Twelve facts you need to know about East Carolina before tomorrows game against Marshall.
1) ECU's Shane Carden is the leading passer in Conference USA. He has thrown for 3,575 yards, 32 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. In my opinion, Carden's most impressive statistic is his completion percentage, which stands at 72.8%. Like Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato, Carden can also pull the ball down and run, especially in the red zone where he has rushed for nine touchdowns.
2) The Pirates might average the third fewest rushing yards per game in C-USA but, they still have a dangerous running back in Vintavious Cooper. The senior has rushed for 902 yards and nine touchdowns. Over ECU's last two games, Cooper ran for 274 yards while averaging over seven yards per carry.
3) Justin Hardy is C-USA's leading receiver. The six-foot junior has caught 95 passes for 1,130 yards and eight touchdowns. In a overtime loss to Tulane, Hardy caught 17 passes for 230 yards. No other ECU player has recorded over 500 receiving yards.
4) The Pirates offensive line is surrendering a sack once every 17 pass attempts.
5) ECU has given up a C-USA low 13 turnovers.
5) How ECU's offense ranks among its C-USA brethren:
Total offense - 2nd (416.6 ypg.)
Passing offense - 1st (335.2 ypg.)
Rushing offense - 12th (126.45 ypg.)
6) East Carolina has a tenacious defense, they rank 10th nationally with 33 sacks. Reserve linebacker Montese Overton leads the Pirates with six sacks. Outside linebacker Derrell Johnson and defensive end Terrell Stanley are tied for second on the team with 5.5 sacks each.
7) Speaking of Johnson, he leads the team with 69 tackles and his 11.5 tackles for loss are also a team high.
8) Watch out for free safety Damon Magazu. The secondaries leading tackler, he has also snagged 3 interceptions and recorded one of the teams five fumble recoveries.
9) While I have already described ECU's defense as tenacious but, I would not call it opportunistic. They rank in the middle of C-USA with 19 turnovers gained.
10) Conference defensive rankings for ECU:
Total defense - 2nd (347.3 ypg.)
Passing defense - 13th (243.4 ypg.)
Rushing defense - 1st (103.91)
11) ECU kicker Warren Harvey has only converted 12 of 21 field goal attempts this year. Any thing longer than 30 yards has been a adventure. Punter Trent Tignor is averaging 42.7 yards per attempt.
12) ECU has not returned a kick or punt for a touchdown this season. They have not yielded a blocked kick or punt either. One other thing, the Pirates have yet to record a blocked punt of kick.