The East Carolina Panthers (3-2, 1-1) step out of conference action as they travel to face the BYU Cougars (3-2) in non-conference play Saturday night. This will mark the first meeting ever between the two programs.
East Carolina has won two straight after blitzing SMU 49-23 last week on the road. BYU snapped a two game losing skid by knocking off Connecticut 30-13 at home. This game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 pm ET from LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah and will be televised nationally on ESPNU. BYU is currently an 8 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 57 points.
East Carolina trailed 13-7 after one quarter and was in a 23-7 hole five minutes into the second quarter before James Summers entered the game. From that point on, the Pirates outscored the Mustangs 42-0 and cruised to the win. East Carolina won the total yards battle by a 555-329 margin to overcome two turnovers in the game. The Pirates held the ball for 32:47 to SMU’s 27:13 in the contest while picking up 26 first downs while SMU finished with 21 in the game.
The Pirates are 30th in the nation in passing offense (276.6 yards per game) while they are 98th in rushing offense (149.4 yards per game); East Carolina is scoring 31 points a game but they are 90th in scoring defense as they allow 29.4 points per game. Blake Kemp has hit 70.2 percent of his throws for 1,107 yards with eight touchdowns and five picks. Summers is 17 of 22 for 276 yards and three scores while adding 255 yards and four scores on the ground. Chris Hairston is the leading rusher for the Pirates with 78 carries for 301 yards and five touchdowns while grabbing 17 passes on the season while Anthony Scott chips in 29 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown. Isaiah Jones leads the Pirates with 38 receptions for 473 yards and two scores; Bryce Williams contributes 23 grabs for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Two kickers have combined to hit all 22 extra point attempts but they’ve gone only 1 for 3 on field goal attempts with a long of 30 yards.
BYU found themselves in a 10-10 game after three quarters before exploding for 20 fourth quarter points to get the victory. The Cougars racked up 539 yards of offense in the game while limiting Connecticut to 230. BYU turned the ball over three times while forcing a pair of turnovers in the contest. The Cougars have four scoring drives in the fourth quarter, covering 34, 21, 41 and 51 yards as Connecticut melted down late on both sides of the ball.
The Cougars are 33rd in the nation in passing offense (270.4 yards per game) and 114th in rushing (117.8 yards per game) while averaging 30 points per game; they allow 24 points per contest. Freshman Tanner Mangum has completed 60.5 percent of his throws for 1,084 yards with six touchdowns and five picks. He’s taken over for the injured Taysom Hill, who was 21 of 34 for 268 yards with one touchdown and one interception while running for 72 yards and a score; he’s done for the season. Adam Hine leads the team with 54 carries for 312 yards and two scores on the ground while Algernon Brown has 26 carries for 118 yards. Mitch Matthews leads the team with 26 catches for 267 yards and five touchdowns while Mitchell Juergens has 25 grabs for 324 yards and two scores. Three other players have hauled in at least 15 passes for the Cougars this season. Trevor Samson has booted all 13 extra points and has hit eight of 10 field goal attempts this season.
BYU is 4-1 ATS in their last five after a straight up win, 4-1 ATS in their last five non-conference games, 4-1 ATS in their last five overall, 4-1 ATS in their last five on grass and 22-9 ATS in their last 31 after giving up less than 100 yards on the ground. East Carolina is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 overall, 2-6 ATS in their last eight after a straight up win, 2-6 ATS in their last eight in October, 2-6 ATS in their last eight on the road and 0-5 ATS in their last five after giving up less than 100 yards on the ground.
East Carolina has gotten a jump start in their last couple games from Summers stepping in for Kemp. They aren’t a great road team though and facing a BYU team that has momentum from their victory last week puts the Cougars in good shape. The Pirates will hang in but they tend to turn the ball over too much in order to get the win; give the points and take BYU.