GREENVILLE (WNCT) – ECU Athletics will present another of its East Carolina Classic Rewind games this Saturday at 1pm as the Pirates took on Stanford in the 1995 Liberty Bowl.
Here’s the release from ecupirates.com to preview the game:
GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina (8-3), the winner of five-straight games, will square off against Stanford (7-3-1) on Dec. 30, 1995 in the St. Jude Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Scouting ECU’s Offense (by Mike Grizzard, The Daily Reflector)
The “West Coast” offense has taken up residence out East. But East Carolina head coach Steve Logan has added his own innovative flair.
The Pirates, with Logan modeling his short passing game after the San Francisco 49ers, possess one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. The objective is to pass first, then run when the defense loosens up.
It’s not the norm and is a nightmare to defend, leaving opponents looking for creative ways to stop it.
“In our particular style of offense, every weekend tends to be kind of a surprise because we’re a backward football team,” Logan said. “We usually get a screwball deal to begin every games. And it’s up to us to figure out how to approach the rest of it.”
The key is a competent quarterback, and East Carolina has that in Marcus Crandell. The junior holds school records for pass attempts and completions, passing yards and total yards, eclipsing all the marks set by Jeff Blake.
Struggles up front led to a slow start for Crandell this year, but he threw for 2,751 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was intercepted 12 times, but just twice in the last five games.
Crandell has a number of weapons at his disposal, spreading the ball to receivers, tight ends and running backs. Seven Pirates had at least 14 catches and 160 or more yards receiving, led by Mitchell Galloway with 46 catches for 619 yards.
When the Pirates decide to run, senior Jerris McPhail is more than capable. He had 910 yards rushing and 342 receiving.
Scouting ECU’s Defense (by Mike Grizzard, The Daily Reflector)
If image is everything, then East Carolina’s defense has been long overdue for a make-over.
Phase one began last year under defensive coordinator Paul Jette. With a little more experience and a lot more confidence, the Pirates have come of age this year.
When ECU’s offense sputtered early in the season, it was the defense that kept games close. And when big plays have been needed, the defense has usually responded.
Now don’t get the impression that the Pirates have undergone a complete metamorphosis. They still have their problems, especially against a team with a mobile quarterback, but this is not the swiss-cheese unit of the past.
At the heart of the defense are junior Daren Hart and seniors Morris Foreman and Mark Libiano. Hart, a strong safety, is a run stuffer despite his size (5-10, 195). He has 92 tackles, including 10 for a loss.
Forman, an outside linebacker, has keen instincts and is always around the ball. He has 83 tackles this season and forced two fumbles, recovered four and intercepted three passes. Foreman came up with four turnovers in a 17-minute span against Army, picking off two passes and recovering two fumbles.
Libiano, an outside linebacker, has had at least 100 tackles in three straight seasons. He has a team-high 122 tackles this year. An aggressive front four is led by senior Walter Scott and junior Lorenzo West, the team’s lead with nine sacks.
Cornerback Emmanuel McDaniel leads an experienced secondary with six interceptions.