East Carolina wrapped up the practice portion of its spring schedule in overcast and humid conditions Wednesday on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
While the spirited full-pad session completed the Pirates' weekday workout slate, it also served as a final tune-up for the program's annual spring game scheduled for Saturday beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
"We've come a long way in 14 days," ECU Head Coach Skip Holtz said. "Our redshirts and other younger guys got an invaluable amount of experience, and while many have distinguished themselves individually, it's also allowed our program to develop a lot of depth. Ironically, all of the injuries we've had this spring have been a blessing in disguise in the fact that it's allowed us to have many positive finds during camp. Yet, by the same token, having that many guys out hasn't really allowed us to get any closer in putting the big picture together."
Holtz and staff have spent the last few days defining their current depth chart to identify the first and second units and conducted a player draft Wednesday morning to select roster positions for the Purple-Gold Game.
Similar to the past two seasons, the two teams will be divided up as "East Carolina" and "Pirates" and each will feature either the No. 1 offense or the top defense in order to display competition between equal units of the two-deep.
Holtz also indicated the format of the scrimmage will resemble a true game as much as possible with the utilization of a game clock throughout all four quarters with live hitting permitted in all positions. The only exception to the norm will be the elimination of kickoff, punting and return situations. In addition, the Pirates will attempt all extra-point and field goal tries.
"I expect them to have some fun Saturday and I'm looking forward to the opportunity of seeing them play," Holtz continued. "It should be a pretty balanced game with the way the teams are split. I'm anxious to see how our younger guys perform in a game-day environment in front of our fans."
Tickets, which are priced at $5.00 for the contest or $10.00 with the addition of a plate of bar-b-cue from the Pigskin Pig-Out Party, can be purchased online at www.ECUPirates.com or by calling (252) 328-2300 locally or (800) DIAL-ECU outside the Greenville area.
In addition, the Purple-Gold Game will be broadcast live on WNCT 1070-AM with the "Voice of the Pirates" Jeff Charles calling the action and Kevin Monroe adding analysis from the booth.