It was the 2010 version of the East Carolina offense that was supposed to struggle, not the 2011 version. With everyone in their second year in the pass-first system, and a senior quarterback at the helm, things were supposed to go smoothly for the Pirates’ offense. Not only that, but more weapons were added to the puzzle, especially in the run game which had been practically non-existent since Chris Johnson was in the backfield. So what didn’t work out this year you ask? Let’s find out.
Biggest Surprise- Justin Hardy, Redshirt Freshman Wide Receiver
Coming in, most knew that Lance Lewis would be the go-to guy in the passing game. Unfortunately, injuries marred the latter portion of his season and Lewis didn’t put up the eye-popping statistics that were anticipated. Despite having plenty of senior options to throw to, Hardy became the No. 1 wideout on the team and was a steady performer all season long, despite the inconsistencies of Davis and the rest of the offense. Hardy finished with 64 catches for 658 yards and 6 TD’s.
Biggest Disappointment- Dominique Davis, Senior Quarterback
For some QB’s, a 3,200-yard passing season with 25 touchdowns would be deemed a major success. In terms of Davis and where he typically was selected in 2011 in most fantasy drafts, this season would be considered a bust. After blowing the doors off in 2010 (39 TD’s, 3,967 yards) following his transfer over from Boston College, Davis took a step back this season. Whether it was Davis’ inability to sustain drives, or the questionable play-calling by his offensive coordinator, things didn’t work out as planned for this senior QB.
Despite the departures of both Dominique Davis and Lance Lewis, the offense could potentially improve as a whole with the offensive line returning most of its starters. While the rushing attack struggled for much of the year, it slowly gained some momentum that could carry over to 2012 with junior Torrance Hunt leading the way. Leading wideout Justin Hardy will also return with a deep group of receivers that includes Andrew Bodenheimer, Reese Wiggins and Danny Webster. The question will be at quarterback where Rio Johnson is the early favorite to take over as starter. There will be competition, though, from former Texas Tech recruit Shane Carden who has prior experience with the offense that ECU currently runs.