Nov 212014
 

November 21. 2014 9:09AM

By Rodd Baxley

LUMBERTON — East Carolina University officials are looking to fill a few cavities before opening their dental care facility in Lumberton.

“We’re going to hire 12 people for various positions,” said Dr. Michael Scholtz, the assistant dean for Extramural Dental Practices at the university. “We have started the interview process and we hope to have our staff in place soon.”

According to Scholtz, the clinic will hire two hygienists, three front desk clerks, five dental assistants, a business manager and a part-time faculty dentist. Dr. Craig Slotke will serve as the full-time faculty dentist.

“It’s going to take us a couple of weeks to start the process,” Scholtz said of opening the facility. “The new hires will go through a three-week training period to prepare for the big day.”

The ECU School of Dental Medicine community learning center will open in mid-January, according to Scholtz.

“We were scheduled to open in November or December but the construction is taking longer than we expected,” Scholtz said. “We’re making progress though.”

The 7,700-square-foot center is in front of Pinecrest Country Club, near the county Department of Social Services on N.C. 711. It is located on 2.5 acres of land that was donated to ECU by the Robeson County in 2012.

“The whole community has supported us throughout this process,” Scholtz said. “The clinic is very much needed here and we’re glad the county wants us here.”

The center, which will be a training center for students, will provide dental care to residents of Robeson County and surrounding rural counties at bargain prices. Schultz emphasized that the center will not be a free clinic, but would offer reduced-cost dental care to qualifying residents.

“We’re here for the underserved population,” Scholtz said. “The fees will be far less expensive than at regular clinics.”

The clinic in Lumberton is one of 10 the ECU dental school will eventually open in rural areas statewide.

Patients interested in signing up can call the clinic at 252-737-7504 or stop by the facility.

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Nov 212014
 
usatoday
Dan Wolken and Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports 10:01 a.m. EST November 21, 2014

The common perception is that Florida’s head coaching job, which opened this week when the school announced it would part ways with Will Muschamp at the end of the season, is among the four best in college football alongside Texas, Alabama and Southern California.

The reason most often given is that Florida, as the flagship university in the nation’s most fertile talent-producing state, has natural advantages that should allow it to compete for Southeastern Conference and national titles practically every year.

But is Florida really a top-three job, or is the national perception better than the reality?

USA TODAY Sports posed that question to several agents and others tied to the coaching search industry, who agreed to give their opinion on the condition of anonymity to protect any potential dealings with Florida during the search.

The consensus response: Though Florida is an excellent job, there may be some hidden issues that would, as one suggested, put it behind the likes of Texas, Alabama, Ohio State and perhaps a couple others.

FOOTBALL FOUR: Rating and debating college football and the Playoff

“If those elite jobs are a 10, Florida is a 9.5,” the person said.

Why is Florida, which won national titles in 1996, 2006 and 2008, considered within the industry to be just a touch less attractive than the best jobs in the country?

Facilities and expectations.

Did you know that Florida doesn’t have a standalone football operations building? In an era where practically every major school has a top-of-the-line indoor facility or is building one, Florida is still at the mercy of having practices altered by weather (which is certainly a concern in the spring and late summer when thunderstorms tend to roll through the area).

Though Florida built office space, an expanded weight room and a recruiting reception area onto a side of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in 2008, Florida’s facilities have fallen behind the curve nationally and even regionally, with Florida State pouring millions into facility upgrades the last few years. Even Mississippi State and Ole Miss now have more modern, comprehensive football buildings, not to mention Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson and what’s being constructed at South Carolina — all schools that try to invade Florida for recruits.

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Oregon’s Marcus Mariota: A nice guy finishing fast

“It’s mind-boggling,” one person said. “That place should have the best facilities in the country. How was that allowed to happen?”

And it’s unclear that athletics director Jeremy Foley is interested in doing anything about it. At the news conference Monday to discuss the coaching change, he practically dismissed the suggestion that Florida’s facilities needed to be addressed and cited the fact that the school is working on an expansion of the academic center for athletes.

“We’re not into bells and whistles,” Foley said. “We’re not getting into an arms race, and they’re not any issue in my opinion affecting our success.”

Expectations are another issue. Though clearly some things didn’t work for Muschamp, the fan base extended him very little goodwill for the 2012 season when he went 11-2 and nearly played for a national title. And that’s at a program with a moderate track record of success prior to Steve Spurrier’s arrival in 1990.

