View from the East
Thursday, November 20, 2014

By Al Myatt

Al Myatt

Two losses set stage for Tulane's arrival

American Football Schedule

SMU at UCF, 12 pm (ESPNN)
Tulsa at Houston, 3 pm (ESPN3)
Tulane at ECU, 3:30 pm (ESPN3)
USF at Memphis, 4 pm (ESPNN)
Cincinnati at UConn, 8 pm (CBSSN)
LAST WEEK'S AAC SCORES >>> ..... | Thursday > Cincinnati 54, ECU 46 (ESPN2) ..... | Friday > UCF 31, Tulsa 7 (ESPN2) ..... | Saturday > Penn State 30, Temple 13 (ESPN2) ..... Memphis 38, Tulane 7 (ESPNU) ..... USF 14, SMU 13 (CBSSN) ..... .....


Fifteen Questions for B.J. Tyson

Bunyon Devell (B.J.) Tyson, Jr., is off to a good start in East Carolina's basketball program. Two games into the 2014-15 season, the 6' 3" freshman is averaging 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and leads the Pirates in steals with seven. He is playing 23.5 minutes per game. Tyson has hit nine of his 10 free throws (90 percent) and 12 of 22 field goal attempts (54.5 percent), although he has made just one of seven behind the arc. ... More from W.A. Myatt...

Pictured: Freshman guard B.J. Tyson has hit the court running after attending East Carolina for a year before joining the roster this season. The Wadesboro product leads the team in steals and is second in scoring. (ECU Media Relations photo)



Justin Hardy deserves better

Justin Hardy has been snubbed. East Carolina's spectacular receiver will most likely set the all-time NCAA record for career receptions this week when the Pirates host Tulane. Hardy needs just four catches to break the record set by Ryan Broyles of Oklahoma in 2011. ... More from Brian Bailey...


Audio: The Brian Bailey Show

The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guests were prep football coaches David Wojtecki, Bobby Curlings, Paul Cornwell, Sport Sawyer, Scott Gardner: Replay show...


Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday as the Pirates prepare to host Tulane on Saturday (courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250; file photo): Select clip...



UNC-Asheville holds off Pirates

GREENVILLE UNC-Asheville's Andrew Rowsey stands 5 feet, 10 inches but he was huge on Sunday afternoon. Rowsey, a sophomore, scored 28 points to lead an 83-79 nonconference basketball win at East Carolina. ... More...


Pirates cruise in hoops opener

GREENVILLE East Carolina rolled past North Carolina Wesleyan 99-81 to open the 2014-15 basketball season at Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum on Friday night. The Pirates won their first game of the season for the 15th consecutive time. ... Story, photos, post-game audio...
Pictured: Sophomore forward Michel Nzege compiled a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds in ECU's season-opening win over N.C. Wesleyan. The native of Geneva, Switzerland sat out last season after transferring from Winston-Salem State. (Photo by W.A. Myatt.)

Post-game: Lebo, Nzege, Guilmette...




Inside Game Day | Ruff Post-game Audio...

AAC SCOREBOARD >>> ..... | Thursday > Cincinnati 54, ECU 46 (ESPN2) ..... | Friday > UCF 31, Tulsa 7 (ESPN2) ..... | Saturday > Penn State 30, Temple 13 (ESPN2) ..... Memphis 38, Tulane 7 (ESPNU) ..... USF 14, SMU 13 (CBSSN) ..... .....

Time to deal with loss

Al Myatt

CINCINNATI The schedule will soon compact for East Carolina's 2014 football team with three games in 13 days. The Pirates will host Tulane on Saturday, Nov. 22 to start the close to the regular season. They'll play at Tulsa the following Friday before returning home to face Central Florida on Thursday, Dec. 4. ... More from Al Myatt...


By Al Myatt
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View ECU's Football Schedule


Saddled with a two-game losing streak under adverse conditions in the rugged American Athletic Conference, East Carolina's football team has been looking forward to returning to competition following a layoff from a Thursday night game at Cincinnati on Nov. 13.

