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ECU-BYU: Three takeaways


ECU players run out onto the field before their game against BYU on Oct. 21, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Sunday, October 22, 2017

East Carolina stopped an ugly three-game losing skid Saturday during homecoming at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium with a 33-17 win over BYU. Here are some takeaways:

1. Pass defense: In a pivotal sequence, BYU hit a 46-yard pass during the third quarter in a broken coverage by ECU that has been familiar in Pirate losses this season. But ECU withstood that and the drive ended with a missed field goal to keep ECU up 16-10. BYU teams are based around size and physicality and its big backs found some running room at times, but the big plays that hurt ECU’s defense were mainly prevented and the different levels of the defense seemed to work well together. After the win, coach Scottie Montgomery referenced the Pirates’ speed advantage and aggressive play in the secondary. Those were big factors in ECU’s best defensive performance this year.

2. BYU is depleted: Maybe the Cougars’ struggles are shedding light on the coaching prowess of Bronco Mendenhall (Virginia is 5-2 this season). BYU has never really had an abundance of speed at the skill positions, but it just didn’t seem to have much in terms of playmakers. The team’s depth chart has also been hit big-time this season with injuries. An ugly season of offense for BYU continued as it is now 1-7 and has been held to less than 20 points in six of those games.

3. Winning feeling: Some logistics definitely were working in East Carolina’s favor — BYU’s travel, a good crowd, to name a few — but the Pirates also played like a team that sensed a vulnerable opponent and put together a complete performance on the field. Especially after halftime. Many people viewed Temple’s visit to Greenville a few weeks ago as a similar situation and ECU faltered, but in another winnable spot, the Pirates delivered. They needed the win and they went and got it. If anything, it was refreshing and it let the players who have had to endure many blowout losses enjoy a victory. That was nice to see.


Humans of Greenville


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


September 19, 2018

Joe Dooley’s second stint as East Carolina’s basketball coach will begin Nov. 6 with a home against Delaware State, which is part of the Pirates playing seven games in Minges Coliseum in November and 18 total for the 2018-19 season.

ECU released its schedule Wednesday afternoon and it…


September 19, 2018

East Carolina could benefit from touchbacks and fair catches in Saturday night’s football matchup at South Florida.

USF freshman Terrence Horne raced to two kickoff return touchdowns already in a win against Georgia Tech on Sept. 8 to make him the only player in the country this year with…


September 19, 2018

Temple made a big jump in the American Athletic Conference football beat writer rankings, and East Carolina also moved up a spot to eighth this week.

The Sunshine State occupies the top two spots, led again by steady Central Florida. South Florida takes over second place, has a 3-0 record and hosts…


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…

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