ECU-N.C. STATE: Three questions
By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector
Saturday, December 1, 2018
These three questions appeared in our Pirate Gameday section previewing East Carolina’s season-ending football game at N.C. State.
The contest has been mainly overshadowed for underdog ECU this week with Thursday’s news of head coach Scottie Montgomery’s dismissal and that defensive coordinator David Blackwell will coach the Pirates versus the Wolfpack. Kickoff is at noon. Check back after the game for answers to the questions and more insight from Raleigh.
1. Does Holton Ahlers play? No doubt the biggest question for East Carolina is the availability of freshman starting quarterback Holton Ahlers. If he does play, his mobility will be a key. If Ahlers is inactive, all eyes will be on Reid Herring and any offensive changes for his first start since Oct. 13. Freshman receiver Tyler Snead also might not play, which would allow for him to redshirt this year.
2. Can ECU get to Finley? N.C. State’s offense will be without both of its starting tackles — Tyler Jones and Justin Whitt — for one half because of suspensions. Those positions are vital in protecting quarterback Ryan Finley. Pirate defensive ends Nate Harvey, Kendall Futrell and others could have a big impact on the game if they take advantage against what will be a shorthanded NCSU O-line at times.
3. What is the Wolfpack’s longest play? Long touchdowns have burned the East Carolina defense during the second half of the season, which was notable early in the game against Cincinnati as the Bearcats built a 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. N.C. State has big-time star power, led by receiver Kelvin Harmon.
Contact Ronnie Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.