2014 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Set For 2 p.m.
By Ron Lighthall // December 23, 2013
game will be aired on ESPN
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Today’s matchup of the East Carolina Pirates and the Ohio Bobcats will feature two relatively evenly matched teams.
East Carolina (9-3) vs. Ohio (7-5)
Time/TV: 2 p.m.ESPN.
Glantz-Culver line: East Carolina by 14.
Sagarin difference: ECU by 12.85.
Bowl records: ECU 4-8, Ohio 2-5.
Series: ECU leads 2-0 (won last meeting 21-14 in 1998).
The teams feature pass-oriented, high-scoring offenses led by quarterbacks Shane Carden for East Carolina and Ohio has Tyler Tettleton under center, which will surely give us an entertaining contest. A win for the Pirates will close their season at 10 victories; the second highest total in school history, and marks the end of their CUSA affiliation. Ohio, is the second straight Mid-American Conference team to close its season in St. Petersburg, Last year The Ball State Cardinals fell to the UCF Knights. The Bobcats are trying to finish with at least eight wins for the fourth consecutive season.
Odds makers have ECU a two touchdown favorite over Ohio, But AP and Sporting News give five reasons this will be an entertaining view.
HOLDING THEIR OWN
Ohio owns a pair of victories over Conference USA teams, beating North Texas and eventual C-USA East Division winner Marshall at home in September. East Carolina lost its regular season finale 59-28 at Marshall, the only common opponent the Pirates shared with the Bobcats.
One of the key to the game figures to be getting defensive pressure on the quarterback. East Carolina led Conference USA in rushing defense has 35 sacks. Ohio has 34 sacks, four shy of the school record.
Like Carden, Tettleton is surrounded by some impressive playmakers. Wide receiver Donte’ Foster has 63 receptions for 858 yards and six touchdowns, while running back Beau Blankenship has rushed for 844 yards and five TDs while closing in on the 3,000-yard career rushing mark.
East Carolina’s Ruffin McNeill has his alma mater in a bowl game for the third time in his four seasons. Solich took over at Ohio in 2005, and the Bobcats have made six of their eight overall bowl appearances under him. They’ve won the past two.
East Carolina is playing in a bowl in Florida for the first time since 1965, when the Pirates beat Maine in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando. On Ohio’s last trip to the Sunshine State for a bowl game, the unbeaten Bobcats lost to Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl. One of the key local reasons to really pay attention to ECU is history.
The Pirates will become the newest member of the American Athletic Conference, officially joining July 1, 2014.
Next season the ECU / UCF rivalry will be renewed. The Pirates have enjoyed an ongoing rivalry with the Knights while both were in CUSA since the 2005 season.
The Knights and the Pirates have both represented the conference in the Championship Game each winning twice.
UCF played in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012, winning titles in 2007 and 2010. While ECU won in 2008 and 2009.
Prior to annual conference matchups, the Pirates and Knights had faced off in 1991, 1993, 1994, and 1996, with pirates holding a 9-3 advantage over the Knights.