Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson
East Carolina nearly let Appalachian State back into the game behind third-string quarterback Travaris Cadet, who led the Mountaineers to three second-half scores.
But the Pirates made a huge stand with 1 minute 28 seconds remaining in the game by sacking Cadet and preserving the 29-24 win.
“I think we did some really good things in the first half, especially defensively, but we were still very sloppy,” ECU coach Skip Holtz said. “I think some of that can be attributed to the “first-game syndrome.” Appalachian State got after us in the second half. Offensively, we did not make many first downs in the second half. We could not control the ball or get off of the field on defense.”
Holtz has to be concerned since his team had a 24-0 lead before Appalachian State even had a first down. This game looked well in hand and should have been a statement blowout game for the Pirates. In the grand scheme, a win is a win, but mental lapses like that won’t fly when the Pirates travel to West Virginia next weekend.