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Montgomery mulls QB plan

E Carolina-Houston Football-3

Houston linebacker Roman Brown tries to catch East Carolina wide receiver Quay Johnson as he turns for the end zone to score after his reception during the second half in Houston on Saturday.

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By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Monday, November 6, 2017

It is a strange time in the football season to have a quarterback controversy, but struggling East Carolina is having a tough time deciding which of its passers gives it a shot to win a third game.

Two days removed from a 52-27 pummeling at Houston, ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery listed his two QBs on the team depth chart as senior Thomas Sirk “or” junior Gardner Minshew as the starter.

Both have started this season and both have logged a considerable amount of playing time for the Pirates (2-7, 1-4 American Athletic Conference).

In fact, Minshew came off the bench at Houston to spell Sirk – the team's starter in seven of nine games – and proceeded to pass for 463 yards and three touchdowns and also set new ECU single-game records for pass attempts (68) and completions (52).

Who starts the game this Saturday against Tulane has yet to be determined, according to Montgomery.

“I thought two weeks ago against BYU (an ECU win), what we saw in Gardner is a much calmer quarterback than we did in the first couple of situations in the games that he was in, when he was a little bit more frantic in the pocket,” the coach said at Monday's weekly news conference in advance of Saturday's 7 p.m. kickoff in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium against the Green Wave (3-6, 1-4). “I really liked him in the pocket last week. I really think he was settled and did a good job with it.”

Montgomery said the team would announce its QB setup for Tulane later this week. 

Saturday slump

The Pirates have had a good deal of difficulty translating their practice field success into wins in games this season.

Montgomery acknowledges that truth, saying it is at least partly due to a lack of defined leadership on the roster.

“We've had some of our captains in the lineup, back out of the lineup, whether it's injuries or (inconsistent) playing, but there hasn't been a smooth transition of leadership from one guy to the next,” the coach said.

Also at issue is fast starts in some games that have not been sustained late, or the opposite like Saturday at Houston, when the Pirates were down 21-0 and 28-3 early in the game and never recovered.

Defensively, Montgomery said the Pirates' bane continues to be big plays.

“I think this is a team that has to get better at stopping the big play because the momentum shifts in the game really affect this team,” he said, noting that he expects younger leaders to emerge like defensive lineman Alex Turner, center John Spellacy and linebacker Aaron Ramseur.

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

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@HumansofGville

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

ECU

November 18, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing the Connecticut at East Carolina football game for ECU’s senior day. The favored Pirates cruised to a 55-21 win.

Here and the answers and more insight:

1. Which East Carolina running back gets the…

111818ECUfootball-28.jpg

November 17, 2018

Freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers dazzled again, ensuring that East Carolina’s football seniors had their time to celebrate during senior day at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

ECU got its expected and much-needed win Saturday night, stopping a five-game losing streak with a 55-21 victory over a…

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November 17, 2018

At 999 receiving yards for the season, East Carolina wide receiver Trevon Brown was looking for just one more to add consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to his college football resume.

The Pirates lined up midway through the second quarter on first-and-10 in their own territory. Holton Ahlers completed…

111818ECUFootball-8.jpg

November 17, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing the Connecticut at East Carolina football game for ECU’s senior day.

Check back after the 7 p.m. game (on CBS Sports Network) for the answers and more insight.

1. Which East Carolina running back…

093018ECUfootball-15.jpg

November 17, 2018

East Carolina and Connecticut are both starving for a football win, and one of the clubs is bound to achieve that feeling tonight inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Both teams are 0-6 in American Athletic Conference play. The Pirates (2-7 overall) have three games remaining and they are favored over the…

GAMEDAY-2.jpg

November 17, 2018

Q: You are an emotional guy. Who else on the team gets really hyped and loud before games?

A: I definitely have to say D’Ante Smith and probably Matt Morgan on the offensive line. Matt is like my hype man. But as a whole (team), there really are guys across the board who get into it and get…

093018ECUFootball-14.jpg

November 16, 2018

East Carolina basketball was frigid from the field on Friday night at Georgia Tech, suffering a 79.54 setback to the Yellow Jackets after the Pirates shot a paltry 35.6 percent from the floor.

ECU (2-2) saw its record evened after a pathetic 2-for-17 showing from three-point range to go with a 10-…

111018ECUhoops-4.jpg

November 16, 2018

Southern Miss athletics director Jon Gilbert is potentially emerging as a lead candidate in East Carolina’s search for a new AD, although Southern Miss athletics spokesman Jack Duggan said Friday afternoon that he was not aware of Gilbert leaving for another job.

Multiple sources have…

081618ECUFootball-4.jpg

November 16, 2018

East Carolina’s basketball team scrimmaged Atlantic Coast Conference opponents Wake Forest and N.C. State during the preseason.

Tonight’s game at ACC member Georgia Tech will count toward the Pirates’ win-loss record.

ECU (2-1), which has one win ever against an ACC team when it…

111018ECUhoops-7.jpg

November 15, 2018

Coaches Scottie Montgomery and Randy Edsall sound similar at this point in the college football season.

Montgomery and the Pirates will be looking to stop a five-game losing streak when 1-9 Connecticut visits Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff Saturday. ECU is 2-7 this year, giving…

SMU UConn Football
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