East Carolina is limping into the midway point of its season with injuries, flu bugs and on-field mistakes.
The Pirates (3-3, 2-1 Conference USA) are coming off a 28-21 weekend loss at SMU in which the Mustangs scored touchdowns on a blocked field goal and an interception return. It was a frustrating performance for coach Skip Holtz, who says his team is not getting enough big plays on the offensive end and is relying too much on a methodical, couple-yards-a-play attack.
This week, East Carolina hosts winless Rice (0-6, 0-2).
Holtz says he's hoping the 10 players or so who battled a flu-like illness last week can get healthier. But the Pirates will be without running back Jon Williams, who is out indefinitely with a knee injury.