When I do research I usually end up writing depressing crap like THIS. I want to be positive, but facts keeping getting in my damn way. So for this game preview I just decided to make up my own.
The Wolfpack are preparing for their week 2 showdown with the East Carolina University Pirates Saturday at noon. The NCSU players and staff departed Raleigh in the pre-dawn hours this Tuesday to make the perilous journey to Greenville, NC. Those that are not lost to the dangers of the swamps that surround the makeshift campus will be scraped of leeches and sent onto the field for kickoff.
This will be the 163rd matchup between the two schools and Dave Doeren's boys are looking for their school's first win in the series. While the Pack's coach was clear to stress he is not happy the incident occurred, he said that ECU's loss of the entire starting offense during pre-season media day will obviously be an advantage for the boys from Raleigh. The school's PR (pronounced P ARRRRGGGGHHHH) director has admitted that the choice to have the players run onto the field with swords between their teeth was poorly thought out.
The Pirate's Biggest Strength
By far the most dangerous test for the Wolfpack is born out of the mystery surrounding the Pirates team. First-year coach Oliver Cloeshoff has been unclear and evasive when asked about his on-field game plan, choosing instead to re-direct football-related questions. When asked about the game-plan earlier in the week, Cloeshoff replied:
"Look, I know why you are asking and I get that it is important, but this is not what this team is about. Our main focus is to just get everyone to stop calling our school "Eastern Carolina". It's East Carolina University. We will play the game because of contractual obligations to prior commitments, but that's just not what we are focused on."
During last week's game against West Carolina University, ECU lined up prior to all defensive plays in a formation that spelled out "-ERN". The confusion that ensued caused the opposing Catamounts to rack up their highest pre-snap penalty count in school history. If the Wolfpack aren't prepared to adjust then they could meet the same fate this Saturday.
The Pirate's Biggest Weakness
While this may seem like a cop-out, I still feel that ECU's biggest strength is also their biggest weakness. While a complete lack of effort and interest in football-related activities may seem like a sure-fire path to victory, there are some that believe Cloeshoff's approach could backfire. When asked about this by telephone, Cloeshoff dismissed these concerns:
"If by "backfire" you mean that it will cost us the game then you aren't listening to what I am saying. We don't care about the game. We just don't want to be called "Eastern" anymore. If just one person sees the formations, banners, uniforms, and Tattoos emblazoned with our message and drops the "ERN", we have succeeded."
- ECU is the only university in America with a freshman class 9-times larger than the senior class. Most students that enroll are lost to malaria, swamp-rot, and alcohol poisoning prior to graduation.
- This will be the first game played since the Greenville, NC Tourism Authority purchased the naming rights to the East Carolina Football Stadium and will change it to reflect the city's motto. In a ceremony at halftime it will officially be re-named "No, not that Greenville" stadium.
- The ECU Athletic department is expecting a complete sellout this Saturday which is their way of saying that Metallica will be playing at halftime.