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ECU-UCF: Three questions

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Freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers runs for East Carolina against North Carolina on Sept. 8, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, 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 turnover battle? The turnover ratio is not only tied to how East Carolina freshman Holton Ahlers performs as a first-time starting quarterback and if he avoids big mistakes, but also in the Pirates looking for any takeaway opportunities on defense. UCF has thrived again this year in the turnover ratio. ECU ranks 121st in the country with a minus-1.17 turnover margin.

2. How is the atmosphere? After last Saturday night’s announced crowd of 29,851 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and a lackluster vibe to the game, there is another primetime matchup in Greenville, and this one comes against at top-10 team. The Ahlers factor also could result in a slight uptick in attendance and noise level in favor of the Pirates.

3. What is the score at the end of the first quarter? It is a question worth asking again, because the Pirates have faced a 14-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter each of the last two weeks. ECU hasn’t played well as an underdog since a 41-19 home win over North Carolina on Sept. 8. Nothing fuels an upset bid like a hot start.

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

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