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BYH Zoning Commission. Take your chairs and sit in the field by Bostic Sugg in morning or afternoon and tell the...

AAC: Cougars slashing defenses for big points

Cincinnati UConn Football

Cincinnati running back Michael Warren II (3) gains yardage during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Connecticut, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in East Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)

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By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

It is a bit of an oddity in the relatively young history of the American Athletic Conference to have three unbeaten teams entering Week 6. One of them is Houston.

That hardly means the Cougars are off to a slow start. Houston, in fact, is 4-1 under head coach Major Applewhite with its lone loss coming at Texas Tech in a roller-coaster game that saw UH nonetheless score 49 points. Perhaps even more sobering for a 2-3 East Carolina team set to host the Cougars on Saturday night is the fact they have scored no fewer than 41 points in a game all season.

That shocking season-low output came in the form of a 41-26 win over Tulsa last week that improved UH to 2-0 in league play. A week after hanging 70 points on Texas Southern, the Cougs created and overcame some early hurdles for another convincing win as they prepare to come to Greenville, where last time they suffered a 48-28 Conference USA loss to the Pirates in 2012.

“I’m proud of the way they finished (against Tulsa),” Applewhite said during Monday’s weekly AAC coaches teleconference. “It was a rough start. We turned the ball over three times in the first 18 minutes of the game and put ourselves in a difficult hole, but we dug out of it and had a lead at halftime. And we really played well in the fourth quarter.”

The former Texas passer said halftime motivation was easy to find after both of his units knew they had gotten away with their miscues to still have a lead. ECU (0-2 AAC) will need to cause similar early problems for the Cougars in order to avoid a repeat of last year’s blowout loss in Houston.

UH flexed its muscles in the second half last week, posting a 24-0 run through the third and fourth quarters.

“That part of it was important, just to understand what type of game you’re in, that you’re going to be in those types of games week in and week out in this conference and that you’re going to have to have mental toughness in order to fight through and win those types of games,” Applewhite said.

Flying high

The new week began with a trio of East Division members in Central Florida (5-0), South Florida (5-0) and Cincinnati (6-0) all still riding unbeaten starts to the season, and in UCF’s case, an 18-game overall winning streak.

USF won a wild 58-42 affair against Massachusetts, while the Knights throttled SMU 48-20 and the Bearcats upended Tulane 37-21 in league play.

For Cincinnati and head coach Luke Fickell, having a off week this week is undoubtedly welcome in terms of rest, but it is most unwelcome in terms of momentum in a tight division race.

“It happens to come at a time when you’re on a roll and you’ve got a lot of momentum going, so sometimes you feel like it wouldn’t interrupt this run, this momentum, but it’s a good opportunity not only for the players to get some time to mentally get away and physically get away a little bit this weekend, but our coaches too,” Fickell said. “It’s a chance to clear their minds and get ready for the stretch run.”

That stretch run includes consecutive games against fellow unbeatens USF and UCF in November.

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

February 15, 2019

A total of 21 runs by East Carolina powered the Pirates to a college baseball opening day sweep of Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday.

Spencer Brickhouse’s go-ahead, two-run home run keyed a 6-2 win, then ECU used a 16-hit barrage for a 15-9 victory in Game 2 of the doubleheader…

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February 15, 2019

CATCHER

Jake Washer, junior: Washer is back as East Carolina’s starting catcher after receiving Major League Baseball draft interest following his breakout sophomore season. In addition to showing power with six home runs and 40 RBIs a year ago, Washer posted a smooth .287 batting average.…

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February 15, 2019

Equipped with All-American Bryant Packard ready to serve again as East Carolina’s leadoff man in the batting order and a stable of proven pitchers who battled during the preseason for lead rotation spots, ECU is ready to face an opponent and begin a new season.

Radford’s visit to Clark-…

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February 15, 2019

WEEKEND ROTATION

FRIDAY

Alec Burleson, sophomore: Burleson will be a frequent player at designated hitter and first base in the lineup, but his main focus in the season opener versus Radford will be on the pitcher’s mound. The left-hander, who was the American Athletic Conference rookie…

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February 15, 2019

One of baseball’s many adages is that good teams need to be strong “up the middle,” a reference that focuses on important defensive positions from catcher to middle infielders at shortstop and second base and then into the outfield with a center fielder.

This East Carolina team is…

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February 14, 2019

East Carolina’s 64-54 women’s basketball win at SMU on Thursday night gave the Pirates consecutive victories for the first time since December.

The Pirates (13-11, 4-7 American) had four double-figure scores, led by Raven Johnson’s 18 points and five rebounds. She was 2-of-4 from…

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February 14, 2019

East Carolina’s baseball season will begin Friday at Clark-LeClair Stadium with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. and from there the series schedule versus Radford will be fluid.

Changes were made Thursday morning to the weekend schedule because of expected rain on Saturday and Sunday.

Revised Weekend…

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February 13, 2019

Joe Dooley has warned about these funks, especially on the offensive end, that East Carolina’s basketball team has been prone to lately.

It happened again Wednesday night in Minges Coliseum when the Pirates were plenty competitive against a more talented Memphis team, but the Tigers pulled…

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February 13, 2019

Dorthea Forbrigd shot a career-low 54-hole score of 209 (7-under-par) to claim a share of first place at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic this week.

It marked the third time in the career for Forbrigd, a junior, that she finished tied for first in a collegiate event. The Oslo, Norway, native led…

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February 12, 2019

East Carolina baseball has four left-handed pitchers and two of them, Alec Burleson and Jake Agnos, are set to be the Pirates’ first two starting pitchers of the season.

They will go about their starts in different ways, naturally, versus Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium. 

Burleson, a…

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