“Spurrier was asked what went wrong at the end of a 10-2 season and he lost his (expletive) and left,” one person said. “Now it’s become a place where competing and winning isn’t enough, you have to be playing for championships, so there’s a lot of pressure.”

Q

USA TODAY Sports’ college football staff picks for Week 13

Those same insiders, however, also acknowledged significant positives with the job, including the fact that Florida has talent on the roster and it’s in the easier SEC East, so it’s not a complete rebuild. Plus, Foley is considered one of the best athletics directors in the business and will do whatever is necessary to help his coach win.

“They have the money to do what they need to do and they’re not hesitant to do it,” one person said. “Jeremy’s operating principle is tell me what you need to win, you’ll get it.”

So while there may be some debate over whether it’s a top-five job, it’s certainly considered in the top 10. And though it’s still early in the process, the consensus is a sitting head coach who has already been successful at a high level will take it.

D.W.

A buzzword that is puzzling

Thanks to College Football Playoff selection committee chairman Jeff Long, the buzz phrase of the week in college football was “game control.” During his interview on ESPN following the release of the rankings Tuesday night, Long used the concept to justify some of the decisions being made, particularly with regard to unbeaten Florida State being placed at No. 3, behind one-loss teams Alabama and Oregon.

In essence, because Florida State has had to mount frantic comebacks to beat Clemson, Louisville and Miami, it has had less so-called “game control” than other teams in the mix.

Still, the term, its importance and how it will be used seems a little vague. Even Long himself had difficulty explaining it.

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Playoff Simulation: Should we want an all-SEC title game?

“It might be considered somewhat subjective,” Long said. “The committee looks at the game, how the game was played, how close the game was played, whether there were lead changes back and forth, or whether a team was in control from the opening kickoff, or whether they gained control say in the second half.”

To add to the confusion, ESPN also has a “game control” stat it is touting as a metric. Florida State is 34th in that ranking, while Alabama is No. 1 followed by Mississippi State. Whatever that means.

“I don’t exactly know what it is, but it’s cool we’re No. 2 in it,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “I think the people on the committee, there’s such a wide of range people on there they’re looking at so many different aspects. Sometimes you’re comparing apples to oranges, and how do you do that? Hopefully our game control ranking goes up throughout the next two games. I’d be really pleased with that because game control appears to me you’re in control of the game and we love being in control of the game.”​

D.W.

Micro celebrations at Western Michigan

Some programs have a 24-hour rule, meaning a team can revel in a victory for one full day before getting back to work to prepare for the next opponent on the schedule. Others cut that in half, giving only 12 hours to celebrate before turning the page.

Western Michigan, on the other hand, has a 12-minute rule — all in the locker room, surrounded by supporters, family and prospective recruits, and with a timer-holding assistant counting down the seconds.

“I want them to enjoy winning,” Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck told USA TODAY Sports, “because they know what losing is like.”

That the Broncos have only a fraction of an hour to celebrate fits into the bigger picture: Western Michigan has turned things around with equal speed, quickly turning last year’s 1-11 finish into a 7-3 mark and a shot at the Mid-American Conference West Division title.

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“We were the worst coaches in America last year,” Fleck said. “And all of a sudden, people want to know how we’re doing it.”

Not bad for a team composed largely of freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores — nearly nine in every 10 players are sophomores or younger, Fleck estimated.

“We’re not the biggest, strongest or fastest, and we’re not the most experienced,” he said. “They had to work harder than anyone else in the country.”

The Broncos’ rapid turnaround fits into Fleck’s reputation as a program builder. He played for and began his career under former Northern Illinois coach Joe Novak, who laid the foundation for the Huskies’ current success. Fleck then remained at NIU under Jerry Kill, now at Minnesota, and spent two seasons as Greg Schiano’s wide receivers coach at Rutgers.

“I was surrounded by incredible men, incredible leaders,” Fleck said, “and I got a reputation of being around program turnarounds. I always dreamed of running my own program, and not only running it but taking a program to somewhere it’s never been. Making something that always could’ve been. That’s why I took the job.”

P.M.

The AAC’s advocate

American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco made some waves late this week when he released a statement expressing “extreme disappointment” that East Carolina’s Justin Hardy didn’t make the semifinal cut for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the nation’s top wide receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club.

Aresco’s statement was noteworthy because, well, it’s highly unusual for a commissioner to interject into something like an individual award. But ECU athletics director Jeff Compher told USA TODAY Sports the statement does reflect some angst about the plight of schools outside the so-called Power Five conferences and the desire to ensure that exceptional teams and individuals from the five other leagues get recognition for their accomplishments.

