BYU (1-6) at East Carolina (1-6)
Saturday, 5 p.m. MDT
Dowdy-Ficklin Stadium (50,000)
TV: CBS Sports Network
CBS Sports Network channel guide — Comcast: 269, DirecTV 221, Dish 158
Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM Weather: Clear skies with temperatures in the low 70s at kickoff
For East Carolina. . . The 1-6 Pirates are desperate for a victory.
For BYU . . . The Cougars, sporting a 1-6 record and a six-game losing streak, are also desperate for a victory. They’re trying to avoid a losing season.
For East Carolina. . . The Pirates are No. 129 nationally (dead last) in total defense; No. 129 in scoring defense; No. 127 in rushing defense; No. 129 in pass defense.
For BYU . . . The Cougars are No. 128 nationally in total offense; No. 128 in scoring offense; No. 118 in passing offense; and No. 125 in rushing offense.
East Carolina will win if . . . The Pirates can force turnovers and their passing game can exploit BYU’s secondary.
BYU will win if . . . The Cougars can control both lines of scrimmage and do something they haven’t done all year — score more than 24 points. ECU gives up an average of 50 points and 600 yards per game.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Thomas Sirk, East Carolina quarterback: Sirk has completed 116 of 210 passes for 1,473 yards with eight interceptions and nine touchdowns this season. The Pirates are No. 30 in the country in passing offense and wide receiver Davon Grayson has caught 37 passes for 631 yards and six touchdowns.
BYU's defense vs. East Carolina’s defense: Can the Cougar offense, which has struggled all season, avoid mistakes like dropped passes, penalties and turnovers? If the Cougars can’t score touchdowns against ECU, then they probably can’t score against anyone.
“I understand how hard it is to watch a product be the way that you want it to be. But I can guarantee that these guys in the locker room are giving every single thing that they have. We are working as hard as we possibly can and the product will get better. I want people to be there so they can see it when it starts to turn.”
— East Carolina coach Scottie Montgomery
“The focus is still on what we can do. If you look at the teams we’ve played so far this year, we really haven’t played a complete game as a team and where I feel like we were good in all three phases, offense, defense and special teams.”
— BYU coach Kalani Sitake
BYU hosts San Jose State and while East Carolina has a bye next Saturday.
(All times Mountain) Date Opponent Time/result
Aug. 26 Portland State W, 20-6
Sept. 2 vs. Louisiana State L, 27-0
Sept. 9 Utah L, 19-13
Sept. 16 Wisconsin L, 40-6
Sept. 29 at Utah State L, 40-24
Oct. 6 Boise State L, 24-7
Oct. 14 at Mississippi State L, 35-10
Oct. 21 at East Carolina 5 p.m. MDT
Oct. 28 San Jose State TBA
Nov. 4 at Fresno State TBA
Nov. 10 at UNLV 8:30 p.m.
Nov. 18 UMass 1 p.m.
Nov. 25 at Hawaii 7 p.m.