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College Football
Preview
Southern Methodist at East Carolina
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 4, 2014
Where: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina enjoyed its bye week immensely after rolling up a school-record 789 yards of total offense in a 70-41 triumph over North Carolina on Sept. 20. The 21st-ranked Pirates look to flex their muscles again Saturday when they host winless Southern Methodist in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams. The former Conference USA rivals have experienced vastly different beginnings to their respective seasons - with billboards being erected after East Carolina took its Tar Heel State rival to task last week.

Conversely, the signs have been rather bleak for SMU, which has been rocked by then-coach June Jones' resignation after the team's second game while famous alums publicly are asking for the program to be dismantled. The Mustangs, who have mustered a nation-worst 12 points this season, committed three turnovers and were held off the scoreboard in a 56-0 rout by Texas Christian last week. "We can't keep going like this," interim coach Tom Mason said. "That's my job. We just have to believe in ourselves."

TV: Noon ET, ESPNU. LINE: East Carolina -41

ABOUT SOUTHERN METHODIST (0-4, 0-0): Garrett Krstich, who was the team's fourth-string quarterback to open the season, made his first career start last week and went 14-of-30 for 142 yards and an interception. Darius Joseph had team highs in receptions (five) and yards (46), although his apparent touchdown was denied upon review after he was ruled down by contact at the Horned Frogs' 30-yard line. Such has been the fortune of the Mustangs, who rank last in the nation in both scoring offense and defense.

ABOUT EAST CAROLINA (3-1, 0-0): While SMU's quarterback carousel has experienced several turns, the Pirates have no qualms with Shane Carden. The senior followed his 427-yard, three-touchdown performance against Virginia Tech with a 438-yard, four-TD effort versus the Tar Heels. Breon Allen rushed for a career-high 211 yards last week, eclipsing the sum total of his first three games (135).

EXTRA POINTS

1. East Carolina WR Justin Hardy has recorded a school-record 295 receptions and has collected at least two in all 40 of his collegiate games.

2. Southern Methodist RB Kevin Pope has 101 of the team's 177 rushing yards this season.

3. Pirates WR Cam Worthy will serve the second contest of his two-game suspension for violating a student code. Worthy led the team in receiving yards (302) prior to the penalty.

PREDICTION: East Carolina 51, Southern Methodist 7
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Southern Methodist 0-4 L4 3.0 50.5 0-2 0-2 0-1 0-0 0-0
East Carolina 3-1 W2 43.2 25.5 2-0 1-1 3-1 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Southern Methodist East Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/26/10 SMU 45 ECU 38 461 130 331 466 152 314
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Southern Methodist K. Padron 61.8 331 3 0
East Carolina D. Davis 73.3 314 2 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Southern Methodist Z. Line 30 123 4.1 2
East Carolina J. Williams 14 87 6.2 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Southern Methodist A. Robinson 5 129 25.8 1
East Carolina L. Lewis 8 154 19.2 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Southern Methodist Z. Line 2
East Carolina L. Lewis 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Southern Methodist G. Krstich 50.0 279 0 1
East Carolina S. Carden 62.4 1469 11 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Southern Methodist K. Pope 24 90 3.8 0
East Carolina B. Allen 35 346 9.9 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Southern Methodist D. Thompson 10 170 17.0 0
East Carolina J. Hardy 29 359 12.4 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Southern Methodist N. Halverson 1
East Carolina T. Brown 4
Quickchart Matchup
Southern Methodist Off vs  East Carolina Def
206.8 yards
360.8 yards
1.4 yards/rush
3.4 yards/rush
4.4 yards/attempt
6.1 yards/attempt
East Carolina Off vs  Southern Methodist Def
581.5 yards
551 yards
6.3 yards/rush
6 yards/rush
8.3 yards/attempt
8.1 yards/attempt