USA TODAY

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco lashes out at Biletnikoff Award

“We’ve got to put that kind of stake in the ground and say, ‘Hey, we’re still here,’ ” Compher said. “I think he’s trying to make sure when Justin or any student-athlete out of our league who is playing at the kind of national level Justin is gets slighted in that regard, it’s something he felt like he needed to react to, and I’m in total support of that. I think Mike was kind of carrying that banner for us.”

Hardy, who has 346 career receptions, needs just four more Saturday against Tulane to break the FBS record that Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles set from 2008-11. And though Hardy didn’t make the top 10 for the Biletnikoff Award, there’s a good chance he’ll earn the Burlsworth Trophy as the top college player who began his career as a walk-on.

“You want him to get the respect he deserves,” Compher said. “Obviously the other guys on that finalist list are deserving as well, but Mike just wanted to react to that on behalf of our league and behalf of Justin, and I appreciate that.”

D.W.

Always eyeing the carousel

After each of Terry Mohajir’s two years as Arkansas State’s athletic director, he’s had to replace his head coach, including last year when Boise State poached Bryan Harsin. So even though current Red Wolves coach Blake Anderson has a $3 million buyout in his contract, Mohajir’s eyes are wide open as the coaching carousel starts spinning.

“I think we have a really good coach, and I also know if we’re having a really good year or have a lot of success there’s going to be some other schools that look at him, which is fine,” Mohajir told USA TODAY Sports. “That means we’re hiring the right people. But we’re cautious. I’m not like, ‘Hey it’s a done deal because I’d have never thought in a million years that Boise could pay $1.75 million (for Harsin’s buyout) like they did. But there’s all kinds of ways to structure it. The dollars are there. It’s always a possibility.”

At this point, it seems more likely than not that Arkansas State will have the same coach for two consecutive seasons for the first time since Steve Roberts, who went 4-8 in 2009 and 2010.

That’s when Arkansas State promoted Hugh Freeze, who had been the offensive coordinator for one season after a two-year stint at NAIA member Lambuth University. Freeze had instant success, going 10-2, and left one year later for Ole Miss. Gus Malzahn followed him as a one-and-done, parlaying his 9-3 record into the Auburn job. Mohajir then hired Harsin, who seemed a likely bet to stick around for at least a little while.

But the carousel can provide unforeseen challenges for schools such as Arkansas State. The only job Harsin would have likely gotten last year after going 7-5 was at Boise State, which became available only because Steve Sarkisian went from Washington to Southern Cal, creating one of the few job openings that could have lured Chris Petersen.

If the dominoes fell in such a way that Anderson was an obvious candidate somewhere else — he’s worked at New Mexico, Louisiana-Lafayette and North Carolina — he’s certainly done a good enough job to merit consideration. Despite losing several starters to season-ending injuries and dealing with depth issues stemming from the constant coaching changes, Arkansas State is bowl eligible for a fourth straight season.

“We’ve had five coaches in five years, and there’s a lot of attrition,” Mohajir said. “But we have a good staff they’re doing a really good job in recruiting and we’ve had more early commits than any other time in the history of our program, bar none.”

If, of course, Mohajir can keep them. ​

D.W.

Costs and benefits of Ohio State’s one loss

There are two ways to view Ohio State’s 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6 — a defeat that didn’t derail the Buckeyes’ quest for the College Football Playoff, as many projected two months ago, but one that continues to linger as the team battles for position among other one-loss teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

It could end up as the Ohio State’s Achilles heel: Virginia Tech has since fallen off the map, meaning that defeat likely stands as the worst by any team in the top seven of this week’s Playoff poll. If push comes to shove, that could keep the Buckeyes out of the top four.

Or, according to redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, it could end up being the turning point for a team and program that needed that taste of adversity to propel an eight-game winning streak.

“I think it was good for us as a team, honestly,” Barrett said. “Being that we learned so much from that game.

“I think at that point in the season we needed to lose. It was almost like we walked around here as like we couldn’t lose. We hadn’t lost in the regular season. I don’t think we had the big heads but it was almost like a step backwards.”

In the Buckeyes’ past eight games, Barrett has thrown for 1,911 yards and 26 touchdowns against just four interceptions. He’s added 651 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, gaining at least 71 yards rushing in five of Ohio State’s six conference games.

