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UNC-ECU: Three answers

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East Carolina's Jalen Price celebrates during their game against North Carolina on Sept. 8, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Three questions were asked in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section to preview East Carolina’s matchup against North Carolina, which ended as a timely and emotional 41-19 win for the Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Here are the answers to those questions and more insight from the game.

1. How is the atmosphere? It helped on an emotional day for East Carolina and the crowd was loud at times, especially during the second half as the Pirates were pulling away from the 0-2 Tar Heels during the final quarter. The announced attendance was 39,298, which is well below the 51,082 number on Sept. 20, 2014 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium when the Pirates beat UNC 70-41.

2. Does Holton Ahlers play? Yes. And very well. The freshman from Greenville had a huge impact on the game, scoring two of the Pirates’ four rushing touchdowns. He is ECU’s best running quarterback and his power running style helped the Pirates total 220 yards on 49 carries. Starting QB Reid Herring is the Pirates’ best pocket passer and he finished 19-of-32 for 290 yards and a touchdown. Ahlers made his debut during East Carolina’s first drive and the use of both QBs from there worked out great for the victors.

3. Who wins the turnover battle? Neither, which in many ways was a win for ECU. There were no turnovers at all by either team. Avoiding a single giveaway was key for the Pirates after they had three in a Week 1 loss to North Carolina A&T. Two of those turnovers came in the A&T red zone.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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