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AAC poll: ECU in last place

UCF UConn Football

Central Florida running back Adrian Killins Jr. (9) runs the ball in for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Connecticut on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in East Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)

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The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

After an impressive road win at UCLA, Cincinnati made the biggest leap, from ninth to fifth, in this week’s American Athletic Conference power rankings based on voting from beat writers at each league school.

East Carolina debuted in 12th place last week and remained there after losing 28-23 to FCS foe North Carolina A&T. Temple (ninth) also lost to an FCS team in Villanova.

1. UCF

Record: 1-0 (1-0 in AAC)

Last week: defeated UConn, 56-17

This week: vs. South Carolina State

Trajectory: Surging. McKenzie Milton passed for 346 yards and five touchdowns and the Knights scored on 8-of-9 offensive possessions against the Huskies with no scoring drive lasting longer than 2 minutes, 39 seconds. Defensive back Richie Grant recovered a fumble and an interception.

Did you know? UCF holds the nation’s longest winning streak at 14 games.

- Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel

2. Memphis

Record: 1-0 (0-0 in AAC)

Last week: defeated Mercer, 66-14

This week: at Navy

Trajectory: Surging. Quarterback Brady White had an impressive debut (358 yards, 5 TDs) and Memphis led 56-0 at halftime after scoring on its first eight drives. Defensively, TJ Carter returned an interception for a touchdown as the Tigers held Mercer to only 37 total yards of offense in the first half.

Did you know? Memphis defeated Navy last year for the first time in school history.

- Evan Barnes, The Commercial Appeal

3. Houston

Record: 1-0 (0-0 in AAC)

Last week: defeated Rice, 45-27

This week: vs. Arizona

Trajectory: Steady. After two injury-ravaged seasons, Marquez Stevenson scored a pair of touchdowns and had 203 all-purpose yards. All-America defensive tackle Ed Oliver kicked off his Heisman Trophy campaign with 13 tackles, 3 1/2 tackles for loss and two quarterback pressures. Next up: Arizona and Heisman hopeful Khalil Tate.

Did you know? Before his three-sack performance against Rice, defensive end Isaiah Chambers last played in a game in high school in 2015.

- Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle

4. USF

Record: 1-0 (0-0 AAC)

Last week: defeated Elon, 34-14

This week: vs. Georgia Tech

Trajectory: Surging. The Blake Barnett era got off to a rousing start (305 passing yards, three TDs) against Elon, but the Bulls' run defense was periodically gashed by the Phoenix, who amassed 192 yards on the ground. With Georgia Tech's flexbone triple option arriving Saturday, many USF fans are justifiably concerned.

Did you know? USF has won five of its last six against Power Five opposition

- Joey Knight, Tampa Bay Times

5. Cincinnati

Record: 1-0 (0-0 in AAC)

Last week: Defeated UCLA, 26-17

This week: Miami (Ohio)

Trajectory: Surging. Sophomore running back Michael Warren rushed 35 times for a career-high 142 yards as UC upset UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Junior LB Bryan Wright had two sacks and a pivotal forced fumble in the fourth quarter that resulted in the go-ahead safety.

Did you know? UC has won its last 12 meetings with neighboring rival Miami U.

- Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati Enquirer

6. Navy

Record: 0-1 (0-0 in AAC)

Last week: lost to Hawaii, 59-41

This week: vs. Memphis

Trajectory: Skidding. The Midshipmen could not have imagined a worse start to the season, traveling halfway around the world to get routed by the Rainbow Warriors. Navy's defense was shredded from start to finish, allowing 522 total yards of offense. Quarterback Malcolm Perry and the offense did not help matters early on, picking up just one first down on three possessions to start the game.

Did you know? Navy has not started a season with consecutive losses since 2012.

- Bill Wagner, Baltimore Sun Media Group

7. Tulane

Record: 0-1 (0-0 AAC)

Last week: Lost to Wake Forest, 23-17 in OT

This week: vs. Nicholls State

Trajectory: Steady. Tulane was outplayed by Wake Forest for most of the night but had a tremendous chance to win at the end of regulation, needing one more first down to get into range for a go-ahead field goal. Everything went wrong from there. It was a missed opportunity for a statement victory against a Power Five program.

Did You Know? Tulane is undefeated against FCS teams.

- Guerry Smith, The New Orleans Advocate

8. Tulsa

Record: 1-0 (0-0 in AAC)

Last week: defeated Central Arkansas, 38-27

This week: at Texas

Trajectory: Surging. Although the win against a good FCS team wasn't particularly impressive, the Hurricane showed signs of moving in the right direction especially on defense. Tulsa held Central Arkansas to 0-for-10 on third downs and allowed the fewest yards since 2012.

Did you know? For the 10th time in four years under Philip Montgomery, Tulsa had two 100-yard rushers in a game (Shamari Brooks and Corey Taylor II). The Hurricane is 9-1 in those games.

- Kelly Hines, Tulsa World

9. Temple

Record: 0-1 (0-0 AAC)

Last week: lost to Villanova, 19-17.

