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ECU spring game: Three answers

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East Carolina's Hussein Howe, right, runs to the outside Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium during the Purple-Gold Game.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, April 14, 2019

These three questions were part of the preview for the East Carolina football spring game held Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Here are the answers, to help wrap up spring drills by the Pirates:

1. How do the quarterbacks look? It was somewhat of a slow start, and it was actually freshman Bryan Gagg who sparked the offense late in the first half with the first touchdown drive when he ran from 18 yards into the end zone. Holton Ahlers and Reid Herring then settled in and looked more comfortable in the second half, leading three total touchdowns. Walk-ons Zach Gwynn and Caiden Norman also saw limited action. Ahlers received some push from Herring in recent weeks, but it is Ahlers who leaves spring practices as the projected starter and Gagg with momentum after he looked good Saturday playing with other young personnel.

2. Does the secondary grab any interceptions? No, which was part of the defense not forcing a turnover at all. Given that it is a spring game, the no-turnover factor was something first-year head coach Mike Houston broke down in his postgame media address.

“I thought we had our bright spots and probably the biggest negative on defense is a positive for the offense, and that is ball security,” he said. “We did not force any turnovers on defense, but we did a good job taking care of the ball on offense. It’s a deal where when you scrimmage like that, you are happy for the one side but mad about the other.”

3. Who rushes for the most yards? Hussein Howe showed quickness and received the most carries while working with the Nos. 1 and 2 offenses, carrying 15 times for 71 yards and a touchdown. He bounced to the outside and raced up the sideline to dive in for an 18-yard score. Lead back Darius Pinnix had a very solid spring and he also found the end zone — from 7 yards out on a power run fourth-and-short play — to highlight his five rushes for 31 yards. Freshman Tay Williams also was active, receiving eight carries for 18 yards as a backup option in the backfield.

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

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