Sophomore Kurt Benkert, the heir to record-setting QB Shane Carden at ECU, has been lost for the season with a torn ACL.
Benkert suffered the injury during Tuesday’s practice, ending his quest to captain the Pirate attack in 2015. As the backup a year ago, he completed 8-of-10 for 58 yards and a pick, while rushing for 23 yards and a pair of touchdowns on five carries. Benkert was steady throughout the offseason to hold off the challenges of juniors Blake Kemp and Cody Keith. But now Kemp and Keith, as well as Minnesota transfer Philip Nelson, suddenly enter the spotlight as ECU scrambles to prepare a new starter for the opener with Towson.
Since the end of last season, the Pirate offense has now lost its coordinator, Lincoln Riley, leading rusher, Breon Allen, a pair of 1,000-yard receivers, Justin Hardy and Cam Worthy, and two most capable hurlers, Carden and Benkert.