“After Virginia Tech, it was just, well, let’s focus on getting better each week and winning games,” he said. “Trying to live that lifestyle of well, you playing well right now but there are things you can get better at. So whatever those things are, that Sunday practice, that Tuesday practice, we’re going to go out there and focus on this.”

P.M.

Melvin Gordon’s growth

It’s not as if Melvin Gordon had much area for improvement: Wisconsin’s Heisman Trophy contender averaged more than 10 yards per carry as a redshirt freshman, when he was the third cog in the Badgers’ three-headed backfield monster, and finished second in the Big Ten Conference in rushing and first in yards per carry a season ago.

Yet with last Saturday’s performance as evidence — his record-setting 408-yard performance against Nebraska — Gordon has clearly taken another step forward, helping build a near-flawless Heisman résumé while helping to carry Wisconsin to the top of the Big Ten West Division.

Gordon has improved in three areas, Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen told reporters this week.

Gordon’s taking better angles, Andersen said. He’s doing a better job identifying defenses before the snap – likely a result of increased experienced. He’s more powerful.

More than anything, however, Gordon’s banner season is a result of hard work, according to Andersen.

“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things,” he said, “but it’s a combination of one thing, after it’s all said and done. It’s hard work for himself to get himself in tremendous shape like he always was, but he’s a notch above where he was before this season.”

P.M.

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Nov 212014
 

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By Beth Velliquette
November 21, 2014

The East Carolina University Foundation will get another chance to prove that an ECU alumna planned to donate more than $1 million for a scholarship fund.

On Tuesday, the N.C. Court of Appeals overturned a superior court judge’s dismissal of a claim that the ECU Foundation filed against First Citizens Bank & Trust.

The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 1, 2013, in Forsyth County over the estate of M. Louise Thomas, an honored ECU graduate who traveled the world to find and buy merchandise in European and Asian markets as the first female officer of Thalhimers Department Store.

According to the lawsuit, Thomas, who lived in Winston-Salem after her retirement, began discussing her plan with the ECU Foundation to sell a property in Southern Pines and donate $1,190,000 for an endowment. She discussed the plan with former ECU chancellor Richard R. Eakin, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation.

The plan was to create a scholarship called the “M. Louise Thomas ECU Honors College Scholarship Endowment.”

Representatives from the foundation planned to go to Thomas’s home on Feb. 14, 2013, to receive the check, but on Feb. 9, 2013, Thomas was hospitalized following a fall. She died at the age of 90 at the hospital on Feb. 17, 2103.

First Citizens Bank & Trust was the executor of her estate and a trustee of the M. Louise Thomas Revocable Trust. When the ECU Foundation made a claim in May 2013 for the scholarship funds, First Citizens denied the claim and refused to give the foundation the money.

The foundation filed a lawsuit on Oct. 1, 2013, in Forsyth County, alleging that when the bank failed to honor Thomas’s intent, the bank breached the contract between Thomas and the foundation.

On Jan. 13, 2014, Superior Court Judge Robert F. Johnson in Forsyth Superior Court dismissed the foundation’s claim for the money, so the it appealed the judge’s decision, saying it had entered into an enforceable contract with Thomas, and but for her death, Thomas would have fulfilled the terms of the contract.

“Even if we were to accept [the bank’s] contention that there was no meeting of the minds with regard to the alleged agreement, that matter is for the trier of the fact to decide, not for the trial court to address on a motion to dismiss,” the opinion written by Appellate Judge Sanford L. Steelman Jr. said.

The Court of Appeals vacated Johnson’s order to dismiss the foundation’s lawsuit and sent the lawsuit back to the trial court for further proceedings.

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Nov 212014
 

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By Abbie Bennett
November 21, 2014

Construction equipment was not the only machinery being hauled into the Greenville Convention Center this week.

A truck-mounted tree spade — which resembles a larger-scale version of the claw in arcade machine games — hoisted trees from the soil around the Greenville Convention Center Wednesday. The trees took an about four-mile trip through the city to their new home near the Rotary Club on Johnston Street through a partnership between local nonprofit environmental organization ReLeaf and the City of Greenville.
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The ReLeaf Board of Directors consults with city arborist Kevin Heifferon each year to decide on a project site.

“Our organization buys the trees and solicits volunteers to help plant in some area of the city,” Hunt McKinnon, president of ReLeaf, said. “The city supplements our efforts by furnishing skilled labor, machines to dig the holes.”

The convention center trees were relocated as construction begins on a more than $4.5 million expansion and renovation of the facility.

