Light Workout Readies Pirates For Scrimmage

GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina Head Coach Skip Holtz put the finishing touches on his team's final preparation effort for Saturday's scrimmage with a light practice session in shorts and helmets Friday night on rain-soaked Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.

All levels of the Pirates' current personnel list are expected to be utilized during the contest at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, which is open for all ECU fans and the public to attend at no charge and precedes the 14th Annual Meet The Pirates Night. Holtz also indicated that the scrimmage is tentatively scripted for a minimum of 70 to 75 plays.

"We'll make this one as real as it can get with full game conditions, down and distance, chains and different situations," Holtz explained. "This will give us a chance to have a graded evaluation on the offense and defense, and provide a good look at the kicking game. There's still a lot of personnel competition out there as we've got people fighting for starting jobs, backup jobs and special teams positions. I look forward to seeing how they respond to both the challenges and opportunities."

Unlike the previous two sessions on Wednesday and Thursday that saw the Pirates spend the majority of practice on extended team-on-team work, East Carolina keyed on special teams play for over half of the workout Friday. After turning in separate team offense and defense reps, ECU closed with seven-on-seven skeleton drills and conducted additional polish work in an outing that Holtz hoped would serve as a rejuvenating tool to recharge batteries prior to the scrimmage.

"It was a pretty spirited practice and the weather certainly helped with that a little," Holtz continued. "We polished up the kicking game and tried to cross the t's and dot the i's in that area. We also were able to do a lot of drill work, which was productive.”

NOTES: The highlight of the 14th Annual Meet The Pirates Night will be a photo and autograph session with ECU players starting at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Bagwell Field ... 2008 posters and schedule cards will be given away while media guides and officially-licensed ECU souvenirs will be available at special promotional pricing ... The Pirates will take just their second day off Sunday before conducting its final two-a-day schedule Monday morning and evening, and breaking camp after Tuesday's practice ... Saturday's Scrimmage Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Season Opener: Aug. 30 vs. Virginia Tech (12 noon) in Charlotte, N.C. (Bank of America Stadium).