Loading...
'BYH' to the GOP, working on their new motto, "We don't mind if a man tries to rape you, we only care if you don't want...

Blackwell: 'We have to fix it'

120917ECUFootball-4.jpg

East Carolina defensive coordinator David Blackwell, left, with head coach Scottie Montgomery during a news conference Dec. 8, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, July 12, 2018

July is a big month for college football fans to soak up preseason hype in the form of magazines, predictions and projections of all kinds.

These things have not been kind already to East Carolina, which has posted consecutive 3-9 seasons under coach Scottie Montgomery.

The Phil Steele Preview Magazine ranks ECU 116th in its power poll of all 130 teams. Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has East Carolina with the worst odds to win the American Athletic Conference at 500 to 1.

First-year defensive coordinator David Blackwell was not here for the Pirates’ historically bad defensive statistics a year ago, but he is aware of them and remains motivated to prove people wrong.

“It’s up to us to change it,” he said Tuesday. “People’s perception is only going to change when we change it. We may not like what people are saying about us, but it’s our jobs as coaches and players to change it.

“We have to live with it. We made the bed, we have to live in it and we have to be the ones to fix it.”

Blackwell added that he talked to his defensive players last Friday about what is out there about the Pirates.

“Everybody pays attention to this stuff,” Blackwell said. “I said that if you don’t get offended by everything that you’ve read or you hear, then there is something wrong. If it doesn’t bother you then there is something wrong with you.”

The Phil Steele magazine is widely viewed as the most trusted preseason publication. Steele predicts the AAC East standings as Central Florida leading the pack followed by Temple, South Florida, Cincinnati, ECU and Connecticut.

Steele notes a positive in projecting the Pirates to likely improve on their turnover ratio and yards allowed per play from 2017, but also points to the meat of the schedule East Carolina will be facing during the first half of the season. It includes games at Virginia Tech, USF and Temple.

“The factors point to improvement in 2018, as does that third-year head coaches usually make big strides with the majority of the team made up of their recruits,” Steele wrote in his ECU preview. “This is Montgomery’s best team, but they face a rugged schedule.”

Blackwell, a former Pirate player who was part of ECU's 1992 Peach Bowl championship team, had plenty of success leading the Jacksonville (Ala.) State defense the last four years. He said he has seen the power a winning Pirate football team can have in eastern North Carolina and is seeking that feeling again in his return to Greenville.

“We have to do it together,” he said. “It’s not just the players and the coaches, but it’s the fan base and everything. There are going to be bumps in the road because life is not easy and there are bumps with everything. We have to have people’s support and our players and coaches have to have belief that we are going to get out of it.”

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

September 22, 2018

Q: You had 90 receiving yards and a touchdown against North Carolina on Sept. 8, earning the game ball after the Pirates’ 41-19 win. What did you do with the ball?

A: I’m giving it to my son (5-year-old Quey), and it’s unbelievable just to be able to say that I can give that to my…

090318ECUfootball-51.jpg

September 21, 2018

Raymond James Stadium is set to host two primetime football games in the coming days, beginning Saturday when East Carolina plays at 3-0 South Florida at 8 p.m.

USF stages its home games at the stadium in Tampa more known as the venue for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

September 20, 2018

Basketball schedules released by East Carolina and the American Athletic Conference this week have East Carolina hosting three men’s-women’s doubleheaders in Minges Coliseum, including two to begin the season.

ECU’s women, who went 16-15 last year for their first winning record…

011118ECUwomen-6.jpg

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…

081218ECUfootball-6.jpg

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…

060918ECUBasketball-8.jpg

September 19, 2018

It has been two weeks since East Carolina has played a football game, and the Pirates spent most of those days in Orlando, Fla., to avoid the direct impact of Hurricane Florence.

They left Orlando for Tampa on Friday and, similar to two weeks ago against North Carolina from the Atlantic Coast…

081518ECUfootball-2.jpg

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…

090918ECUfootball-20.jpg

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…

090918ECUfootball-3.jpg

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…

090918ECUfootball-44.jpg
192 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 20
        Next Page»   Last Page»