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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

Likes and Dislikes

Five and Five: East Carolina

What are five things I like about East Carolina in 2010? What about five things I don’t? This list has all the answers.

Likes

1. Wide receiver. Dwayne Harris is the total package. In addition to continuing to excel as a return man, Harris is a threat to set every meaningful single-season receiving record in his senior season.

2. Quarterback Dominique Davis. The former starter at Boston College, Davis arrives on campus after spending a single season on the JUCO ranks. He’ll help E.C.U. offset the loss of multiple-year starter Patrick Pickney.

3. The offensive line. Three starters are back, and a fourth potential starter — right tackle Steven Garner — is more than ready to step in the lineup.

4. Some experience in the secondary. The Pirates return both of last year’s starting cornerbacks: Travis Simmons and Emanuel Davis.

5. The move to the spread was a wise one. If the offense can hum and the defense remains stout, E.C.U. won’t suffer any letdown from 2009.

Dislikes

1. The coaching change. Nothing against Ruffin McNeill, who did a fine job running the defense at Texas Tech. It’s more about the loss of Skip Holtz, perhaps the finest coach in school history.

2. The change in schemes. As I said above, I think the spread offense will eventually pay off. I just don’t think the transition to that philosophy will be a particularly smooth one, at least in 2010.

3. E.C.U. is hurting at running back. Last year’s starter is gone; so are the two seniors expected to grab the open spot. The job now falls to either senior Jonathan Williams or freshman Michael Dobson, with neither having done much of consequence thus far in their careers.

4. No more front four. No more front seven, for that matter. All new starters across the board, turning the front of the defense from a strength to a weakness.

5. The predictably difficult non-conference schedule: at Virginia Tech and North Carolina; home for N.C. State and Navy.

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Comments

  1. NTXCoog says:

    Minor correction… Southern Miss is not a non-conference game. Navy is the 4th non-con game.

    Paul: Coog, welcome. Thanks for that fix. Momentary brain lapse. Statement about the tough non-conference schedule still stands, I think.

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