East Carolina might be improved in 2019, if only because it could be more of a challenge to play worse than it did last season. There’s a positive for ‘em! The Pirates closed out 2018 by losing their last two games by a combined 114-9 score, including the 58-3 shellacking in Raleigh.
Vegas is not optimistic about drastic change occurring overnight, though no doubt the Pirates have upgraded their coaching staff with the addition of new head coach Mike Houston. At some sportsbooks, NC State opened as a 20.5-point favorite to beat ECU in the season-opener. Might not even need a quarterback to hit that spread. (I’d recommend the Pack have one just in case, however.)
NC State outscored ECU by double figures in every single quarter of last year’s matchup, and the statistics were every bit as lopsided as the margin on the scoreboard. State finished the day with a season-high 655 total yards, while the Pirates managed only 104.
Expect more fight this time around, sure, but that probably just means we won’t get to enjoy any fat guy touchdowns, not that the game will finish particularly close.