ECU looks to bounce back at South Florida in first road game

ECU at USF Saturday 2:30 PM
ECU looking to bounce back in Boca Raton
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 11:53 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU football taking on South Florida on Saturday. They will play in a new stadium in Boca Raton, Florida, at Florida Atlantic University Stadium. Another week with a Pirates his favorites going in. They are eight point favorites this time. It didn’t work out so well against Navy and they are expecting to bounce back in a big way on Saturday afternoon.

“Extremely talented roster. All three phases,” says ECU head football coach Mike Houston, “A lot of experience guys on the officer side of the football. Bohannon, who was a honorable mention of big 12. Lead Baylor to the Sugar Bowl last year. Very high-end play maker and quarterback. Dual threat guy.”

ECU defense has been great and will look to contain Bohanon and get back to doing what it does. The Pirates offense will also look to do what it has been doing in the red zone. The Pirates have been great scoring 89 percent of the time.

“The red zone is always challenging because it is condensed space,” says Houston, “So with condensed space it makes it a little bit more stressful.”

They are 12 for 18 in red zone touchdowns. But Navy held them to one including two overtimes on Saturday in their loss.

“Your technique has to be on point, you have to run the right depth, everybody has to gel,” says ECU wide receiver Jaylen Johnson, “Pass protection has got to be there so I feel like if we just focus on red zone, which we work on on Wednesdays, and we really master the game plan we should be able to score even more in the red zone.”

Part of the offensive slow down was Navy’s defense and part was Keaton Mitchell leaving the game.

“They packed the box a lot so that forced us to throw the ball more,” says ECU wide receiver Isaiah Winstead, “Keaton went down and so we just had to go with what they gave us.”

Deuce was back at practice this week.

“Obviously losing Keaton is huge,” says ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers, “But we have confidence in Rahjai too. It starts with me we just got to be better.”

The Pirates edged USF last season using a pick 6 and a touchdown from Keaton to separate. They hope to be able to attack more Saturday.

“Look on the defensive side of the ball do you have a few guys that were there last year, but you have a lot of new guys,” says Houston, “I think you look at the overall team and this is an improved team from a talent standpoint over what we faced last year.”

ECU and USF are set to kick off at 230 on Saturday. We will plan to bring you highlights and possibly reaction on WITN news at 6.

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