East Carolina Pirates
Head coach: Montgomery (6-18, third year)
2017 record and S&P+ ranking: 3-9 (123rd)
Projected 2018 record and S&P+ ranking: 3-9 (125th)
Five key points:
Montgomery’s first two seasons in Greenville have been … trying. The offense took a step forward last fall, but the defense fell off a cliff.
The defense has almost no choice but to rebound a bit, and Montgomery made an inspired coordinator hire in former ECU player and awesome Jacksonville State DC David Blackwell.
The secondary … might have some play-making potential?
The passing game is retooling with a new QB and mostly new set of starting WRs. But 1,000-yard receiver Trevon Brown does return.
The schedule is not particularly forgiving. S&P+ only gives the Pirates a better than 26 percent chance of winning in three games.