Can East Carolina Pull Off Another Quality Non-Conference Win?

Can East Carolina Pull Off Another Quality Non-Conference Win?

It has been four years since Chris Johnson last played a down for the Pirates. Every season since, East Carolina has made it a habit of notching a quality, out-of-conference win against a ranked or BCS conference opponent. In 2008, they famously took down #17 Virginia Tech and #8 West Virginia in the first two games of the season. The year 2009 saw the Pirates beat #21 Houston in their final regular season game. And just last year, they beat North Carolina State in overtime; a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season.

In 2011, they will have their chance to continue this streak with early season games against South Carolina, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, a very tough schedule by any standards, let alone Conference USA.  The good news is all three games will be at home for East Carolina. The bad news is all three opponents have something to prove to themselves and to the nation, making the Pirates’ hope of stringing another goliath victory on the end of their chain a longer shot than they would have expected.

South Carolina wants to show the rest of the SEC and the BCS that last year was no fluke when they won the SEC East. Virginia Tech needs to prove they are a legit top team this year with the loss of so many vital contributors from the ACC title team of 2010. North Carolina, after a tumultuous year of suspensions and criticisms and sanctions, needs to prove they can legitimately field a talented team without bending rules to get there.

An educated guess from an unbiased observer says East Carolina does indeed keep their rather impressive streak going in 2011 by knocking off an unproven Hokies team at home in week two.

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