October 13, 2010
Wilson, offense focused on ECU
Russell Wilson had a memorable day against East Carolina as a redshirt freshman. After playing just 20 snaps against South Carolina in the season opener, the rookie signal caller appeared on one special teams play the next week while still recovering from a concussion suffered against the Gamecocks. The following week, Wilson could not get the offense moving against Clemson in a 27-9 loss.
Then, Wilson began to work his magic that everyone expects from him on a weekly basis now. As an inexperienced rookie leading a team with a single victory, which came against William & Mary, Wilson had the odds stacked against him. The Pack was set to host No. 15 East Carolina in just his third collegiate start. Yet, Wilson finished the game 21-of-31 for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Although Wilson was injured at the end of the game and unable to play the next week, his legend had begun.
"I definitely do [remember it]," he said. "That was the first big game for me as a quarterback. [I was] trying to figure out how to win as a college quarterback."
As could be expected, Wilson does not want to dwell on the past, though. While he had some great memories from that game, he's focused on this weekend's showdown and running the Pack's record to 6-1.
"This is a different point and time, though," he said. "A different defense, a different coach, different players. It's going to be a great game for us, a great game for them and a great atmosphere."
While Wilson insists the team views this Satuday's contest as just another game, he does admit that coach Tom O'Brien places a special importance on any game played against a team from North Carolina.
"We consider every in-state game a rivalry as a team," he said. "At the same time, it's another game on the list. It's the game in front of us so it's the most important game."
While many fans are excited about the showdown between Wilson's high-powered offense and the Pirate's high-octane passing attack, which ranks 13th in the country with an average of 297.2 yards through the air; the Pack's signal caller doesn't allow his teammates to get caught up in the hype. Wilson insists that the Pack's offense is worried only about the things they can control.
"The focus is on us as an offense," he said. "We have to focus on one thing at a time, one play at a time. If we have to score 70 points, we have to score 70 points. If we have to score seven points to win the game, we'll score seven. As an offense, we try to score as many points as needed to win the game."
Wilson knows that the Pirate faithful are going to be loud at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Although he has never played there, he is treating it like he would any other contest away from Raleigh.
"I'm not sure how many people they can actually sit, probably around 45,000 - 50,000, but it's going to be a great game. It's going to be loud, it's going to be like any big-time road game. 100 yards is 100 yards, we have to focus on what we need to focus on and just play the game."
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