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AAC: Early test for Memphis

Navy Memphis Football

Memphis head coach Mike Norvell celebrates after defensive back Austin Hall intercepted a pass to seal a 30-27 win over Navy in the final minutes of the fourth quarter in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The American Athletic Conference has an opportunity to build on Saturday’s football upset by Cincinnati at UCLA with more games against Power Five opponents this week, but an in-league matchup also is notable with Memphis traveling to face Navy in an AAC West showdown.

Navy began its season with a 59-41 loss at Hawaii, but the Midshipmen and their unique triple-option rushing attack are always a threat in the conference. Memphis, the AAC West preseason favorite, is a lead contender to possibly knock off Central Florida and win the league championship this year.

“It’s going to be a big game for us and we are definitely excited about it, but it is unique with a game that we know is going to clearly impact the divisional race,” Memphis coach Mike Norvell said of playing Navy during Week 2.

The Tigers went 10-3 a year ago and they took care of their Week 1 tune-up with a 66-14 home win against Mercer. New quarterback Brady White, an Arizona State graduate transfer, went 22-of-28 for 358 yards and five touchdowns in his debut.

Memphis opened as a four-point favorite against Navy, which ran 49 times for 326 yards in the loss at Hawaii.

“They basically cruised in their first game and had a great, great showing,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said of UM. “Fortunately we are at home and we normally play well at home and are a hard team to beat at home. Hopefully all those factors can help us against a really good Memphis team.”

What to watch

This weekend’s American Athletic Conference slate features four of its teams hosting Power Five opponents.

It begins Friday night when TCU from the Big 12 travels to play at SMU.

Two Atlantic Coast Conference teams hit the road Saturday afternoon for AAC action with North Carolina at East Carolina, and Georgia Tech at South Florida after both of those teams won their opener. The fourth game is Pac-12 member Arizona at Houston on Saturday at noon.

Also this week, Tulsa plays at Texas and Connecticut makes a long trip to Boise State.

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

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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-…

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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…

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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…

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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

November 15, 2018

Two important elements to Saturday night’s East Carolina football game are that the struggling Pirates (2-7) are favored against Connecticut (1-9), and that it is senior day at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

ECU has been the underdog in all but two games this season. It was nearly a two-touchdown…

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