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Grant Traylor: Conservative approach wins games for ECU QB

Nov. 22, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden is not going to wow anyone with his skill set.

He's not going to throw the most crisp pass or be the most versatile quarterback around.

But what he does is win -- as has been seen in four of his last five games.

Carden is going to put his team in position to win football games, and more importantly, he's not going to do anything to take his team out of position to win.

"The key is he's taking care of the ball and distributing the ball in the right places," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. "Offensively, they might not be putting up the kind of numbers they did with (2011 starter) Dominique Davis, but they're more efficient in what they do because they take care of the ball and Carden manages the game really well."

Through 11 games, Carden has thrown for 2,399 yards with 18 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.

Statistics surrounding Carden will never jump out, but considering that he's been sacked 24 times on the season, he has taken very good care of the football for the Pirates.

Marshall's defenders said his poise has been impressive, making it that much more important for them to get to him early and often.

"We've been doing much better as a unit pressuring the quarterback and helping out our defensive backs," Marshall defensive end Alex Bazzie said. "(Carden) is a quarterback that can manage the game. He's no Peyton Manning or anything, but he keeps drives going and makes things happen. We have to put some pressure on him and get him on the ground as much as we can."

Despite his un-Manning-like tendencies, Carden is getting the job done.

Over the past five games, he has thrown for 1,408 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions.

That has taken the Pirates from a 3-3 team to a 7-4 team who, with a little help from UAB, could win the East Division title and play for a Conference USA championship.

HERD OFFERS QB: Marietta (Ga.) Walton quarterback Price Wilson confirmed that he picked up an offer from Marshall on Wednesday.

Wilson, a 6-foot, 210-pound Class of 2014 prospect who has also received interest from Louisville and Boston College, has significant ties to the Tri-State area.

His grandfather is former Marshall basketball great Cebe Price, who starred on the court for the Herd from 1955-57. Price ranked 24th nationally in scoring in 1955 and was later selected in the eighth round of the 1958 NBA Draft by the Syracuse Nationals.

THE INDICATOR: Through 11 games this season, the Pirates sit at 7-4.

When leading after three quarters, they are 7-0.

When trailing after three quarters, they are 0-4.

Pretty simple, huh?

THANKSGIVING COMES EARLY: The Herd had two Thanksgiving dinners.

On Monday night, the team went to Christ Temple Church and had Thanksgiving dinner with the church members there.

Then, on Wednesday, Marshall's football team spent the evening together partaking in its own Thanksgiving feast.

Holliday joked that center Cameron Dees was going to have extra portions to be ready for ECU nose tackle Terry Williams, who checks in at 327 pounds.

PERSONAL NOTE: On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for the readers of The Herald-Dispatch, who are very passionate about the teams they support.

Whether it is Marshall athletics or the high school realm, it is a blessing to be able to serve the community in which I grew up. Many thanks to you, our readers, for making this a great profession.

Grant Traylor is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or gtraylor@herald-dispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).

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