This year the 247-member ReLeaf organization planted 250 trees in the College View neighborhood and had more than 200 volunteers from the neighborhood, East Carolina University, Oakwood School, the Girl Scouts and the Rotary Club.

“This mixture of neighborhood and university was intended to reforest a neighborhood that is in transition,” McKinnon said. “Representatives of landlords and homeowners found a common interest in filling in the urban forest that exists from Fifth Street to First Street and from downtown to Elm Street.”

Eighty-five students also joined the planting efforts Wednesday, McKinnon said.

“This was the largest number of student volunteers since our planting at River Park North two years ago,” he said.

The odds of survival for the trees are excellent, McKinnon said.

“We generally only lose around 10 percent of what we plant,” he said. “This is because of Kevin’s careful selection of native trees, the fact that the trees are mulched right away and watered by the city while the roots are established.”

Other reasons for the high survival rate is the education Heifferon and city staff provides planting teams. Trees also are staked right away, McKinnon said.

“Quality work means that our trees generally do well,” he said.

ReLeaf was established in 1990 to plant, promote and protect canopy trees. The organization tries to help reverse the effects of deforestation and climate change and increase the positive appearance of public areas in the city. Since its inception, ReLeaf has planted and replaced more than 1,500 trees and contributed more than $250,000 to make Greenville greener, McKinnon said.

This year 80 percent of membership dues — about $12,000 — was provided by ReLeaf to purchase trees from Worthington Farms.

“We buy locally and plant within the city limits each year,” McKinnon said.

One of the reasons Community Tree Day is important is because it allows residents to contribute and feel connected to the place they live, McKinnon said.

“Another reason is related to wellness of a different sort,” he said. “Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen during daylight hours.

“It is estimated that in one year, an acre of mature trees absorb the amount of carbon dioxide that a normal motorist drives in a year — around 26,000 miles,” McKinnon said. “Said another way, the same acre of trees can provide enough oxygen to sustain 18 people. So trees help reverse the greenhouse effect.”

In addition to cleaning the air, trees provide shade and release water vapor, which can reduce the need for air conditioning and save on energy bills. Trees also reduce the effect of ultraviolet radiation, helping defend against skin cancer and exhaustion during the summer.

ReLeaf has planted trees in the Glen Arthur neighborhood, River Park North and northern Greenville, Moyewood, Greensprings Park, Fifth and Fourth streets, Jaycee Park, Regency Boulevard and other areas. It also is involved with the city’s Arbor Day in the spring.

“This year we planted twice as many trees as were planted previously and surpassed all expectations of the number of volunteers who might come to join us for the event,” McKinnon said. “The fruit of their labor will be around for generations.”

ReLeaf was established in 1990 to plant, promote and protect canopy trees. The organization tries to help reverse the effects of deforestation and climate change and increase the appearance of public area.
Since its inception, ReLeaf has planted and replaced more than 1,500 trees and contributed more than $250,000 to make Greenville greener.
This year the 247-member ReLeaf organization planted 250 trees in the College View neighborhood and had more than 200 volunteers from the neighborhood, East Carolina University, Oakwood School, the Girl Scouts and the Rotary Club.
For more information on ReLeaf, visit www.releaf.us

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Nov 212014
 

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By Brian Haines
November 20, 2014

GREENVILLE — Heading into last Thursday’s American Athletic Conference showdown with Cincinnati, East Carolina defensive coordinator Rick Smith demanded his unit produce more turnovers.

Senior strong safety Lamar Ivey responded, picking off two passes and recovering a fumble. However, it wasn’t enough, and the Pirates’ defense allowed the Bearcats to drive downfield and kick a 47-yard field goal to reclaim the lead with less than a minute left and eventually take a 54-46 victory.

The turn of events made for a bittersweet evening for Ivey, whose career night was lost in the shuffle of a devastating defeat that in all likelihood put an end to East Carolina’s AAC title hopes.

“I told everybody that I would give them back, all those turnovers, just to get a win,” Ivey said.

The loss bumped East Carolina (6-3, 3-2) to third place in the AAC, and despite the outcome, Ivey’s performance was not lost on Smith.

“He did a great job. He got two picks and a fumble recovery,” Smith said. “He missed a couple of tackles, but other than that he was 100 percent. He was the only member of the secondary that graded out a winner. … He played 80 plays and only had only three minuses.”

The 6-foot-1, 196-pound Mebane native also racked up eight tackles, one shy of his career high, and now ranks fourth on the team with 50 stops.

Throughout his career, Ivey has played all secondary positions, but never settled into one until this season.

