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ECU @ UNC: Setting the Stage

Game: North Carolina @ East Carolina
Date: Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013
Time: 12:30 p.m. EST
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Television: ACC Network
Opening Line: UNC -11

Kenan Stadium

Team Information

East Carolina
Head Coach: Ruffin McNeill (4th year)
2013 record: 2-1
2012 record: 8-5 (7-1 C-USA)
Last game result: Lost to Virginia Tech 15-10
Returning starters from 2012: 7 on offense, 8 on defense, 2 on special teams
Key offensive players:
Jr. QB Shane Carden (Second-year starter…broke single-game school records for passing yards and passing touchdowns against ODU…threw first three interceptions of the season against VT)
Jr. WR Justin Hardy (Tied school record for receptions in a game with 16 against ODU…has been limited to 10 catches for under 100 yards total over the last two games)
Sr. RB Vintavious Cooper (Cracked 1,000 yards on the ground last season…rushed for 161 yards and one touchdown through three games…also second on the team in receptions with 12 for 115 yards)
Key defensive players:
Sr. LB Derrell Johnson (Has team-best 24 tackles through three games…also credited with two TFL, 1.5 sacks and three QB hurries)
Sr. LB Kyle Tudor (Returning from a one-game absence after suffering an injured shoulder against FAU…All-C-USA talent at “buck” linebacker)
Sr. S Damon Magazu (Three-year starter that’s the leader on the back end of the defense…third on the team with 22 tackles…also has recovered a fumble)
Offensive Scheme: Spread
Defensive Scheme: 3-4
Potential Strengths: Experienced quarterback, running back and receivers…front-seven depth…run defense
Potential Weaknesses: Pass defense…inconsistent running game

North Carolina
Head Coach: Larry Fedora (2nd year)
2013 record: 1-2
2012 record: 8-4 (5-3 ACC)
Last game result: Lost to Georgia Tech 28-20
Returning starters from 2012: 6 on offense, 9 on defense, 1 on special teams
Key offensive players:
Sr. QB Bryn Renner (Three-year starter and an All-ACC quarterback…has thrown for 751 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions on 63-of-106 attempts…)
So. RB Romar Morris (The Tar Heels’ top running back after the graduation of Giovani Bernard…totaled 169 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries…averaging 4.7 yards per carry)
Jr. TE Eric Ebron (NFL talent at tight end…leads UNC with 13 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown…stands at 6-4, 245 pounds)
Key defensive players:
Sr. DE Kareem Martin (An impact defensive end at 6-6, 265…earned second-team All-ACC honors in 2012…leads UNC defensive linemen with 20 tackles, 2 TFL and a sack)
Jr. OLB Norkeithus Otis (Athletic linebacker/defensive end that will play a lot at “bandit”…holds team-best 4.5 TFL, three sacks and two forced fumbles)
Sr. S Tre Boston (Veteran defensive back that has started for multiple years in UNC’s secondary…15 tackles and an interception in three games)
Offensive Scheme: Spread
Defensive Scheme: 4-2-5
Potential Strengths: Experienced quarterback…athletes at skill positions…front seven
Potential Weaknesses: Inconsistent rush attack…three new starters on the offensive line

Series History

All-Time Record: North Carolina leads the all-time series 12-2-1
First Meeting: 1972 in Chapel Hill: UNC won 42-19
Last Meeting: 2012 in Chapel Hill: UNC won 27-6
Current Streak: The Tar Heels have won the last three meetings
Series Fact: Twelve of the 15 games in the all-time series have been played at UNC’s home field.


East Carolina

ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill on what a win over UNC would mean

“Wins are big. I just want to get on the field again for our players. The last game we played, that was a tough locker room to address. I've addressed a lot of locker rooms as a coordinator and a head coach, and its tough. These kids have invested a lot and I want to win for them first. All games are big to a coach. I understand the in-state rivalry. I'm looking forward to the competition, the contest and the challenge, but I'm looking forward to doing what we need to do to make sure we have success on Saturday.”

Quarterback Shane Carden on playing UNC

“Obviously, it’s a little different playing a bigger school, but at the same time, it’s just another team. We’re all about the same age here and we’re all D-I athletes. I think, sometimes, people get more of a mindset that you’re playing an ACC team, but it’s really not that much of a difference. Once teams just realize it’s not different, you’ve seen a lot of upsets.”

Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley on what went wrong offensively against Virginia Tech

“We would have a guy wide open and maybe not make the throw, or not protect it, or not catch it. We’re just one guy away the whole day, so it’s just a lot of little things we’ve got to correct. The guy’s understand it’s not broken, there’s just a few little things we need to tune up, and the off week was great for them to do that.”

North Carolina

UNC head coach Larry Fedora on offensive struggles

“We're just not playing that well it's as simple as that. It would be easy if it were just one thing. If it was one thing and we hit that one thing correctly, but there's a lot of things involved. We're still just not gelling as an offense. Some of it is the continuity up front and the young guys up front are still...I just think there's a lot of different pieces.”

Fedora on the in-state rivalry with ECU

"I don't know where they rank, they're all...when you play in state, as many in-state opponents as we do, they're all very important. They're all important to the state of North Carolina. Just the regional rivalries that we talk about, how important that is to [NC] State fans, our fans, all of us. It's always important and always means a little bit more. As far as ranking it, I don't know if we have a ranking."

UNC quarterback Bryn Renner on ECU

“They’re coming off a bye week. They got healthy, and we had the same situation last week. I think it’s going to be a tough test for us because they do have that chip on their shoulder that we are Carolina and that they are East Carolina, but I think it’s going to be a great game like it always is every year.”

Statistical Comparison

Total offense:
ECU – 332.3 ypg (109th)
UNC – 374.3 ypg (82nd)

Rushing offense:
ECU – 63.3 ypg (118th)
UNC – 111.3 ypg – (104th)

Passing offense:
ECU – 269.0 ypg (39th)
UNC – 263.0 ypg (41st)

Scoring offense:
ECU – 31.0 ppg (T-61st)
UNC – 23.3 ppg (90th)

Sacks allowed:
ECU – 4.0 spg (T-116th)
UNC – 2.0 spg (T-74th)

Total defense:
ECU – 351.0 ypg (43rd)
UNC – 412.0 ypg (76th)

Rushing defense:
ECU – 82.3 ypg (10th)
UNC – 237.0 ypg (113th)

Passing defense:
ECU – 268.7 ypg (T-94th)
UNC – 175.0 ypg (27th)

Scoring defense:
ECU – 22.0 ppg (T-51st)
UNC – 25.0 ppg (T-63rd)

ECU – 3.3 spg (T-11th)
UNC – 2.0 spg (T-47th)

Turnover margin:
ECU - 0 (T-68th)
UNC - 0 (T-68th)

Coming up in this three-part preview of North Carolina-ECU:

Tuesday, Sept. 24 - Setting The Stage
Wednesday, Sept. 25 - The Edge
Friday, Sept. 27 - Final Pre-Game Anaylsis

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