The Pirates resumed practice on Sunday and have had time to put the 54-46 loss to the Bearcats in perspective, a game ECU led 46-45 in the final minute after trailing 38-20 early in the second half.

"It was a disappointing loss to say the least," Pirates coach Ruffin McNeill said. "We did a lot of things right in the game. The fact that we got down and came back and gave ourselves a chance to win the game was a positive. We went into that week making sure we cut down on penalties. We did that."

After getting flagged 12 times for 120 yards in a 20-10 loss at Temple in the preceding contest, ECU drew just five penalties for 38 yards against the Bearcats a significant improvement.

"We took the ball away defensively, four of those (three interceptions and a fumble recovery)," McNeill said. "There were some positive things but we missed some opportunities on all three sides of the ball. I was proud of our team, proud of our staff. Losses are hard, especially when you invest a lot into the work. To come up short in a game like that when you battle back is tough."

Cincinnati was the first team to outgain the Pirates this season. The hosts held a narrow 586-572 edge in total yardage.

Bearcats quarterback Gunner Kiel completed 29 of 44 for 436 yards and four touchdowns with three picks. Kiel transferred to Cincinnati from Notre Dame.

"He was the top quarterback in the nation coming out of high school," McNeill said. " ... He did a good job of making plays. We knew their quarterback (Kiel and/or backup Munchie Legaux) would have total command of the offense. Their receivers are extremely fast. They had a really good offensive line. That was the thing that stands out about that team.

"I liked the way we battled back in the second half. We made stops and did things we had to do to give us a chance to win on all three sides of the ball. ... Time ran out on us."

The Pirates have met adverse weather conditions in their most recent road games. The temperature was 46 degrees at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, compounded by 15 mile-per-hour wind from the northeast and a steady rain. ECU lost five fumbles and the game despite outgaining the Owls 432-135 in total yards.

It was 27 degrees at kickoff in Cincinnati with southwest winds at seven miles per hour.

"Temple was cold, which didn't really bother us, but the rain and the wind did," McNeill said. "But no excuses, like I've said before. At Cincinnati, we were prepared for it from equipment for the kids to sideline operations (heated benches and blowers) as well. I thought they handled it real well. It wasn't a factor."

The advance forecast is calling clear skies and a relatively-mild high in the low 50s when ECU hosts Tulane on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Pirates have been looking forward to playing at home again.

"I'm hoping we'll come out in full force," McNeill said. "I'm an alum. This team loves playing for our university. I'm expecting the fans to come out in full force. I could not find a reason why they would not. ... We haven't played at home in 29 days so I'm expecting a full house. It's Military Appreciation Day. I expect the stadium to be full of excitement and electricity."

The Green Wave probably will start redshirt freshman Tanner Lee at quarterback. Senior Nick Montana, son of former NFL great, Joe Montana, is the backup.

"Lee has a strong arm," McNeill said. "They have a lot of receivers. C.J. (Tulane coach Curtis Johnson) is running more of a New Orleans Saints offense, which is where he was with Sean Payton. They use a lot of formations. They'll use a tight end. They distribute the ball very well. He's a young quarterback. He's 144 out of 260, completion, attempts for 1,500-plus yards. He's doing a good job of getting rid of the football."

Tulane stunned the visiting Pirates 36-33 in triple overtime in New Orleans last season as Cairo Santos kicked five field goals.

"We watched the film and saw what they did defensively and offensively last year and learned from that," McNeill said. "Of course, we use it to prepare. They did a good job last year. We had opportunities last year as well. Triple overtime at their place. Tight game and they had a fantastic kicker."

McNeill expects to be without receivers Trevon Brown and Jimmy Williams, who are coming back from injuries, as the Pirates look to get back into the win column.

TV notes: The ECU-Tulane game will be carried by ESPN3. The American Athletic Conference and ESPN have posted that ECU's matchup at Tulsa on Friday, Nov. 28, will be televised on ESPNU with an 8:30 p.m. kickoff.

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11/20/2014 02:28 PM