quarter.
14:55 4th; ECU 45, UNC 24: The Pirates settle for their first field goal of the game, a 32-yard successful attempt by Warren Harvey for another three points.
4:41 3rd; ECU 42, UNC 24: North Carolina's Nic Platt barrels into the endzone, breaking several tackles, after catching a 23-yard pass. The Tar Heels are continuing to fight as they trail East Carolina 42-24.
6:16 3rd; ECU 42, UNC 17: East Carolina's Shane Carden grabs his third rushing touchdown of the game on a one yard run. The extra point is good and East Carolina leads 42-17.
9:36 3rd; ECU 35, UNC 17: North Carolina gets back into the endzone on a three-yard touchdown pass from Bryn Renner to Bug Howard. The score makes it 35-17.
11:38 3rd; ECU 35, UNC 10: A three-yard touchdown run by Chris Hairston increases the Pirate's lead over North Carolina in the second half.
Another pass interference penalty on the Tar Heels earlier in the touchdown drive helped ECU march down the field.
HALFTIME; ECU 28, UNC 10: At the half ECU leads UNC 28-10. The Pirates have 311 total yards, Heels have 251 but more penalty yards than rushing with 96 to 66.
1:48 2nd; ECU 28, UNC 10: After another personal foul on North Carolina gives ECU the ball with first and goal on the two-yard line. Two huge defensive stops by the Heels give way on the third down attempt as ECU's Shane Carden keeps it for the one-yard rush.
6:33 2nd; ECU 21, UNC 10: Quinshad Davis passes to TJ Thorpe for a 32-yard touchdown to bring the ECU lead to 21-10.
10:05 2nd; ECU 21, UNC 3: A one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Shane Carden extends the East Carolina lead 21-3 in the second quarter.
14:20 2nd; ECU 14, UNC 3: North Carolina has to settle for a field goal after not being able to convert after first and goal. Thomas Moore hits the 21 yard field goal to put the Tar Heels on the board, 14-3.
3:06 1st; ECU 14, UNC 0: A seven-yard touchdown reception from Shane Carden to Lance Ray puts the Pirates ahead 14-0 in the first quarter. The drive was quick with eight plays spanning 54 yards in 2:15 minutes.
The drive easily came together after a roughing the passer penalty moved the line of scrimmage to the seven yard line.
On the Heels first drive after the Pirates score, North Carolina's Bryn Renner almost found TJ Thorpe in the endzone but the catch was out of bounds and the Tar Heels were forced to punt. On their next drive Renner threw an interception.
11:28 1st; ECU 7, UNC 0: East Carolina marched 73 yards on 11 plays and struck first on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Shane Carden to Justin Hardy.
ECU operated out of the no-huddle for the majority of the drive and converted a key 4th and 5 from the 34-yard line to extend the game's opening drive.
Carden was 6-for-7 for 51 yards on the drive and running back Vontavious Cooper carried four times for 23 yards.
15:00 1st; UNC vs. ECU: For North Carolina, who will be wearing stars and stripes uniform details for military appreciation day, they will start A.J. Blue in place of Romar Morris at running back who was injured during the Georgia Tech game.
On the uniform watch, East Carolina will again be wearing all black.
UNC won the opening toss and will defer to the second half.
Larry Fedora is waiting for his North Carolina's offense to find its high-scoring rhythm. East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill is hoping the Pirates' attack can do the same.
The instate rivals meet here Saturday (12:30 p.m., WRAL-TV) with both teams coming off shaky offensive performances inconsistent with their big-play history.
The Tar Heels (1-2) managed just 62 yards after halftime in a 28-20 loss at Georgia Tech, and have failed to reach the 400-yard mark in two of their first three games. They reached that number in all 12 games last year, setting several program single-season offensive records.
An overhauled offensive line and the loss of tailback Gio Bernard to the NFL has provided some bumpy moments, though Fedora said it's not just one thing causing the problems.
"I think there's a lot of pieces we're not getting in a flow," Fedora said. "You've got to keep moving the chains to get into a flow offensively for everyone involved. From a penalty here to a missed block here to a missed read here, it's always one guy.
"That's the thing on offense: you've got to have all 11. All 11 have got to be doing it at the same time."
Still, McNeill said he is expecting UNC's Bryn Renner-led offense to play at full speed against the Pirates, who have been one of the nation's best against the run (82.3 yards per game) in the first month of the season.
"We want to be prepared for them being fast and ready," he said. "They do a great job of playing fast and they do a great job of executing. We know that. ... It's been knowing what they can do and what they have done and the ability they have."
The Pirates (2-1) had last week off and haven't played since a 15-10 home loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 14. In that game, the Pirates marched 75 yards in 99 seconds for an opening touchdown, then managed 129 yards in the next 58-plus minutes.
Both teams run fast-tempo spread attacks, so the defenses should be ready for this one.
"We see similarities," UNC linebacker Jeff Schoettmer said. "They like to spread the ball out just like our offense. Playing against them all spring and fall camp especially, we're well prepared for it."
Five things to watch in Saturday's East Carolina-North Carolina matchup
DEFENSIVE SWITCH: The Tar Heels spent all last week preparing to face Georgia Tech's run-focused triple-option attack. Now they're going back to a more conventional approach to face the Pirates' pass-heavy spread. "It's from one end of the spectrum to the other," Fedora said.
CARDEN REGROUPS: East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden had thrown seven touchdown passes with no interceptions before the Virginia Tech loss. But he threw three picks and took seven sacks in that one. ECU needs Carden back on his game.
GETTING THE BALL ROLLING: Renner has said the Tar Heels just need to get some offensive success, then keep building on that to return to last year's form. It would help to get a couple of big plays from an inconsistent running game, tight end Eric Ebron or receiver Quinshad Davis — who has been relatively quiet in 2013.
HARDY'S INVOLVEMENT: Pirates receiver Justin Hardy is Carden's go-to guy and started the year with a 16-catch performance against Old Dominion. ECU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley needs to find a way to get Hardy free after he struggled against the Hokies' rugged defense (six catches for 31 yards). He's had 14 catches in two matchups with the Tar Heels, but UNC has minimized the damage by holding him to just 7 yards per grab.
BAD MATCHUP?: Things just haven't gone well for the Pirates in this series. The Tar Heels lead the series 12-2-1, including wins the past four seasons. All four have all come by at least 14 points, including last year's 27-6 win in Chapel Hill led by an uncharacteristically strong defensive performance. The past two in Chapel Hill were close at halftime (14-all in 2010, 10-6 UNC in 2012) only to see the Tar Heels dominate after the break.