GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina finalized preparations for its first intra-squad scrimmage of preseason camp with a two-and-a-half hour practice in shells Friday morning at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex and Hight Field. Overcast skies provided the Pirates with a second-straight day of heat relief as the temperature stayed in the low 80’s.
“We came out pretty well today,” first-year head coach Ruffin McNeill said. “I think the defense finished stronger than the offense. The defense did some really enthusiastic things during the team session and created some turnovers.”
Friday’s workout was structured much like Thursday’s with 28 minutes of team-on-team after the offense and defense spent approximately 30 minutes in skeleton drills. The team period was centered on third-down plays with all four levels of the preseason depth chart experiencing action for the second-straight practice. Both the offensive and defensive units focused on play execution and schematic understanding before heading into Saturday’s scrimmage.
The contest, held at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, will serve primarily as a personnel evaluation designed to produce the program’s first depth chart of the season. To ensure freshness for the game and get the best possible assessment of each of the players, McNeill kept the Pirates out of full pads during Friday’s session.
“I would say depth is the biggest thing we’re after during tomorrow’s scrimmage,” McNeill said. “We’re looking for guys who will step up and step out.
“I’m expecting the players to turn it up an extra notch tomorrow,” McNeill continued. “I want to see the guys flying around and having good body language. I’m really going to watch execution as well.”
Saturday’s intra-squad scrimmage will be closed to the public.
Notes: Antonio Allison, Michael Brooks, Cory Dowless, Anthony Garrett, Ben Herlocker, Robert Jones, Alex Leonard, Rahkeem Morgan, Marke Powell, Korey Reynolds, Diavalo Simpson and Josh Smith missed Friday’s practice and all are listed as day-to-day … True freshman quarterback Shane Carden hit sophomore inside receiver Jeremy Davis in-stride with a 65-yard strike during session-closing pass skeleton work, which again featured the program’s younger players … Carden also connected with redshirt freshman inside receiver Zico Pasut on a 40-yarder between the hashes late during the period.
Saturday’s Scrimmage Time: 3:15-5:55 p.m.
Season Opener: Sept. 5 vs. Tulsa in Greenville (2:00 p.m.)