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Montgomery: True fans will show

Virginia Tech East Carolina Football-7

East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery.

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By NATHAN SUMMERS
The Daily Reflector

Monday, October 16, 2017

Scottie Montgomery issued a plea, and perhaps a bit of a challenge, to East Carolina football fans on Monday morning.

Mired in a miserable 1-6 season and set to host BYU for the first time in program history, the Pirates’ second-year head coach asked fans Monday to show in big numbers for the 7 p.m homecoming kickoff in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

“I’m asking everybody this homecoming weekend to come out and support the Pirates, come out and support the university, come out and serve our colors, purple and gold,” Montgomery said at his weekly news conference. “These guys, some of our seniors, this is their last opportunity at homecoming. We really want to make it a fantastic experience for them.

“Our true Pirates will be out this weekend.”

The Pirates (1-3 American Athletic Conference), fresh from a stinging 63-21 loss at Central Florida on Saturday night, have seen their attendance plummet the last two home games. Those were also blowout league losses to South Florida and Temple, respectively, and even the announced crowd numbers reflected the smallest two home crowds in more than 10 years.

But Montgomery is mindful his team, which won at Connecticut on Sept. 24 for its lone win of the season, has a great chance for a homecoming win against a fellow 1-6 BYU squad.

“The main reason why I ask is because of the sacrifice of our football players,” Montgomery said of his appeal.

Additions/subtractions

As ECU gears up for the first-ever visit from the Cougars, the team has taken a few new injuries hits but also expects to get a few key players back.

Most significantly, senior defensive end Kiante Anderson (knee) is out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury sustained last week, interrupting one of the most productive seasons by any Pirate.

Anderson, a former walk-on from Winterville now on scholarship, is the Pirates’ leader with five tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks to go with 27 tackles.

“He will be out a significant amount of time. We don’t know how long he’ll be out,” Montgomery said of Anderson, who is being replaced by sophomore Jalen Price.

Sophomore wide receiver Deondre Farrier is slowed by an ankle injury suffered at UCF, and senior starting strong safety Bobby Fulp is a question mark due to a quad contusion he played through until last week, when he was spelled by true freshman Tank Robinson.

Also still in doubt is junior cornerback Corey Seargent, whose nagging hamstring injury has kept him in and out of the lineup for several weeks.

But a handful of players are on their way back. Perhaps most important on that list is freshman center John Spellacy, whose knee injury put him on the shelf for three games and left the offensive line in a jumble.

The beleaguered defense is set to welcome the return of sophomore defensive end Kendall Futrell (bacterial infection), and after serving one-game suspensions last week for violating academic policy, a pair of graduate transfer defenders will also return in end Gaelin Elmore and free safety Korrin Wiggins.

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter. 

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