This week: vs. Buffalo

Trajectory: Skidding. Even though Villanova is an extremely talented FCS team, it is still an FCS team and all the momentum from last year’s 4-1 finish, is now gone. The Owls were outgained 405-251 in total yards and also missed a 29-yard field goal. Newcomer Rock Ya-Sin, a senior transfer from Presbyterian College, played well in his Temple debut with five tackles, including one tackle for loss. Defensive end Dana Levine is expected out four to six weeks after suffering an unspecified injury against Villanova.

Did you know? This week’s opponent Buffalo has an NFL prospect at quarterback in 6-7, 245-pound junior Tyree Jackson, who threw six TD passes in the Bulls’ opening 48-10 win over Delaware State.

-Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News

10. SMU

Record: 0-1 (0-0 in AAC)

Last week: lost to North Texas, 46-23

This week: vs. TCU

Trajectory: Skidding. The Sonny Dykes era got off to a rough start in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The Mustangs were held scoreless and to one first down until scoring all their points in the final 8 1/2 minutes. SMU had four rushing yards on 19 carries.

Did you know? SMU and TCU meet for the 98th time Saturday, the sixth-longest active non-conference series in the nation.

- Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle

11. Connecticut

Record: 0-1 (0-1 in AAC)

Last week: lost to UCF, 56-17

This week: at Boise State

Trajectory: Skidding. No one was surprised to see UConn lose to UCF, but the Huskies probably expected better than a 39-point blowout. Though the offense moved the ball with some efficiency against the Knights, the defense ceded touchdowns on eight of the UCF’s nine full drives. With more than a few true freshmen playing significant snaps on D, UConn could allow a lot of points this season.

Did you know? Boise will be the farthest west UConn has ever played.

- Alex Putterman, Hartford Courant

12. East Carolina

Record: 0-1 (0-0 in AAC)

Last week: lost to North Carolina A&T, 28-23

This week: vs. North Carolina.

Trajectory: Skidding. Tension is very high in Greenville and math is already working against third-year coach Scottie Montgomery, who has guaranteed a bowl bid this season, after a 28-23 loss to FCS squad North Carolina A&T. Now the Pirates face a three-game set against North Carolina, Virginia Tech and South Florida.

Did you know? ECU’s announced attendance of 38,640 against N.C. A&T marked the first time since the 2006 season that it had a home-opening crowd of less than 40,000.

- Ronnie Woodward, Greenville Daily Reflector

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Humans of Greenville

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ECU

October 19, 2018

While the American Athletic Conference East division remains a three-team race, Houston is in the driver’s seat as the only remaining unbeaten team in the West.

Houston, which just defeated East Carolina 42-20 and has won its first two league games by an average 18.5 points, moved to No. 2 in…

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October 19, 2018

Central Florida’s 19-game football winning streak saw its closest contest yet last Saturday at Memphis.

The 10th-ranked Knights recovered from a slow start and rallied to win, 31-30, for a 6-0 record this season.

Following that emotional victory with a road game versus a struggling opponent…

SMU UCF Football

October 18, 2018

Less than three weeks away from starting a new season on Nov. 6, the East Carolina women’s basketball team had a major change in leadership Wednesday when head coach Heather Macy resigned at the conclusion of an ECU internal review into the program.

Macy, who is the winningest coach in ECU…

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October 18, 2018

A look at individual defensive statistics with the halfway point of the college football season already passed shows that what East Carolina’s Nate Harvey is doing is not a fluke.

In his first season playing defensive line, the former Pirate running back and linebacker leads the nation with…

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October 17, 2018

East Carolina women’s basketball coach Heather Macy resigned on Wednesday after the conclusion of an internal review led by the ECU athletics’ office of compliance, citing her misunderstanding of practice rules.

Macy became the Pirates’ all-time leader in women’s…

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October 17, 2018

The go-to saying for East Carolina basketball coach Joe Dooley regarding forward Seth LeDay is that LeDay is the best fast-twitch player for the Pirates this year.

What is fast-twitch?

“He has a quick first jump and a quick second jump,” Dooley said. “I like those fast-twitch guys.…

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October 16, 2018

Saturday night will serve as the first-career start at East Carolina for true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers, a Greenville native, and it will be the 29th for senior right tackle Garrett McGhin.

Ahlers is left-handed, which puts the right tackle McGhin in charge of protecting the rookie’s…

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October 15, 2018

East Carolina did not have a men’s or women’s basketball player lauded by the American Athletic Conference as a preseason all-conference pick.

The AAC released its preseason polls Monday, which had the ECU men 11th out of 12 teams and the Pirate women in eighth place.

UCF led the…

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October 15, 2018

It is the time of year when perspectives can become very contrasting for college football teams depending on where they are in the standings.

Very often, the great teams already have found ways to survive and stay on top, whereas the hard-luck teams often continue to lament coming close but not…

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October 15, 2018

The East Carolina football team is turning to true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers for this week and with a long-term plan in mind for the 6-foot-3, 236-pound left-hander to be the leader of the ECU offense.

Coach Scottie Montgomery announced Monday during his weekly news conference that Ahlers,…

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