College Football Preview: Tulane at East Carolina
Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2011
GREENVILLE ó After a rough start against a brutal schedule, East Carolina finally seems to have found its groove.
Of course, it helps that the opponents have become more manageable ó and the Pirates will look to keep things going today against struggling Tulane.
East Carolina (3-4, 2-1) enters tied with Southern Mississippi atop the East Division of Conference USA and has followed its 1-4 start ó which included losses to nationally ranked Virginia Tech and South Carolina ó with two straight victories.
“This group has put in a lot of work and extra work. To see it payoff is very important,” coach Ruffin McNeill said. “Success is vital for the program. We’ve had some tough times and faced adversity, but we said we could handle it. Now we’ve had the opportunity to handle it. We’re not there yet, but we’re progressing. The success helps us know the work is paying off for us.”
Tulane’s program could use something to build on, now that the Green Wave (2-6, 1-3) have dropped five in a row and also lost their coach. Bob Toledo resigned last week and interim coach Mark Hutson’s first game was a 33-17 loss to Memphis.
“We have to stay together and we have to stay focused,” Hutson said. “It’s a challenge. It won’t happen in one week or a half a week or however many days we had to work with that. We must continue to believe in ourselves. The staff believes in the players. The players believe in the staff. We just need to keep pressing forward.”
Tulane must figure out a way to slow Dominique Davis after the East Carolina quarterback completed all 26 of his passes in the first half against Navy, extending his streak of pass completions to 36 over two games.