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East Carolina vs. William & Mary: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Pirates battle Tribe

Head coach Mike Houston of the East Carolina Pirates watches his team warm up before their game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina was no match for the triple-option when they traveled to Navy in its American Athletic Conference opener last week. The Pirates look to rebound from the lopsided defeat when they return home to take on FCS foe William & Mary, which is facing its second FBS opponent on the young season.

TV: 6 p.m. EST, ESPN3. LINE: None.

The Pirates were unable to contain Midshipmen quarterback Malcolm Perry, who rushed for 164 yards and four touchdowns while throwing for 151 yards and two touchdowns on just five completions. "I think that is the thing that is hard about preparing for a team like this is simulating how fast they operate. I think that it is a starting point for us against this type of offense," head coach Mike Houston said of defending the triple-option after the game. The Pirates will now turn to an opponent that has relied heavily on the run this season, eclipsing 250 rushing yards twice. Leading rusher Darius Pinnix Jr. missed last week's game for East Carolina and his availability is uncertain for Saturday.

ABOUT WILLIAM & MARY (2-1)

The Tribe shuffled through quarterbacks in their first three contests, but leaned on freshman Hollis Mathis in a 38-10 rout of Colgate. While having more interceptions than passing touchdowns on the season, Mathis' appeal is with his legs, as he has rushed for 231 yards and two touchdowns on 41 attempts. Running back Owen Wright has found the end zone three times and is just shy of 200 rushing yards on the season.

ABOUT EAST CAROLINA (1-2)

On the offensive side of the ball, sophomore quarterback Holton Ahlers has failed to eclipse 200 yards in any game while throwing just one touchdown to three interceptions. The Pirates also struggled to run the ball against Navy with the absence of Pinnix, with Ahlers finishing as the leading rusher. In the AAC coaches teleconference, Houston did not get into specifics but said Pinnix is "working on getting himself healed up and ready to play," though the junior running back did not appear on this week's depth chart.

EXTRA POINTS

1. East Carolina's lone win this season came against an FCS opponent in Gardner-Webb.

2. Mathis and safety/kick returner Bronson Yoder received Colonial Athletic Association weekly honors for their performances against Colgate.

3. East Carolina has scored 10 points or fewer in both losses.

PREDICTION: East Carolina 27, William & Mary 17

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