Loading...
BYH to all who have yard signs supporting NC hog farming. Yes, farms = food. And clean water = life. Reasonable people...

Primetime awaits USF-ECU, and Bucs-Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 of 2

Raymond James Stadium is shown lit up for the first time in this Aug. 11, 1998 photo. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Cincinnati South Florida Football
Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Friday, September 21, 2018

Raymond James Stadium is set to host two primetime football games in the coming days, beginning Saturday when East Carolina plays at 3-0 South Florida at 8 p.m.

USF stages its home games at the stadium in Tampa more known as the venue for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.

The Bucs, who also are off to hot start at 2-0, will welcome in the Pittsburgh Steelers for Monday Night Football. There should be plenty of time Sunday for Raymond James to be completely switched from college to pro mode, but South Florida coach Charlie Strong said earlier this week the Bulls’ kickoff times are not as dependent on the NFL schedule as it might seem initially.

Like a lot of things in sports, Strong said television is a big factor.

“I think it has a lot to do with the conference and where we are slotted with ESPN to be on TV,” he said.

The USF-ECU matchup will be broadcast on ESPNews. The Bucs-Steelers game two nights later will kick off at 8:15 on the ESPN flagship network.

The American Athletic Conference has three Saturday games at 8 p.m. this week. In addition to the Pirates (1-1) at USF, ESPN3 will stream Texas Southern at Houston and South Alabama at Memphis.

Memphis, USF and Houston have a combined 7-2 record, which also likely makes it more enticing for ESPN to put those home teams in night action.

South Florida’s season opener was against Elon at 6 p.m. with an attendance of 31,217. It was a noon kickoff a week later for the Bulls at Raymond James, but also a better opponent in Georgia Tech, and the crowd bumped to 34,182.

Through only a few weeks of the college football season, frontrunner Central Florida is the only AAC squad with an average home attendance above 40,000 at 43,269. ECU (38,969) ranks second and USF (32,700) is third.

“This is the first 8 p.m. game for us (this season), so I don’t know how much effect it is going to have,” Strong said. “Fans are fans and they are still going to come to the game. With it being so late, I don’t think it is going to bother them for whoever is going to come out and watch us play.”

The Bulls’ first four games of this year are at an NFL venue. Three are at Raymond James, and they beat Illinois 25-19 last Saturday at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears.

For East Carolina, simply playing a game could provide a boost after its Week 3 matchup at Virginia Tech was canceled because of Hurricane Florence. The Pirates had one of their best performances of the Scottie Montgomery coaching era two weeks ago in a 41-19 rout of North Carolina.

The team has been in Orlando, Fla., for more than a week now and is set to travel to Tampa today.

“It is different territory, but it’s the same goal and the same mission and we are here for business only and that is to come out of South Florida with a ‘W,’” Pirate senior linebacker Cannon Gibbs said. “We’re just ready to get after it. … We are ready for Saturday evening and to be in that primetime atmosphere and a late-night game to compete at a high level.”

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

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

October 20, 2018

Before Holton Ahlers signed on Dec. 20, 2017, to play football at East Carolina, he was a star quarterback at D.H. Conley High School. Before that, a baseball slugger unlike anyone else who had ever played on Greenville recreational fields.

“That thing broke my darn windshield!" a woman…

052512HRrecord1-56.jpg

October 20, 2018

These three questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section previewing East Carolina’s home football game against 10th-ranked Central Florida. 

Check back after the primetime matchup for answers to the questions and more insight from the game.

1. Who wins the…

090918ECUfootball-14.jpg

October 20, 2018

New starting quarterback Holton Ahlers and East Carolina welcome undefeated Central Florida to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium tonight for a primetime matchup on ESPN2 that many people around the country will at least check in on to see if UCF could get upended.

There is no denying that a win by the Pirates,…

100418gameday-4.jpg

October 20, 2018

Q: Why did you want to major in criminal justice?

A: I’ve always liked (TV) shows like “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Miami” and “Law & Order.” I just decided I wanted to be something in that field, like a DEA (Drug Enforcement…

101418ECUfootball-5.jpg.jpg

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…

101418ECUfootball-12.jpg

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…

100317ecubasketball-4.jpg

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…

093018ECUFootball-3.jpg.jpg

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…

011118ECUwomen-9.jpg

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.…

101218ECUbball-4.jpg
221 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 23
        Next Page»   Last Page»