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Tuesday, June 6, 2023


O-line has challenge awaiting in Carolina

Despite ECU’s poor record, it will still pose a difficult challenge for the Cougars to overcome. | Thomas Dwyer/ The Cougar

The Cougar had the opportunity Monday catch up with head coach Major Applewhite about the storylines heading into this week’s game against East Carolina University.

Applewhite expressed his feelings toward the offensive line, which has been solid this season. It has a running game that averages around 265 yards per contest, and it has also allowed only one sack on the season.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Applewhite said. “I think those guys have done a great job.”

The ECU defensive front will challenge the offensive line. The Pirates are second in the American Athletic Conference for sacks. The defense is led by senior defensive end Nate Harvey, who has already piled up 14 tackles for loss and seven and a half sacks.

“This is a defense that is much improved,” Applewhite said. “From an offensive line standpoint, it’s all about the next opportunity, the next challenge. This is going to be a hell of a challenge on the road.”

Applewhite praised the Cougars’ defense as well by discussing its performance in the game against Tulsa.

“It was one of the best if not the best effort from our defense,” Applewhite said. “We talked about it during the week. I said, ‘I’d be surprised if we didn’t get two or three takeaways.’”

The defense had a scare against Tulsa as sophomore Isaiah Chambers went down during the game. He returned, but the coaching and training staff are watching to see if he will be ready for ECU. The staff is also monitoring senior Darrion Owens, who has returned to practice after being injured for most of the season.

Baylor transfer Terence Williams is another player they will be watching. The trainers cleared him to play after he sustained a knee injury earlier in the season, but he injured his ankle recently and the coaching staff is limiting his participation.

“We’ll have to monitor all those guys with their nicks and bruises as we go into game day,” Applewhite said.

The Cougars play the ECU Pirates in North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 13.

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