2018 East Carolina Pirates Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 3-9
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 3.5*
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
As recently as three or four years ago, East Carolina was a feisty small-conference program just salivating at a chance to knock off an unsuspecting regional foe from the ACC or SEC. They beat Virginia Tech in back-to-back seasons (2014-2015) and had near-misses against schools like Florida and South Carolina. But right now the Pirates are the shell of the program that they were. And this team has barely showed an ability to be competitive in their own league, much less against teams from power conferences.
Just how far away from being competitive was this team last year? Well, they played four ranked opponents: Virginia Tech, South Florida, Central Florida and Memphis. They lost those games 64-17, 61-31, 63-21 and 70-13, respectively. That is a 258-82 aggregate score in their four toughest games.
So Scottie Montgomery has a lot of ground to make up in Year 3. His 6-18 record is the worst two-year mark at ECU in nearly 15 years. And beyond going just 6-18 straight up, the Pirates are a woeful 6-18 against the spread the past two seasons, showing me that they can't even clear the very low bar that has been set for them.
I don't see where improvement is going to come from this year. They have three freshmen and a sophomore battling for the starting quarterback role. Their top two returning rushers combined for 648 yards last year. And they are rebuilding their offensive line.
The defense is just as big of a mess. The Pirates have only two seniors starters on that unit. And even though they have seven starters back, these are the same guys that surrendered 38 points and 519 yards per game last year.
The Pirates also have a brutal schedule this year. They have tough nonconference games against North Carolina and Virginia Tech. They also host three of the best teams in the conference (Houston, UCF, Memphis), and their "easier" opponents all come on the road.
East Carolina opens the year with North Carolina A&T. Past that I don't know if there is any other game on the schedule that is a definite win. And even if they do beat Old Dominion and Connecticut, their two easiest home games, they would still need an upset to get to four wins. I don't see it happening, and I think ECU will be a punching bag again this year.
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