ECU Linebackers

Head football coach Mike Houston confirmed on Tuesday that junior linebacker Aaron Ramseur tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.

“We’ll help him through that rehab and be excited to have him back next year,” Houston said. “But that was a tough blow. He had played very well against Central Florida and was really starting to come around so it’s disappointing for all of us to see his season come to an end.”

Used sparingly at the beginning of the season, Ramseur slowly solidified his name on the depth chart as the season deepened. Against Gardner-Webb University (3-5, 1-2 Big South), he booked five solo tackles, two for a loss of yardage and one sack.

Since then, Ramseur added 3.5 tackles for loss to his resume, bringing his total to 5.5 for the season, while at the same time adding an additional sack against the College of William & Mary (2-6, 0-4 CAA).

Just two games ago, Ramseur had somewhat of a break-out contest, totaling 14 total tackles (seven solo, seven assists), two of which were tackles for loss. In that game, Ramseur made his first start of the year at middle linebacker, a position usually filled by fellow junior linebacker Bruce Bivens.

Ramseur ranked ninth in the tackles department with 34 before his injury and currently ranks fourth on the team with his aforementioned 5.5 tackles for loss.

Without Ramseur moving forward, the Pirates’ linebacker corps becomes relatively thin. While Houston has indicated the depth chart is likely to change ahead of Saturday’s matchup with the University of Cincinnati (6-1, 3-0 AAC), Bivens is now backed up by sophomore Delvontae Harris who has played only eight games at the collegiate level and began the season suspended.

Sophomore linebacker Myles Berry made his first collegiate start at will linebacker against the University of Central Florida (6-2, 3-1 AAC), replacing sophomore Xavier Smith who has been banged up a bit.

“We need that group to play well,” Houston said of his linebackers. “It’s a group that I think has some potential, but they’ve got to play well. I did not think that group played particularly well on Saturday, but they weren’t the only ones. But they’ve got to perform at a high level.”

While the blame was not placed squarely on the shoulders of the linebacker corps, ECU’s defense yielded over 300 rushing yards to USF last Saturday, allowing over 500 yards of total offense. In that game, sophomore linebacker Gerard Stringer booked only two tackles while Smith, ECU’s leading tackler, was in on seven (five assists, two solos).

The Pirates will enter Saturday’s home game against Cincinnati allowing 192.2 rushing yards per contest to opposing programs, ranking them 99th in the FBS. ECU has only been marginally better against the pass, limiting teams to 225 yards per game, the 69th fewest in the country. In all, however, the Pirates’ defensive unit is yielding 417.2 yards every time out (88th in the FBS).

Five times this season ECU’s defense has given up at least 450 yards of offense, including each of the last three games, culminating in 611 yards yielded to UCF on Oct. 19.

“You’ve seen our depth chart change a little bit each week,” Houston said. “Although the depth chart comes out like that today (Tuesday), it’s probably going to be a little different on Saturday because who starts the game Saturday and who gets the most reps on Saturday is going to be dictated by their performance this week in practice.”

Sitting at 3-5 on the season staring down back-to-back games against nationally ranked opponents can place a lot of pressure on a program. Because of some leaky defensive elements, opponents have racked up exactly 350 more yards than ECU’s offense thus far in 2019, signaling what has transpired up until this point has not worked out.

That is why the loss of Ramseur is so tough. Each week, he seemed to gradually make improvements and find a way to impact the game. At the beginning of the season, he was a non-factor on the roster, but since, he had blossomed into a key depth piece in the Pirates’ linebacker corps. With his injury, however, it will be up to guys like Harris and junior linebacker Warren Saba to step up and fill the void.

The Pirates will be back in action on Saturday when they face Cincinnati inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Head football coach Mike Houston confirmed on Tuesday that junior linebacker Aaron Ramseur tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.

 

“We’ll help him through that rehab and be excited to have him back next year,” Houston said. “But that was a tough blow. He had played very well against Central Florida and was really starting to come around so it’s disappointing for all of us to see his season come to an end.”

 

Used sparingly at the beginning of the season, Ramseur slowly solidified his name on the depth chart as the season deepened. Against Gardner-Webb University (3-5, 1-2 Big South), he booked five solo tackles, two for a loss of yardage and one sack.

Since then, Ramseur added 3.5 tackles for loss to his resume, bringing his total to 5.5 for the season, while at the same time adding an additional sack against the College of William & Mary (2-6, 0-4 CAA).

 

Just two games ago, Ramseur had somewhat of a break-out contest, totaling 14 total tackles (seven solo, seven assists), two of which were tackles for loss. In that game, Ramseur made his first start of the year at middle linebacker, a position usually filled by fellow junior linebacker Bruce Bivens.

 

Ramseur ranked ninth in the tackles department with 34 before his injury and currently ranks fourth on the team with his aforementioned 5.5 tackles for loss.

 

Without Ramseur moving forward, the Pirates’ linebacker corps becomes relatively thin. While Houston has indicated the depth chart is likely to change ahead of Saturday’s matchup with the University of Cincinnati (6-1, 3-0 AAC), Bivens is now backed up by sophomore Delvontae Harris who has played only eight games at the collegiate level and began the season suspended.

 

Sophomore linebacker Myles Berry made his first collegiate start at will linebacker against the University of Central Florida (6-2, 3-1 AAC), replacing sophomore Xavier Smith who has been banged up a bit.

 

“We need that group to play well,” Houston said of his linebackers. “It’s a group that I think has some potential, but they’ve got to play well. I did not think that group played particularly well on Saturday, but they weren’t the only ones. But they’ve got to perform at a high level.”

 

While the blame was not placed squarely on the shoulders of the linebacker corps, ECU’s defense yielded over 300 rushing yards to USF last Saturday, allowing over 500 yards of total offense. In that game, sophomore linebacker Gerard Stringer booked only two tackles while Smith, ECU’s leading tackler, was in on seven (five assists, two solos).

 

The Pirates will enter Saturday’s home game against Cincinnati allowing 192.2 rushing yards per contest to opposing programs, ranking them 99th in the FBS. ECU has only been marginally better against the pass, limiting teams to 225 yards per game, the 69th fewest in the country. In all, however, the Pirates’ defensive unit is yielding 417.2 yards every time out (88th in the FBS).

 

Five times this season ECU’s defense has given up at least 450 yards of offense, including each of the last three games, culminating in 611 yards yielded to UCF on Oct. 19.

 

“You’ve seen our depth chart change a little bit each week,” Houston said. “Although the depth chart comes out like that today (Tuesday), it’s probably going to be a little different on Saturday because who starts the game Saturday and who gets the most reps on Saturday is going to be dictated by their performance this week in practice.”

 

Sitting at 3-5 on the season staring down back-to-back games against nationally ranked opponents can place a lot of pressure on a program. Because of some leaky defensive elements, opponents have racked up exactly 350 more yards than ECU’s offense thus far in 2019, signaling what has transpired up until this point has not worked out.

 

That is why the loss of Ramseur is so tough. Each week, he seemed to gradually make improvements and find a way to impact the game. At the beginning of the season, he was a non-factor on the roster, but since, he had blossomed into a key depth piece in the Pirates’ linebacker corps. With his injury, however, it will be up to guys like Harris and junior linebacker Warren Saba to step up and fill the void.

 

The Pirates will be back in action on Saturday when they face Cincinnati inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

 

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