GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- East Carolina hasn't looked quite like everyone expected to start the season.
The Pirates (1-2) have lost games at West Virginia and North Carolina, and had to sweat out a tougher-than-it-should've-been win against Appalachian State. Now East Carolina is preparing to host UCF to open its Conference USA title defense Saturday.
Coach Skip Holtz says his players need to take charge if they want to change the course of the season, which has been marked most by the offense's shaky play. East Carolina still hasn't scored a second-half touchdown and has been outscored 41-5 after the break.
Meanwhile, the defense has been allowing too many big pass plays, including a 59-yard touchdown throw in the first half against the Tar Heels.