ECU in search of second win against Temple
GREENVILLE, N.C. – It's Hall of Fame & Letterwinners Weekend as ECU will close a two-game homestand by hosting Temple for an American Athletic Conference contest at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday beginning at 12 noon. After falling to division-leader USF last week, the Pirates hope to improve to 2-1 in league play for the eighth time in the last 11 years when they battle the Owls. Additionally, ECU will try to run its AAC home record in October to 5-2 when it meets Temple in Greenville for the seventh time in series history (and first on a Saturday playing date since 1995).
Officially, East Carolina leads the series 8-6 ... On the field, Temple has captured wins in seven of the 14 matchups, but the Owls' 45-28 victory in 1986 was later forfeited to the Pirates because of the utilization of an ineligible player ... The two teams have split six games in Greenville and ECU has triumphs in five of eight meetings in Philadelphia ... The series dates back to 1982 when the Pirates competed as an independent.
SCOTTIE MONTGOMERY AGAINST THE OWLS
Last year's 37-10 setback in Philadelphia was Scottie Montgomery's first-ever meeting against Temple ... He did not face the Owls during his seven-year tenure (2006-09, 2013-15) as a collegiate assistant coach at Duke.
GEOFF COLLINS AGAINST THE PIRATES
While Saturday's contest will be Geoff Collins' first against ECU as a head coach, he has faced the Pirates on three previous occasions ... As Florida's defensive coordinator in 2015, the Gators thwarted an ECU comeback attempt with a takeaway at the UF 30-yard line with 12 seconds left to hang on to a 31-24 win ... As linebackers coach at UCF, the Pirates recorded a pair of low-scoring victories over the Knights on the way to back-to-back C-USA titles under former head coach Skip Holtz ... In the previous three meetings, Collins has "held" ECU to 18.7 ppg.
INDIVIDUAL NOTES: OT Brandon Smith (28 games) and DE Kiante Anderson/ILB Jordan Williams (10) own the program's longest starting streaks on their respective side of the ball entering the Temple contest ... With his performance vs. USF, QB Thomas Sirk is one of four FBS quarterbacks in 2017 to reach 300 passing yards, 80 rushing yards and a pair of TDs in the air & on the ground in the same game (Lamar Jackson/LOU vs. UNC, Daniel Jones/DUKE vs. Northwestern and Kent Meyers/USU vs. Idaho State) ... It also marked the ninth time that an ECU QB threw and rushed for two scores in a game since 2010 (and the first since James Summers did it vs. SMU in 2015) ... Five of Sirk's six TD tosses have been for 17-plus yards, including a 75 yarder vs. UConn ... WR Davon Grayson, who turned in career bests with 11 receptions for 223 yards and three TDs at UConn before following with 101 yards vs. USF, has now caught at least one pass in 30 of 36 career games ... After sitting out the UConn game (illness), WR Jimmy Williams extended his consecutive games with a reception streak to 17 with a 44-yarder vs. USF ... He also reached the career 100-catch milestone with a four-yard grab in the third quarter ... WR Quay Johnson also surpassed 100 career receptions (has 101 entering the Temple clash) with four vs. USF (48 yards) ... WR Trevon Brown has netted at least one reception in 20 of 22 career games (multiple 17 times) after recording a pair vs. the Bulls (20 yards) ... Forty-four of his 76 career grabs have gone for 10 or more yards ... ILB Jordan Williams, who led ECU in tackles last year and was included on SI.com's Freak List (nation's top 40 workout warriors in college football), has posted three or more stops in 20 of his last 21 contests ... He matched a career best with 14 stops in the opener vs. JMU before logging 11 at West Virginia, adding 10 vs. Virginia Tech, eight more at UConn and six vs. USF last week ... He currently ranks 17th nationally in total tackles per game (43/10.8) ... ILB Cannon Gibbs tallied a career-high 14 tackles (eight solo) at UConn, his first career double-digit game at ECU, before logging seven vs. USF ... FS Korrin Wiggins has racked up 19 stops in his last two home games (career-high 10 tackles vs. VT, nine vs. USF) ... He also contributed 10 at UConn and pilfered his first Pirate interception ... He's recorded at least one tackle in 31 of 37 career games ... 102 of KOS Caleb Pratt's 124 kickoff s have traveled 60 or more yards and he's registered at least one touchback in 21 of 25 career games (five vs. USF) ... PK Jake Verity successfully converted all four PATs vs. USF to remain perfect during his career (20-of 20) ... He also drilled at least one FG in four-straight games.
TEAM NOTES: ECU has recorded a scoring throw in 67 of their last 74 games (two each vs. each vs. WVU and VT, three at UConn, two vs. USF in 2017) ... ECU's offensive line has allowed only five sacks this year (1.0 spg), ranking third in the AAC and 12th nationally ... ECU has tallied a combined 68 first-half points in its last three games, but has been collectively outscored 95-21 in the final 30 minutes against the Hokies, Huskies and Bulls ... The Pirates have only scored twice in the fourth quarter this year and have been shutout 27-0 in their last three games (overall, opponents own a 40-14 edge in the fourth stanza in 2017) ... Under Scottie Montgomery (2016-17), ECU ranks 5th nationally in most 4th down conversion attempts (47) and 5th in 4th down conversions (28).