Loading...
Bless our hearts as Edmund Burke quoted: The only thing necessary for the triump of evil is for good men(and women) to...

Blackwell, Pirates regroup for Saturday's game

113018blackwell-2.JPG

David Blackwell, defensive coordinator and interim head coach for East Carolina, speaks during a news conference following the announcement of the release of head coach Scottie Montgomery on Nov. 29, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, November 29, 2018

An emotional day Thursday for the East Carolina football team will turn to a Friday with a light practice scheduled and a game Saturday at rival N.C. State to complete the Pirates’ season.

Defensive coordinator David Blackwell is in charge of the team after head coach Scottie Montgomery was let go Thursday afternoon, effective immediately, and Blackwell said later in the day that has led to an uneasy situation.

“Is there a blueprint for this? No,” Blackwell said. “This is 48 hours before a football game and obviously I’ve never been a part of it or ever remember that happening. ... We came off the practice field this morning and everybody was in a good mood and excited and two hours later, they were calling us back in.

“We are kind of in an area that I don’t think you are ever prepared for. You just have to do as best as you can.”

Blackwell was hired by Montgomery on Dec. 7, 2017, to help fix a Pirate defense that ranked last in the country in 2017. The Pirates have made positive strides on defense this year, and on Saturday ECU will face an NCSU team looking to stay on track for 10 wins.

The only Wolfpack club to ever win double-digit games in a season was the 2002 squad that finished 11-3. N.C. State (8-3) held off North Carolina, 34-28, in overtime last Saturday, and UNC coach Larry Fedora was fired the next day.

“They know and they can count, and what that could mean,” Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said during his weekly news conference when asked about his team’s record heading into Saturday. “But that also doesn’t win games. Our fundamentals and our technique and our execution is where our mindset is right now.”

ECU’s season has been a mix of close losses and blowouts, like a costly 49-6 setback at Temple on Oct. 6 and last Friday’s 56-6 rout at Cincinnati. The Pirates finished 1-7 in the American Athletic Conference.

“The bottom line is we had three games this year decided by seven points or less,” Blackwell said. “We are not here talking right now (without Montgomery) if we win those games. We would be getting ready to play for a bowl game. 

“We were 18 points away from a bowl game is the reality of where we are, but we didn’t get that done. In all three of those games we could have won on defense or on offense or on special teams, it wasn’t just one deal.”

Thursday’s announcements for the Pirates also went beyond wins and losses, even though the driving force behind Montgomery’s dismissal was his 9-26 record in three seasons.

“We want to try and focus ourselves to go win this football game and compete at a high level, but it’s not easy,” Blackwell said. “I called my wife today and had her go take my son out of school. It is hard.”

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

July 18, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — In the lead spot to start at quarterback for American Athletic Conference preseason favorite UCF is senior Notre Dame transfer Brandon Winbush.

Veteran QBs at Memphis (Brady White) and South Florida (Blake Barnett) both were at Arizona State earlier in their careers. Barnett,…

101418ECUfootball-12.jpg

July 18, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I.

East Carolina was picked fifth in the American Athletic Conference football East Division for the second straight year in the league preseason poll, but more important than the poll’s release Tuesday during AAC media days was the confident and persistent presence of ECU…

021418ECUbasketball-7.JPG.JPG

July 17, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Coach Mike Houston remains optimistic yet not in position to announce whether or not Traveon Freshwater will be on East Carolina football’s roster for this season.

The former Elizabeth City Northeastern High School star running back and linebacker signed with ECU in…

081818Footballrecruits-2.jpg.jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Mike Houston has been in this position before, bracing to prove doubters wrong.

It began with his first head coaching job in 2001 at T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, when his team was picked in the preseason eighth out of nine teams but thrived during the season to take…

IMG_2422 (1).jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Standing in front of American Athletic Conference “Power Six” logos on Tuesday, conference commissioner Mike Aresco was persistent that he thinks the American is strong enough to not immediately replace Connecticut when the Huskies leave for the Big East.

Aresco…

IMG_2415 (1).jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert found time to put on a swimsuit by mid-afternoon Monday, and ECU football coach Mike Houston sneaked in advice to Pirate receiver Deondre Farrier on the proper cracker-to-oyster ratio when Houston was between interviews at American…

IMG_2404 2 6.18.29 PM.jpg

July 15, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — East Carolina is at American Athletic Conference football media days, equipped with first-year coach Mike Houston, first-year athletics director Jon Gilbert and senior receiver Deondre Farrier in his first visit to Newport.

Aside from veteran media relations director Tom…

IMG_2388 2 (1).jpg

July 15, 2019

A trio of first-year American Athletic Conference football coaches, including East Carolina's Mike Houston, heads to Newport, R.I., today for a first taste of seafood, interviews and more at AAC media days.

The other two newcomers are Temple's Rod Carey and Dana Holgorsen after his offseason…

120518ECUFootballHouston-1.jpg

July 14, 2019

The Minges Coliseum court is in under renovation as East Carolina’s basketball coaches also are working to reconstruct their teams that will play this year on a new-look Minges paint scheme.

Fresh from checking out a recent workout of men’s coach Joe Dooley’s squad, which this…

062619fantasycamp-10.jpg

July 13, 2019

Many East Carolina football fans know what Holton Ahlers will be doing in August and the ensuing months as the Pirates’ sophomore projected starting quarterback.

Others fans might have noticed the Greenville native was an ardent ECU baseball fan in June, but in July, he and other Pirate…

033119ECUFootball-2.jpg.jpg
187 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 19
        Next Page»   Last Page»