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ECU-N.C. STATE: Three answers

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N.C. State's Thomas Thayer, left, makes the catch for a touchdown as East Carolina's Devon Sutton trails during their game on Dec. 1, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, December 2, 2018

These three questions appeared in our Pirate Gameday section previewing East Carolina’s season-ending football game at N.C. State, which ended as a 58-3 win for the Wolfpack. ECU finished with a third straight 3-9 record in lackluster fashion in a game that also was a difficult circumstance for the Pirates without fired head coach Scottie Montgomery on Saturday.

Here are the answers, and more insight from Raleigh:

1. Does Holton Ahlers play? ECU’s freshman starting quarterback did not play because he was injured, marking the first time since the season-opener that he was inactive. All three of ECU’s other QBs — Reid Herring (started), Kingsley Ifedi and Caiden Norman — saw the field, finishing 9-of-25 for 73 yards combined. Not having Ahlers clearly hurt the Pirates’ chance at an upset, but it also wasn’t worth the risk of putting him out there not at 100 percent.

2. Can ECU get to Finley? A key matchup to watch was N.C. State’s big and veteran offensive line versus ECU’s defensive speed on the outside. Each team finished with two sacks. Despite ECU’s many struggles this season, its defensive line and pass rush were bright spots all year and they mostly played hard in the first half but were often overmatched. NCSU’s wins up front helped pave the way to an easy rout. Finley was mostly calm and composed, finishing 32-of-44 for 409 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in his final game at Carter-Finley Stadium.

3. What is the Wolfpack’s longest play? Wolfpack starting running back Reggie Gallaspy darted 86 yards nearly from end zone to end zone during the fourth quarter when it was 51-0. ECU’s longest play went 53 yards on a run by Anthony Scott, setting up the Pirates’ field goal as time expired. Without Scott’s long run, East Carolina was staring at being shut out for the first time since 1997.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.






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