(Patrick Pinkney will have some work to do in 09')
They finished 9-5 ending the season with a loss to Kentucky in the Liberty Bowl.
ECU has a lot of potential, and has a good crop of returning players to make something happen this year. On offense they return last years starting QB Patrick Pinkney. Pinkney is a solid veteran leader, but will need to improve to help ECU suceed. Last year he struggled at times throwing 13 TD's along with 7 INT's. ECU certainly made some noise early in the 08' season; Pinkney will be responsible for making that happen again in 09'.
Hit the jump for the full team preview.
ECU lost thier top two rushers from last season, this could be a weak spot for the Pirates as they look for someone to step up to fill the void. With Norman Whitley and Brandon Simmons gone ECU will look for Jonathan Williams to step up immediately.
Williams has the most experience in the backfield ; if he can play well early it will give others a chance to step up. They do have talent at the position in Brandon Jackson; look for Jackson to get his share of carries early as ECU tries to establish the running game.
Defense is clearly the better unit for the Pirates this year as they have three preseason all confrence players. One of those players is C.J. Wilson. Wilson was selected by the coaches as the preseason C-USA defensive player of the year.
CJ Wilson is a beast on the outside for the Pirates
Wilson lead the Pirates in sacks last season with 10.5. He led all ECU lineman with 70 stops, and will start the 09' season with 23 consecutive starts, one shy of the all time record at ECU. Linval Joseph and Jay Ross will join Wilson on the D-line and should provide plenty of help. Both Jospeh and Ross are capable of making plays, this should help draw double teams away from Wilson.
If ECU wants to make some noise and be successful this year they need to find a running back that can carry the load. If the Pirates can move the ball and score some points their defense should be able to take care of the rest.
Projected Record: 8-4
CJ Wilson has NFL caliber talent look for him to be a force in 09'