Game Preview: WVU Opens Home Slate vs. ECU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Game Preview: WVU Opens Home Slate vs. ECU

Posted:
Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle) Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

By Ryan Decker

It’s a short turnaround for the West Virginia Mountaineers (0-1) this week.

Less than six full days after opening the season at FedEx Field, WVU begins the home portion of its schedule Saturday at noon against East Carolina University (0-1) out of the American Athletic Conference.

The short week is a challenge that the Mountaineers sound to be excited for.

“We’re excited about our five-and-a-half day turnaround from the end of Sunday night until noon on Saturday,“ WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday. “It’s going to happen quickly, obviously, and we’re prepared for that.”

Both WVU and ECU opened up the 2017 season with losses, though West Virginia’s opening game was much more tightly contested than East Carolina’s.

The Mountaineer offense picked up 592 yards against a formidable Virginia Tech defense, including 371 through the air and 59 on the ground from quarterback Will Grier in a performance that earned him Big 12 Newcomer of the Week status.

East Carolina was defeated 34-14 on Saturday by reigning FCS champion James Madison, giving up over 400 rushing yards to the Dukes.

ECU made a quarterback change during the contest, placing Thomas Sirk under center for the second half, which improved the offense’s production.

Holgorsen commented that despite its loss to JMU, the team can’t look past East Carolina based on its reputation.

“They’ve been known to take out Power Five schools left and right as we well know,” Holgorsen said. “They’ve done it consistently throughout their program.”

The Pirates have defeated seven Power-5 Conference opponents since 2010 and beat Virginia Tech and West Virginia in back-to-back weeks to start the season in 2008.

2009 was the last season the two teams met.

West Virginia picked up a 35-20 win behind four touchdown passes from Jarrett Brown. The Pirates scored the game’s first ten points and led after the first quarter before being outscored 28-10 over the next three periods.

WVU has picked up the victory in eighteen of the twenty-one meetings.

The Pirates became much more of a passing team in the second half last weekend with Sirk controlling the offense. He attempted 35 passes in the second half alone, totaling 210 yards in the air.

Sirk tried spreading the wealth, targeting eight different receivers. Davon Grayson and Deondre Farrier led the team in receptions with seven.

ECU returned three of its top five receivers from a year ago.

Pirates defensive players gave up almost 230 rushing yards per game a year ago, and that number was not improved upon in East Carolina’s season opener.

Even with the defense not showing strong ability to stop the run, offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said the Mountaineers will try to stay balanced.

“We are going to attempt to run the ball and then Will (Grier) is going to take what they give him on the perimeter. We are going into this game with the mindset of trying to compete and do what we do best,” he said.

Saturday’s game between the Mountaineers and Pirates will be televised on FS2 starting at noon.  Pregame coverage can be found on 91.7 FM in the Morgantown area or on u92.wvu.edu starting at 9 a.m. 

  • More SportsMore>>

  • Tough Match Halts No. 7 WVU's Run

    Tough Match Halts No. 7 WVU's Run

    Sunday, November 19 2017 8:43 PM EST2017-11-20 01:43:27 GMT
    Grace Cutler and Carla Portillo share a hug after WVU's Sweet 16 loss to Penn St.Grace Cutler and Carla Portillo share a hug after WVU's Sweet 16 loss to Penn St.

    The No. 7-ranked and second-seeded WVU women's soccer team came up short this evening its quest for a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

    The No. 7-ranked and second-seeded WVU women's soccer team came up short this evening its quest for a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

  • No. 7 Mountaineers Move On

    No. 7 Mountaineers Move On

    Saturday, November 18 2017 8:23 AM EST2017-11-18 13:23:09 GMT
    Rylee Foster and Nikki Izzo-Brown celebrate WVU's win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.Rylee Foster and Nikki Izzo-Brown celebrate WVU's win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

    The No. 7 West Virginia University women's soccer team is moving on to the Sweet 16.

    The No. 7 West Virginia University women's soccer team is moving on to the Sweet 16.

  • 2018 Baseball Schedule Unveiled

    2018 Baseball Schedule Unveiled

    Thursday, November 16 2017 4:31 PM EST2017-11-16 21:31:39 GMT
    The WVU baseball team stands for the national anthem before a 4-2 win over Penn State at PNC Park. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)The WVU baseball team stands for the national anthem before a 4-2 win over Penn State at PNC Park. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Highlighted by 23 home games and 21 games against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2017, West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons has announced the 2018 baseball schedule.

    Highlighted by 23 home games and 21 games against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2017, West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons has announced the 2018 baseball schedule.

  • FootballFootballMore>>

  • WVU Football Players and Assistants Talk Loss to Texas

    WVU Football Players and Assistants Talk Loss to Texas

    West Virginia Football Players and Assistant Coaches meet with the media to discuss WVU's loss to Texas at Mountaineer Field.

    West Virginia Football Players and Assistant Coaches meet with the media to discuss WVU's loss to Texas at Mountaineer Field.

  • WVU Football Coach Holgorsen Talks Texas Loss

    WVU Football Coach Holgorsen Talks Texas Loss

    Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers will host No. 10 Oklahoma State at noon on Oct. 28. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers will host No. 10 Oklahoma State at noon on Oct. 28. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)
    West Virginia Football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen addresses the media regarding the Mountaineers' loss to Texas in Morgantown.
    West Virginia Football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen addresses the media regarding the Mountaineers' loss to Texas in Morgantown.
  • Game Recap: Texas Spoils WVU Senior Day

    Game Recap: Texas Spoils WVU Senior Day

     Freshman safety Kenny Robinson has made some big plays over the last few weeks. None may be bigger than the play he made Saturday. Robinson’s interception and return for a touchdown brought life back into Milan Puskar Stadium and back to the West Virginia (7-4, 5-3) sideline that had not been present since a gruesome hand injury to quarterback Will Grier earlier in the game.

