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American bags three Power Five wins

Arizona Houston Football-4

Houston quarterback D'Eriq King, left, throws a pass as Arizona linebacker Colin Schooler (7) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

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By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Monday, September 10, 2018

Just two weeks into the season, the American Athletic Conference has already done its usual by knocking off some notable Power Five opposition, including three during the weekend.

Exemplifying that trend on Saturday was Houston’s high-flying trouncing of Pac-12 member Arizona. In that game, AAC offensive player of the week D’Eriq King figured in six touchdowns — four passing, two rushing — as the Cougars raced out to a 38-0 lead.

It was another early-season signature for the American, now 4-0 versus the Pac-12, and it was another chance for the league’s coaches to tout what is becoming regular success against the game’s top five leagues and to push the conference’s “Power Six” agenda.

“You never want to take anything for granted, but this is something that’s becoming more common,” said UH head coach Major Applewhite, who now will steer his team to Texas Tech. “Power Six wins, there were three of them this weekend, 30 since ’15. This is an incredible conference. There are great players in this conference, and you can see that in the number of (NFL) draft picks compared to the other so-called larger conferences. We’ve got great players and great coaches, and I think people are just continuing to find that out week in and week out.”

Bulls on parade

South Florida also got in on the Power Five purge on Saturday, gutting Georgia Tech from the ACC by a count of 49-38 in Tampa.

Like Houston, USF has been no stranger to the spotlight in recent years and is also off to a 2-0 start under second-year head coach Charlie Strong. The former Texas front man is not surprised that the American continues to hold its own against the game’s elite.

“We talk about Power Six, and look at us against Georgia Tech, look at Houston and what they did against Arizona and how well they played, and ECU and North Carolina. You have teams in this league that can play with anybody in the country,” Strong said. “It is good just to see how strong this league is week in and week out and how competitive it is.”

Pirates’ recruiting boost

East Carolina completed the trifecta of marquee wins in its 41-19 humbling of North Carolina, marking the third straight win for ECU in the series.

As big as those wins have been on the field, the three-game winning streak against the Tar Heels has paid immeasurable dividends in recruiting.

“The bigger deal is it gives us a recruiting platform right here in the state,” Montgomery said of the UNC win. “We played against a lot of guys (on Saturday) that were four-star guys, three-star guys from our state. We get that recognition now of being able to go on the field and compete with a team like UNC.”

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 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

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 - 42 minutes ago

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 game for the answers and more insight.

1. Which East Carolina running back gets the most carries? There…

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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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November 14, 2018

With East Carolina football still seeking its first American Athletic Conference win of the season and many fans in Pirate Nation upset with the results by third-year coach Scottie Montgomery and the Pirates, ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton released a statement late Wednesday afternoon saying that an…

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November 14, 2018

The score was tied only briefly Wednesday night in Minges Coliseum for women’s basketball action.

East Carolina and Grand Canyon were deadlocked, 24-24, for exactly 12 seconds before ECU produced a game-changing rally late in the second quarter and the Pirates stayed in front the rest of the…

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