Loading...
Bless Wellcome Middle School's heart. They are the best kept secret in the county. Great things are happening there and...

AAC: Navy coach sides with Johnson

Military Bowl Virginia Navy Football

Navy's running back John Brown III is upended by Virginia's Brenton Nelson in the first half of the Military Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ken Niumatalolo is on Paul Johnson’s side when it comes to the new NCAA rule in football that bans blocking below the waist that occurs five yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Niumatalolo is the veteran coach at Navy, which runs the triple-option rushing scheme maybe better than any other team in the country. That attack can involve running backs being lead blockers in space and down the field.

The Navy head man’s comments Wednesday during the American Athletic Conference spring teleconference were similar to Georgia Tech’s Johnson, who was at Navy before going to Georgia Tech in 2008 and continuing to run the triple option. Both coaches think their is inconsistency in the rules for when blocking is dangerous and that tackling below the waist is similar to blocking below the waist.

“Either cutting below the waist is dangerous or it’s not,” Niumatalolo said. “And I can only image that there has been a ton of people over the years who have blown their knees out and breaking ankles and stuff by getting tackled below the waist.”

The Midshipmen have been one of the most consistent teams in the American since joining the league in 2015. They were second in the nation last year at 351.4 rushing yards per game.

“I get these types of questions asked all the time and how it is going to affect us and we just adjust, because this isn’t the first cut-blocking rule that has changed over the last 10 years,” Niumatalolo said. “There’s one every year and we just adjust.”

Looking up

East Carolina, Connecticut and Cincinnati have all been through coaching transitions the last few years and they tied for last place in the AAC East division in 2016 and ‘17.

It was ECU that allowed the most points among league teams a season ago and Cincinnati that scored the least. Both squads are looking to improve on those statistics in order to move up in the AAC East ranks.

“With how we practiced and during scrimmages (this spring), we challenged the guys to treat it like a game and when there’s breaks you come to your coach like you do on the sideline and be able to articulate certain types of things,” said Cincy coach Luke Fickell, a former Ohio State defensive coordinator. “With the communication and understanding of what and why and the development of those things, I think we have come a long way. It showed in flashes during the spring, but I think it’s going to really carry over into the summer and our work in the fall.”

Pirate third-year head coach Scottie Montgomery has expressed optimism in a defensive turnaround under new coordinator David Blackwell. He was confident in that again Wednesday.

“Now knowing a lot of the people we have in the building, his scheme fits our kids really well,” Montgomery said. “This was probably the most difficult spring, from an offensive standpoint, that they have had to go through against our defense because we play great base defense now. We’ve learned how to generate pressure without always having to do it with people from the second and third levels.”

Down in Dallas

The AAC has two new coaches in Josh Heupel at Central Florida and veteran Sonny Dykes taking over at SMU.

Heupel and the Knights are coming off an undefeated season and will likely have great expectations again for this season. Dykes, a former head coach at Louisiana Tech and California who was an offensive analyst at TCU a year ago, said part of the satisfaction he has had so far with the Mustangs comes from a new lifestyle in Dallas.

“My family and myself have settled about two-tenths of a mile from our practice field, so from a personal standpoint, I can walk my kids to school and they can walk over and watch practice and be around our players and other coaches’ kids,” Dykes said. “It’s a great situation and I can’t imagine anything any better.”

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

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

February 18, 2019

East Carolina bas­ket­ball’s Jay­den Gard­ner col­lected his fifth Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence fresh­man of the week honor Mon­day af­ter post­ing his ninth dou­ble-dou­ble of the sea­son Sun­day against Tulsa with…

020119ECUbasketball-1.JPG

February 18, 2019

East Carolina baseball used eight different relief pitchers during its opening-weekend sweep of Radford, ranging from three freshmen making their debuts to seniors Sam Lanier and Evan Voliva closing out the Highlanders, 4-3, on Sunday at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Fifth-year coach Cliff Godwin said he…

021619ECUbaseball-20.JPG

February 17, 2019

Facing cold temperatures and an early deficit at Clark-LeClair Stadium, there were times Sunday when things could have gotten away from East Carolina’s baseball team.

The Pirates battled, however, and rallied during the middle and late innings to beat Radford 4-3 and complete an opening…

021619ECUbaseball-14.JPG

February 17, 2019

East Carolina softball’s four-game undefeated run through the Pirate Clash ended Sunday with the Pirates off to their best start to a season since beginning 8-0 in 2006.

After two walk-off wins Friday, Erin Poepping’s 10-strikeout performance from the circle Saturday night guided a…

042618ECUSoftball-5.jpg

February 17, 2019

The East Carolina basketball team in the puzzle-piece printed uniforms on Sunday afternoon showed again it is still missing some pieces.

The Pirates hit just one field goal in the opening eight minutes against Tulsa and trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half before storming back and…

020119ECUbasketball-8.JPG

February 17, 2019

East Carolina basketball coaches have been hot on the recruiting trail, including for Boston 7-footer Charles Coleman who also is a target by Wake Forest, Duke and DePaul, as the Pirates have faced difficulties on the court for another season.

A 79-69 loss to Memphis on Wednesday night, a game in…

020719ECUbasketball-5.JPG

February 16, 2019

East Carolina was busy on indoor and outdoor tennis courts this weekend, highlighted by the ECU women winning both of their matches in Greenville for a four-match win streak.

The Pirates (4-2) took a 5-2 victory over James Madison at the River Birch Tennis Center, then swept Campbell at the ECU…

011319basketball-4.JPG

February 16, 2019

After serving as East Carolina baseball’s first starting pitcher of the season and hitting for himself as the designated hitter, Alec Burleson was thinking he would remain at DH or maybe play first base for Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader versus Radford.

Instead, some conversations led…

021619ECUbaseball-7.JPG

February 15, 2019

A total of 21 runs by East Carolina powered the Pirates to a college baseball opening day sweep of Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday.

Spencer Brickhouse’s go-ahead, two-run home run keyed a 6-2 win, then ECU used a 16-hit barrage for a 15-9 victory in Game 2 of the doubleheader…

021619ECUbaseball-12.JPG

February 15, 2019

CATCHER

Jake Washer, junior: Washer is back as East Carolina’s starting catcher after receiving Major League Baseball draft interest following his breakout sophomore season. In addition to showing power with six home runs and 40 RBIs a year ago, Washer posted a smooth .287 batting average.…

012619ECUbaseball-8.JPG
261 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 27
        Next Page»   Last Page»