BYH, Attorney General Sessions, if you are going to tout the bible, I sure wish you would read Leviticus 19:33....

SUMMERS: ECU wins on emotion


ECU's Hussein Howe jumps over BYU's Grant Jones during their game on Oct. 21, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Monday, October 23, 2017

On a Saturday-to-Saturday basis, America's college football obsession invariably overlooks the thousands of individual kids it takes to create the weekly spectacle.

More specifically, it commands those kids to be adults who are generally asked to take more accountability for their actions in games than most actual adults do in everyday life.

At the core of the millions of dollars invested in college teams and TV deals and millions more spent by fans on high-priced tickets, concessions and apparel – and well beyond the week-long office and Twitter conversations the games create that carry so many people from Monday to another Saturday – are college students.

By their very definition, they are still figuring things out.

For East Carolina, it's been a tough couple of months in that regard.

The Pirates entered Saturday night's homecoming game against BYU under the dark cloud of a 1-6 start to the season. Question marks multiplied like mosquitoes as those losses piled up and as fans and even upcoming opponents piled on.

Whether second-year ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery was coaching for his job or not on Saturday night, on this night at least, he and his misfit band of Pirates did all the right things. They even said the right things following a 33-17 victory against a BYU team which saw its own season of despair plummet even deeper with a 1-7 record.

After some considerable effort all week from the East Carolina head coach and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher to boost morale and coax out a much bigger crowd than attended the team's last two home games, there was energy in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the first time in at least a year.

The Pirates bucked their season-long proclivity for competing during parts of games but not others by using their full complement of players to slowly hammer into place a second victory this season. It was far more convincing than their missed field goal cliffhanger back in September at Connecticut in which a shanked Huskies kick as time expired allowed the Pirates to sneak home with a 41-38 win.

This time, instead of leaving the outcome up to the clock or the fate of an opposing team's kicker, the ECU defense grabbed whatever game plan BYU had and slammed it to the turf. The Pirate offense, despite turning the ball over on its first drive and later losing starting quarterback Thomas Sirk to an elbow injury in the second half, did its share, including a pair of insurance touchdown tosses by backup Gardner Minshew in the fourth quarter. And ECU's kicker did not miss, knocking home four big field goals in succession to give ECU a 19-10 lead after three quarters.

What does it all mean?

Maybe not much for a team that now must figure out a way to get a win against a much more credible slate of remaining opponents – Houston, Tulane, Cincinnati or Memphis – just to match last season's three total wins.

It might be fleeting, but the relief written on the Pirates' faces as they walked off the field following a critical homecoming win was an illustration of the unique upswing of feelings that in many ways characterized kids who aren't quite adults yet and adults who aren't quite done being kids yet.

It was the sort of simplified, impulsive happiness that perhaps only people that age truly feel, although you could feel them feeling it.

Pure emotion is a force that can untangle even the most complicated of things.

It is what lifts cars off of people at accident scenes and makes people run through agonizing cramps to finish marathons.

On Saturday night, it helped ECU wide receiver Trevon Brown drag another human being nearly 10 full yards to the goal line on a play that eventually set up a key Pirate touchdown.

In certain circumstances, it creates wins and sometimes even total turnarounds for people and teams in seemingly impossible scenarios.

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


Humans of Greenville


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


June 17, 2018

The United States team completed a dominant run at the FIBA Americas U18 basketball tournament in Ontario, Canada, on Saturday night with a 113-74 victory against the host Canadian squad to take the gold medal.

East Carolina first-year coach Joe Dooley helped pick the team, which was led…

dooley (1).JPG.JPG

June 16, 2018

East Carolina sophomore outfielder Bryant Packard earned his school-record seventh All-America honor after being named a first-teamer by the American Baseball Coaches Association on Saturday.

Packard led ECU in seven offensive categories, including batting average (.406) to rank seventh nationally.…


June 15, 2018

East Carolina first-year coach Joe Dooley played in part in assembling the roster for the USA Basketball U18 National Team that could be on a collision course to face host team Canada this weekend in the championship game of the FIBA Americas tournament.

Dooley was a court coach during…


June 14, 2018

To many in the world of women’s basketball, Anne Donovan was a giant. And not just because she stood 6-foot-8.

She won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a player and another as a coach in her storied career. She died Wednesday and people in Greenville…

Obit Donovan

June 13, 2018

Anne Donovan, the Basketball Hall of Famer and former East Carolina women’s head coach who won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals in the 1980s and coached the U.S. to gold in 2008, died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 56.

On her rise to prominence, Donovan…

June 12, 2018

Reality set in for East Carolina shot put standout Galissia Cause during her hotel check-in last week in Eugene, Ore., for the track and field NCAA Outdoor Championships.

She competed at the NCAA East Regional meet in all four of her seasons, but only this year did the senior make it past…


June 10, 2018

There is a group text message involving some recent East Carolina baseball players.

They are great friends, and it is during these messages about jobs or social plans when Evan Kruczynski is reminded how lucky he is to be a professional baseball player.

There is a grind associated with the day-to-…


June 08, 2018

Galissia Cause already was the East Carolina record holder in the outdoor shot put and she ended her collegiate career Thursday night in All-America fashion, placing 10th in the shot put event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships held in Eugene, Ore. Taking 10th place garnered her second-team All-…


June 07, 2018

East Carolina baseball coach Cliff Godwin had been linked to the Mississippi State head coaching position this week, but Godwin confirmed Thursday that he is staying with the Pirates.

This is the second Southeastern Conference school that has shown interest in Godwin, who is an ECU alum and former…


June 06, 2018

Just like last June, East Carolina baseball’s pitching ace is headed to the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

ECU Friday night starter Chris Holba was selected early in the final day of the Major League Baseball draft Wednesday, going in the 11th round to the Cardinals. St. Louis also…

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