College Football Preview: East Carolina-Rice

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 16, 2009

Associated Press
GREENVILLE ó East Carolina has done enough offensively to split its first six games. Now coach Skip Holtz wants to see more ó namely more big plays.
With winless Rice coming to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium today, the Pirates are averaging 21 points per game, but most of those are coming through methodical drives full of 4-yard gains. There haven’t been many big plays that lead to quick scoring chances, which would help an offense that hasn’t been quite what many expected despite the return of quarterback Patrick Pinkney for a sixth season.
In fact, since generating three long scoring plays in the first half of the opening win against Appalachian State, nine of East Carolina’s 11 offensive touchdowns have come from 10 yards or less. The exceptions were both long scoring runs.
“I don’t think we’re being overly productive with the ball down the field with our deep plays, and that’s not just Patrick,” Holtz said. “He’s throwing the ball fairly accurately when you look at what he’s doing. Right now, we just don’t have enough big plays as an offense to put up the type of point production we’re going to need.”
East Carolina (3-3, 2-1 Conference USA) hasn’t had a touchdown pass longer than a 27-yarder from Pinkney to Reyn Willis in the opening win against Appalachian State. Pinkney’s other three touchdown passes covered a combined 14 yards.