To the person suggesting the postal service remove the word rain from their creed, they might as well just get a new...

AAC: Analytics helped Temple vs. ECU

1 of 2

ECU running back Hussein Howe (28) is brought down in the open field against Temple on Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.


The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Temple football coach Geoff Collins said Monday during the American Athletic Conference teleconference that his Owls had 10 defensive linemen play more than 22 snaps Saturday in a 34-10 win against East Carolina in Greenville.

Temple rushed for 179 yards, while the Pirates finished with 22 carries for just 34 yards.

Collins said the Owls’ D-line rotation played a big role in stuffing ECU’s rushers, but he also talked about the emphasis he typically puts on analytics during midweek preparation.

“I got asked about the number of tackles for losses that we had Saturday, and a lot of those was where we used data that said here is where they are going to run the ball and we got the right stunt or the right blitz or coverage check to take advantage of that information,” Collins, a first-year head coach, said. “We’ve always done it, and now it has just become a little more mainstream.”

ECU quarterback and team leading rusher Thomas Sirk, in particular, ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns in the previous game against South Florida. Sacks and pursuit by Temple led to Sirk’s rushing total being in the negative (minus-14 yards) for the first time this season.

“It always starts with our players and I thought our players did a great job studying the game plan and studying the opponent to pick up any little thing they could,” Collins said. “But at the end of the day, the execution was how hard our kids played and defended the run. We had some things dialed up, but our kids took information and applied it and played at a really high level.”

Division races

At the moment and possibly for the rest of the season, it’s all about the Sunshine State in the AAC East division.

The American is the only league in the country with three teams still undefeated. USF and Central Florida are two of them and they both are in the AAC East, but of the other four teams in the division, none have a winning overall or conference record.

USF (5-0 overall) and UCF (4-0) are both 2-0 in conference play. At the bottom are Cincinnati (2-4, 0-2) and Connecticut (1-4, 0-3), and East Carolina and Temple are both 1-2 in the American.

In the West, always-steady Navy is again in a good position at 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the league. Houston is off to a 2-0 AAC start, and three squads are 1-1.

Despite being in the lead, Navy veteran coach Ken Niumatalolo pointed out Monday that Memphis was the AAC West preseason favorite and the Tigers will be tough for his team to beat in Memphis this weekend.

“We know this is a critical game for both of us and with goals of winning the conference, because obviously you have win your division first,” Niumatalolo said. “That starts with Memphis because they have us at their place, and it’s always tough to win on the road. I expect it to be a battle.”

Memphis was listed Monday as a 4-point favorite for the matchup of teams with a combined 9-1 record.

Homecoming at night

After consecutive noon kickoffs at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, it was announced Monday that the Pirates will have a night game Oct. 21 against BYU.

The game will kick off at 7 p.m. and be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


September 18, 2018

East Carolina’s football team had a rare opportunity to be unified and fully concentrated on watching South Florida play at Illinois last Saturday, a game that ended with the Bulls rallying for 18 points in the fourth quarter for a 25-19 win and 3-0 start to their season.

ECU sought safe…


September 18, 2018

A win at a Pac-12 opponent, a shutout and then a record-setting outing on offense.

Cincinnati is 3-0 and riding high in the American Athletic Conference football ranks, following a Week 1 upset at UCLA with a 21-0 win against Miami of Ohio and then Saturday it beat Alabama A&M 63-7 behind a…

Cincinnati UCLA Football

September 17, 2018

The use of FaceTime on phones has been invaluable for the East Carolina football team, which avoided the direct hit of Hurricane Florence when it left for Orlando, Fla., last Wednesday but in many ways still is dealing with the aftermath.

That is especially true for players who have family in…


September 15, 2018

East Carolina football is under reconstruction.

For the first time last Saturday, some progress was evident on the field inside the Pirates' home stadium currently surrounded by scaffolding and temporary fencing. That is evidence of a bold $60 million upgrade in the works.

The men who wear the…


September 15, 2018

East Carolina was in last place for the first two installments of the American Athletic Conference writers’ power rankings, but after the Pirates’ 41-19 rout of North Carolina they moved up to ninth.

ECU (at Virginia Tech) and league frontrunner UCF (at N.C. State) had their games…


September 14, 2018

There was a play last Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium when a North Carolina safety was staring at an East Carolina backfield with two guys totaling 463 pounds on a third-and-3 play near midfield.

The UNC safety keyed on the wrong player during the read option, chasing after 6-foot-3, 236-pound…


September 12, 2018

East Carolina’s football team bused from Greenville to Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday and will remain there until its next game.

The Pirates’ game Saturday at Virginia Tech was canceled Tuesday because of Hurricane Florence and a release by ECU on Wednesday referenced issues of…


September 11, 2018

East Carolina’s football game scheduled for Saturday at Virginia Tech will not be played because of Hurricane Florence.

ECU sent out a release Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. stating that none of its teams will travel to games because of significant and imminent safety concerns. The release also said…


September 10, 2018

Like many people in North Carolina, the East Carolina football team is taking a day-to-day and even hour-to-hour approach as it transitions from Saturday’s rivalry win over North Carolina to this Saturday’s game at Virginia Tech with the threat of Hurricane Florence looming.…


September 10, 2018

Just two weeks into the season, the American Athletic Conference has already done its usual by knocking off some notable Power Five opposition, including three during the weekend.

Exemplifying that trend on Saturday was Houston’s high-flying trouncing of Pac-12 member Arizona. In that game,…

Arizona Houston Football-4
193 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 20
        Next Page»   Last Page»