Numbers can't lie, but they can certainly mislead. East Carolina football coach Ruffin McNeill learned during his decade as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator for Texas Tech in the often wide-open Big 12 Conference that even as eye-popping as football statistics can be, they are not the measure of success or failure.
As McNeill spends the week trying to devise a blueprint to beat Central Florida this Saturday, he does so with a defense that's improving, even if the Pirates' stats suggest a team that's being run over by opposing offenses.
In fact, despite their 5-2 overall record and perfect 4-0 mark in Conference USA, the Pirates are at the bottom of the national barrel in numerous defensive categories, including being ranked 105th in total defense.
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