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No starter announced for Pirates

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Quarterback Reid Herring (9) and receiver Blake Proehl look over to East Carolina offensive coordinator Tony Petersen during practice. Tuesday, Oct. 9.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The mystery of who East Carolina’s starting quarterback is will continue to linger.

Reid Herring, Holton Ahlers and Kingsley Ifedi are splitting first-team opportunities at practice this week as ECU (2-3, 0-2 American Athletic Conference) is fine-tuning its game plan for hosting Houston (4-1, 1-0) on Saturday night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Pirate coach Scottie Montgomery did not announce a starter after Wednesday’s practice.

“No real quarterback update and that’s kind of the way it will be the rest of the week,” Montgomery said in his final post-practice interview session of the week. “But I thought today that we did a better job, on offense, of trying to get our playmakers the football. That is something I have talked about, and we have to do a better job of getting our (running) backs involved.

“I think we have a tremendous player in No. 88 (receiver Trevon Brown). He didn’t get enough targets last week (in a 49-6 loss at Temple) and we have to find a way to get him more involved in the football game, schematically.”

ECU’s third-year coach went on to say that the playmaking ability of Brown, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior who enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2017 that included 270 receiving yards against Cincinnati, is directly tied to the younger players around him.

“We have a really young and talented receiver in Tahj Deans,” Montgomery said of Deans, a 6-2 sophomore and former Southern Nash High School standout who has emerged recently as a starter for the Pirates. “We have to make sure that as we use No. 88, we can also utilize some of Tahj’s talents. I think Tahj is one of our quicker and faster (players) with good hands.”

Herring has started ECU’s first five games and produced mixed results.

Ahlers has played in four, highlighted by leading the Pirates in rushing each of the last three contests. But the true freshman from Greenville has struggled in the pocket as a passer.

Ifedi has seen the least action. He was listed on the depth chart as the No. 2 QB behind Herring until Monday’s update had all three players on equal footing.

Montgomery and offensive coordinator Tony Petersen have stressed this week that they want to see better quarterback leadership during games. At D.H. Conley, Ahlers thrived as an emotional leader for the Vikings.

“I need to be more vocal and that’s what I am trying to do,” the mild-mannered Herring said Tuesday. “I picked it up today and am going to continue to pick it up. I think that is what our whole (quarterback) room is working on as well, too.”

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

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ECU

October 17, 2018 - 17 minutes ago

The go-to saying for East Carolina basketball coach Joe Dooley regarding forward Seth LeDay is that LeDay is the best fast-twitch player for the Pirates this year.

What is fast-twitch?

“He has a quick first jump and a quick second jump,” Dooley said. “I like those fast-twitch guys.…

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October 16, 2018

Saturday night will serve as the first-career start at East Carolina for true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers, a Greenville native, and it will be the 29th for senior right tackle Garrett McGhin.

Ahlers is left-handed, which puts the right tackle McGhin in charge of protecting the rookie’s…

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October 15, 2018

East Carolina did not have a men’s or women’s basketball player lauded by the American Athletic Conference as a preseason all-conference pick.

The AAC released its preseason polls Monday, which had the ECU men 11th out of 12 teams and the Pirate women in eighth place.

UCF led the…

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October 15, 2018

It is the time of year when perspectives can become very contrasting for college football teams depending on where they are in the standings.

Very often, the great teams already have found ways to survive and stay on top, whereas the hard-luck teams often continue to lament coming close but not…

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October 15, 2018

The East Carolina football team is turning to true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers for this week and with a long-term plan in mind for the 6-foot-3, 236-pound left-hander to be the leader of the ECU offense.

Coach Scottie Montgomery announced Monday during his weekly news conference that Ahlers,…

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October 15, 2018

One thing that stands out with first-year coach Joe Dooley about the East Carolina basketball team’s big men is their potential.

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October 15, 2018

It was easy to think back to East Carolina football’s successful run in Conference USA during Saturday night’s game against Houston at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

The first reminder was Houston being the visiting team. The Cougars occupied the same visiting sideline Dec. 5, 2009, for a…

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October 15, 2018

Things are tightening at the top between N.C. State, Appalachian State and Duke, but no changes again this week.

Here are The Daily Reflector’s updated in-state college football power rankings:

1. N.C. State

Record: 5-0.

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East Carolina’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams captured their first wins of the season Saturday, topping William & Mary on the road by a 136-126 score in each division.

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October 14, 2018

These three questions appeared in the Pirate Gameday section previewing the East Carolina-Houston football game, which ended as a 42-20 win for Houston that could have been more lopsided if not for a few late touchdowns by the Pirates.

Speaking of those touchdowns ... 

1. Which ECU quarterback…

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