ECU set for Homecoming clash with BYU

Published: Oct. 20, 2017 at 3:49 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – It's Homecoming on the ECU campus as the Pirates officially close out their 2017 non-conference schedule by welcoming BYU to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. ECU will try to extend its streak of compiling at least one non-league victory per season to 13 consecutive years after dropping earlier tilts to James Madison, West Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Pirates will also be looking to post their 12th-straight Homecoming victory when they battle the Cougars for the second time in three seasons (and even the series slate after a 45-38 road setback in 2015).


Qualified for 10 bowl appearances since 2000 (three of the last five years) ...

Has won 31 of the last 39 games when scoring 30 or more points ...

Has won 19 of the last 22 games when gaining 200 or more rushing yards ...

Has accounted for 400 or more yards of total offense in 14 of the last 19 games ...

Has forced at least one turnover in four-straight games ...

Has won 30 of the last 32 games when leading at the half ...

Has won 10 of the last 19 regular season non-conference games ...

Has won four of the last seven (and seven of 11) home games in October ...

Has won eight of the last 11 home night games (6 p.m. or later) ...


BYU leads 1-0 ... The Cougars used running back Algernon Brown's fourth touchdown of the contest, a nine-yard run with 19 seconds remaining, to break a 38-38 tie and open the series with a win in Provo two years ago (see full recap below) ... Prior to the first football meeting, softball represented the only "team" sport which the Pirates and Cougars had squared off in ... BYU owns a 4-0 record against ECU in the circle, posting wins in a pair of regular season tournaments (2008 and 2014) and handing the Pirates 1-0 and 8-3 setbacks at the 2010 NCAA Regional in Austin, Texas.


ECU has compiled an all-time record of 8-1 (only loss was at BYU in 2015) against FBS programs which currently compete as an independent ... The near-perfect mark is admittedly a little bit of a misnomer in the fact all eight victories have come against Army ... ECU was 1-3 vs. Navy when the Midshipmen were an independent (before beginning American Athletic Conference play in 2015).


BYU has posted a 22-5 (.815) all-time mark against current members of the American Athletic Conference ... The Cougars have squared off against Tulsa (6-1), SMU (3-0), Houston (2-0), Temple (2-0), Tulane (2-1), Connecticut (2-0), Cincinnati (2-0), ECU (1-0), Navy (1-1), UCF (1-1) and Memphis (0-1) ... The only AAC school BYU has never faced to date is USF ... The Cougars' last meeting against a member of The American resulted in a 20-3 road win against Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium last year (Nov. 5).


When BYU travels to Greenville to battle the Pirates on Saturday, the Cougars will officially have made the longest voyage by a current FBS member to play a game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Its 1,886 mile (as "the crow flies") journey will surpass the previous longest trek of 1,691 miles turned in by UTEP on two occasions (2008, 2012) ... BYU and the Miners are also the only two FBS schools from the Mountain Time Zone to play at ECU.


ECU will seek its first-ever win against an FBS-playing school from the state of Utah when it meets BYU on Saturday ... The Pirates own victories against FBS members from a total of 24 states so far - Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia ... In addition to Utah, ECU is winless against Washington, and has never played FBS teams from 13 other states - Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Wisconsin or Wyoming.


Since accepting membership in a conference, the Pirates have produced a 32-52 (.381) regular season nonleague record ... ECU claimed its first winning non-conference mark since 1999 (a program-best 5-0 clip) with 3-1 ledgers in 2013 and 2014 before following with 2-2 marks in 2015 and 2016 ... The Pirates will attempt to extend its streak of compiling at least one non-league victory per season to 13 consecutive years with a win vs. BYU (after dropping earlier tilts to James Madison, West Virginia and Virginia Tech).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES: OT Brandon Smith (30 games) and ILB Cannon Gibbs/NB Devon Sutton (5) own the program's longest starting streaks on their respective side of the ball entering the BYU contest ... DE Kiante Anderson had his run snapped at 11 games (DNP-INJ at UCF) ... Sticking with defense, that side of the ball has had 25 different players start at least one game this year ... Five of QB Thomas Sirk's nine TD tosses have been for 17-plus yards, including a 75 yarder vs. UConn ... He's thrown for 200 yards or more in a game four times this year (three as a starter) ... 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, 40 vs. Temple and 96 at UCF, has now caught at least one pass in 32 of 38 career games ... He also hauled in his team-leading sixth TD reception of the year against the Knights ... WR Jimmy Williams had his consecutive game reception streak snapped at 18 when he was held "catchless" at UCF (was targeted four times) ... WR Trevon Brown has netted at least one reception in 21 of 24 career games (multiple 18 times) ... Forty-five of his 78 career grabs have gone for 10 or more yards ... In his second career start, RB Darius Pinnix rushed for a career-high 93 yards on 13 carries at UCF, which included a personal best run of 57-yards in the first quarter (ECU's longest rush from scrimmage this season) ... His 93 yard effort was the highest single-game rushing total for a Pirate true freshman since Chris Johnson racked up 158 vs. Tulane on Oct. 9, 2004 (and second-highest by a true frosh in the AAC this year - 107 by UConn's Kevin Mensah vs. ECU) ... In his first two career starts (TEM, UCF), ILB Aaron Ramseur has booked 20 tackles (11/TEM, 9/UCF were both team-bests) and picked off a pass (31-yard return vs. the Owls) ... SS Davondre "Tank" Robinson made his first collegiate start vs. UCF and responded with a personal-high eight stops, a half TFL and a fumble recovery ... KOS Caleb Pratt has recorded 11-straight touchbacks (dating back to the USF game) and has delivered at least one TB in 23 of 27 contests (multiple 16 times) ... PK Jake Verity successfully converted all three of his PAT tries vs. UCF to remain perfect during his career (24-of-24) ... He's also drilled at least one FG in five of the last six games ... P Austin Barnes matched a career-long with a 65-yard boot vs. Temple and then averaged 49.9 ypp (eight punts) at UCF ... Eleven of his 38 punts in 2017 have traveled 50 or more yards (at least one in each game) and he's placed 11 inside opponents' 20-yard line (72 during career) ... Barnes has never had a punt blocked in 218 attempts (38/ECU, 180/EMU).

TEAM NOTES: ECU has recorded a scoring throw in 69 of their last 76 games (run of six-straight) ... ECU has tallied a combined 85 first-half points in its last five games, but has been collectively outscored 126-35 in the final 30 minutes against the Hokies, Huskies, Bulls, Owls and Knights ... The Pirates have only tallied three TDs in the fourth quarter this year and been outscored 37-7 in the final 15 minutes of AAC play (four games) ... Under Scottie Montgomery (2016-17), ECU ranks 6th nationally in most 4th down conversions (29) and 5th in most 4th down conversions attempts (50) ... The Pirates have dropped 26-straight games when scoring 20 or less points (19-14 vs. UCF in '09/last win) ... ECU has not had a punt return for a TD in 4,718 days (sixth-longest drought in FBS).