GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina completed the weekday practice portion of its spring schedule in warm and humid conditions Wednesday inside the Cliff Moore Complex, working for two hours under partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low-80s.
While the shorts and helmets session wrapped up the Pirates' workout slate, it also served as a final tune-up for the team's annual spring game scheduled for Saturday beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Included on the agenda was a 25-minute team-versus-scout period, a pair of special teams dress rehearsals and 15 minutes of skeleton work.
"I'm happy with the way we attacked the process each day," fourth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill said. "I can't say enough about the competitive spirit and team chemistry this group has. I like our core, our leadership and the way we've stayed committed to the fundamental approach and kept our focus on execution starting with day one."
Similar to his first three spring contests in 2010, 2011 and 2012, McNeill said Saturday's Purple-Gold Game will again resemble more of an offense-versus-defense scrimmage like those played the last two weekends and will primarily feature the top three levels of ECU's current depth chart. Live hitting will be permitted for all positions, except quarterback and during kickoff, punting and return situations. In addition, the Pirates will attempt all extra-point and field goal tries.
"I know we're all excited to play in front of the Pirate Nation again, but at the same time, we're also looking at it as our final practice," NcNeill added. "The goals will remain unchanged - fundamentals and execution on all three sides of the ball - as we end Phase 2, evaluate and head into Phase 3, which are summer workouts."
Tickets, which are priced at $5.00 for the contest or $10.00 with the addition of a plate of barbecue and soft drink from the Pigskin Pig-Out Party, can be purchased online via www.ECUPirates.com or by calling (252) 737-4500 locally or (800) DIAL-ECU outside the Greenville area.
NOTES: McNeill indicated that a game clock would utilized during the first half, while the second half would be marked by a play count ... In all, McNeill and his staff are hopeful to complete approximately 80-to-90 snaps Saturday ... Wednesday's outing represented the last official position coach-supervised team practice until the Pirates conduct their first workout of fall camp on Friday, Aug. 2 ... Other than the handful of players who have sat out the entire or latter portions (OLB Drayvon Fairley/left knee, RB Chris Hairston/left shoulder, OL Chaz Lowery/left knee and DE Chrishon Rose/right knee) of the spring season with injuries, McNeill expects a full roster to be available Saturday.
EAST CAROLINA'S 2013 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Final Practice: Saturday, April 20 (Purple-Gold Game, 2:30 p.m.)