“He was a free safety, then he was a corner. I moved him once, but the other coach (former defensive coordinator Brian Mitchell) moved him around a little bit and he never found a home,” Smith said. “Now he’s found a home and he’s really grabbed it. He’s doing great. I don’t take him off the field.”

Fellow safety Domonique Lennon said Ivey has all the makings of a quality safety.

“He’s a playmaker,” Lennon said. “He’ll hit you. He has some of the best feet on the team, period. He’s really quick coming out of his break to the ball and he just makes plays. He’s a guy you can count on.”

Aside from finding a home at strong safety, Ivey has also found a new personality. It’s one that has endeared himself to Smith and the rest of his teammates.

“He’s personality has changed,” Smith said. “He’s talking and smiling. Last year, he didn’t play much so he was quiet and didn’t say much, but he’s taken a leadership role now as a senior because he can. It’s great to see him kidding around and smiling.”

The Pirates are hoping that positive attitude helps East Carolina snap its first two-game losing skid since 2011 when it hosts Tulane at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“After a loss like (the one against Cincinnati) we just try to encourage each other,” Ivey said. “We tell each other it’s still a long season, let’s get back to work and build on what we did wrong.”

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Nov 212014
 

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By Nathan Summers
November 21, 2014

The East Carolina football team has had plenty of time to think about what happened two Thursdays ago in Cincinnati, and the Pirates are primed for a reaction.

In its loss to the Bearcats, ECU (6-3, 3-2 American Athletic Conference) managed just one sack on quarterback Gunner Kiel and recorded a mere three tackles for loss in 60 minutes. Despite the Pirates’ four takeaways, their lack of pressure on Kiel and their numerous missed tackles on the run and the pass had a greater impact in the 54-46 Cincinnati win.

Having had the last eight days to get past the costly loss and turn their attention to a new opponent has ECU’s defenders salivating at the chance to take on 3-7 Tulane on Saturday.

“They did a very good job of keeping their offense balanced,” senior lineman Chrishon Rose said of the Bearcats. “We couldn’t send out guys on the edge for pass (rushes) because they were still able to run the ball, and we couldn’t load up on the run stoppers because they were able to pass the ball.

“It was hard for us to make them one-dimensional. In the end, it came down to our execution. There were a lot of turnovers but there were also a lot of plays that we didn’t make that we should have made.”

Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. home tilt with the Green Wave is not only a chance for ECU to right some of its recent defensive wrongs, but also a way to recapture some of the team’s early-season momentum.

“I can’t wait. I’ve got two home games left — all the seniors do — and we’re hoping the fans will be there cheering us on and have the stadium rocking,” senior nose tackle Terry Williams said.

Williams has been a driving force, literally, since returning from a preseason injury and playing the last seven games, including five straight starts.

The Loganville, Ga., native chalked up the Cincinnati loss to simply facing a great opponent and coming up just short.

“It was a tough one in general, how we lost that game,” Williams said. “Cincinnati has a great quarterback and a lot of athletes that can run, and they’re offensive line is pretty good too. They’re good with pass protection and haven’t allowed many sacks. Their whole offense was good.”

With just a handful of games left for the team’s seniors, there is a sense of not wanting to overcomplicate things so late.

The Pirates’ 6-1 start to the season was fueled by a high-powered offense but was rooted in a defensive effort that often included erasing opponent run games first and then picking apart pass attacks.

“We’ve got to understand that in order to win any game, each side of the team has to outplay the other side,” said Rose, a Washington, D.C., native who plays both end and tackle for the Pirates. “As a defense, we can play a great game but if they win, that means their defense outplayed our defense, so it was very disappointing. We can’t point fingers anywhere because we didn’t outplay their defense.”

Rose said returning home to play Tulane after a couple of frigid, frustrating road losses will give the Pirates a chance “to prove once again that we are who we say we are.”

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Nov 212014
 

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Updated: Thu 6:35 PM, Nov 20, 2014

By: Bill Wilson & Brendan King

Greenville Fire-Rescue crews responded to the College Hill Suites dorm around 9:00 a.m.

A melted plastic cup in a microwave prompted the evacuation of an ECU dormitory.

Greenville Fire-Rescue crews responded to the College Hill Suites dorm around 9:00 a.m.

ECU says it happened on the fifth floor of the dorm, and the odor was pulled into the heating system. That triggered smoke detectors causing the evacuation.

Some student were standing outside the dorm in blankets. They were allowed back in their dorm less than an hour later.

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