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Bless or heart, the man in the highest office cannot be trusted....

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

September 25, 2018

If Charlie Strong was surprised by his South Florida football team’s close call against East Carolina on Saturday night, he was not letting it show Monday.

In fact, the coach said his 4-0 Bulls were very happy to still have a zero on the other side of their record after gutting out a 20-13…

E Carolina South Florida Football-10

September 24, 2018

East Carolina cornerback Colby Gore is probable to return to action this weekend against Old Dominion, and starting quarterback Reid Herring also is expected to play despite nursing a sore ankle from Saturday’s 20-13 loss at South Florida.

Pirate coach Scottie Montgomery confirmed those…

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September 24, 2018

TAMPA, Fla.

Sweat flung from Alex Turner’s face outside the visiting locker room at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night as he participated in interviews following East Carolina football’s 20-13 loss to 4-0 South Florida.

It was a sweaty scene like what is becoming a staple in post-…

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September 23, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. — Too many times since East Carolina joined the American Athletic Conference in 2014 have the football Pirates faced an insurmountable deficit in the fourth quarter when playing league games away from Greenville.

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E Carolina South Florida Football-7

September 23, 2018

N.C. State and Duke keep winning, which gives them the edge over an impressive Appalachian State resume. Also notable from this college football weekend was a 16-13 upset loss by North Carolina A&T to Morgan State.

Here are The Daily Reflector’s updated “Battle for N.C.”…

NC State Marshall Football-4

September 23, 2018

These questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section Saturday to preview East Carolina’s matchup at South Florida, which ended as a 20-13 victory for the favored Bulls.

Here are the answers and more insight from the game:

1. Will the East Carolina layoff play a role?…

E Carolina South Florida Football-9

September 22, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. — In many ways it was a banner night for the East Carolina football defense Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.

A grind-it-out game ended as a 20-13 win for host South Florida, however, thanks to a few big plays.

Jordan Cronkrite delivered the crushing blow, dashing through…

E Carolina South Florida Football

September 22, 2018

This ran in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section Saturday morning to help preview East Carolina’s American Athletic Conference football opener at South Florida, which is 3-0 and sits just outside the Associated Press Top 25 rankings. 

The game starts at 8 p.m. on ESPNews.…

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September 22, 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…

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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…

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