GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - East Carolina's improved defense was a big reason why the Pirates won 10 games for the first time in 22 years last season. The Pirates' success in Ruffin McNeill's fifth season will depend largely on how that unit regroups after losing eight starters.
Inside linebacker Zeek Bigger said Tuesday during the team's preseason media day that this year's defense "can't wait" to show it can be better than last year.
East Carolina allowed 24.8 points and 369.2 yards per game while finishing with 24 takeaways, the best totals under McNeill.
McNeill says many of the new starters have enough playing experience to ease their transition into bigger roles.