     Freshman safety Kenny Robinson has made some big plays over the last few weeks. None may be bigger than the play he made Saturday. Robinson’s interception and return for a touchdown brought life back into Milan Puskar Stadium and back to the West Virginia (7-4, 5-3) sideline that had not been present since a gruesome hand injury to quarterback Will Grier earlier in the game.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Game Recap: Miles, WVU dominates Morgan State

    Game Recap: Miles, WVU dominates Morgan State

    Saturday, November 18 2017 10:14 PM EST2017-11-19 03:14:49 GMT

     No. 24 West Virginia (2-1) hadn’t gotten off to the greatest starts in either of its first two games of the regular season. Third time’s the charm, as they say. After trailing 3-2 in the opening minute of the game, the Mountaineers jumped out to nearly a forty-point lead by halftime en route to a 111-48 win over Morgan State (2-2) Saturday evening inside the Coliseum.

     No. 24 West Virginia (2-1) hadn’t gotten off to the greatest starts in either of its first two games of the regular season. Third time’s the charm, as they say. After trailing 3-2 in the opening minute of the game, the Mountaineers jumped out to nearly a forty-point lead by halftime en route to a 111-48 win over Morgan State (2-2) Saturday evening inside the Coliseum.

  • Pardee’s Career Night Helps WVU Past UNF

    Pardee’s Career Night Helps WVU Past UNF

    Sunday, November 19 2017 10:13 PM EST2017-11-20 03:13:38 GMT
    The WVU women's basketball team advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 75-62 win over Elon. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)The WVU women's basketball team advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 75-62 win over Elon. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    The WVU women's basketball team is now 3-0 after a 89-57 victory over North Florida on Sunday.

    The WVU women's basketball team is now 3-0 after a 89-57 victory over North Florida on Sunday.

  • WVU Football Players and Assistants Talk Loss to Texas

    WVU Football Players and Assistants Talk Loss to Texas

    West Virginia Football Players and Assistant Coaches meet with the media to discuss WVU's loss to Texas at Mountaineer Field.

    West Virginia Football Players and Assistant Coaches meet with the media to discuss WVU's loss to Texas at Mountaineer Field.

  • WVi Has Moved!

    WVi Has Moved!

    Friday, September 2 2011 1:45 PM EDT2011-09-02 17:45:05 GMT
    Don't worry, wvillustrated.com is still alive and well. WVi has upgraded to a brand new and improved website. Please check out http://www.wvillustrated.com/ We hope you enjoy the new WVi experience.
  • Game Preview: WVU Hoops host Morgan State

    Game Preview: WVU Hoops host Morgan State

    WVU senior guard Jevon Carter and the Mountaineers are picked to finish 2nd in the Big 12 Preseason Poll. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU senior guard Jevon Carter and the Mountaineers are picked to finish 2nd in the Big 12 Preseason Poll. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)
    By Ryan Decker No. 24 West Virginia (1-1) plays its first of two games heading into Thanksgiving break Saturday evening against Morgan State (2-1). The Mountaineers most recent outing – a 34-point win over American on Wednesday – was much more successful than their first of the year. Morgan State, winner of two games in a row, has also played better as of late and is coming off a 12-point win Thursday. Five WVU players are averaging double-figure scoring totals this ...
    By Ryan Decker No. 24 West Virginia (1-1) plays its first of two games heading into Thanksgiving break Saturday evening against Morgan State (2-1). The Mountaineers most recent outing – a 34-point win over American on Wednesday – was much more successful than their first of the year. Morgan State, winner of two games in a row, has also played better as of late and is coming off a 12-point win Thursday. Five WVU players are averaging double-figure scoring totals this ...
  • WVU Football Coach Holgorsen Talks Texas Loss

    WVU Football Coach Holgorsen Talks Texas Loss

    Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers will host No. 10 Oklahoma State at noon on Oct. 28. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers will host No. 10 Oklahoma State at noon on Oct. 28. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)
    West Virginia Football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen addresses the media regarding the Mountaineers' loss to Texas in Morgantown.
    West Virginia Football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen addresses the media regarding the Mountaineers' loss to Texas in Morgantown.
  • Has West Virginia Found a Rival?

    Has West Virginia Found a Rival?

    Wednesday, March 27 2013 1:06 PM EDT2013-03-27 17:06:06 GMT
    When you think of a current rivalry involving the Mountaineers, it may be hard to think of their opponent. Sure, there will always be Pitt, and perhaps Marshall, but as the years go on, these rivalries
    Nearly a full year into the Big 12 Conference, the Mountaineers are still looking for a rivalry similar to those from the past.
  • Game Recap: Texas Spoils WVU Senior Day

    Game Recap: Texas Spoils WVU Senior Day

     Freshman safety Kenny Robinson has made some big plays over the last few weeks. None may be bigger than the play he made Saturday. Robinson’s interception and return for a touchdown brought life back into Milan Puskar Stadium and back to the West Virginia (7-4, 5-3) sideline that had not been present since a gruesome hand injury to quarterback Will Grier earlier in the game.

     Freshman safety Kenny Robinson has made some big plays over the last few weeks. None may be bigger than the play he made Saturday. Robinson’s interception and return for a touchdown brought life back into Milan Puskar Stadium and back to the West Virginia (7-4, 5-3) sideline that had not been present since a gruesome hand injury to quarterback Will Grier earlier in the game.