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BYH, some see the glass as half empty. I say just get a smaller glass and quit complaining....

Mixing it up at media day

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East Carolina's head coach Mike Houston speaks during a press conference during Media Day on Aug. 17, 2019.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, August 17, 2019

East Carolina’s football players were asked about their favorite ice cream flavor Saturday and they got the opportunity to pick on teammates, but there also were serious questions pointed their way about the Aug. 31 opener at N.C. State and the rest of an important season for the Pirates under first-year coach Mike Houston.

All of it was part of a media day tradition, the mix of foolishness and seriousness during constant interactions between media members, players and coaches.

"My one cheat meal? If I could choose anything it would honestly be Whataburger," said senior defensive tackle Alex Turner, a 6-foot-2, 274-pounder from Houston. "It's a Texas thing. I miss it. Me and (linebacker) Bruce (Bivens) talk about that like every day."

Serious topics were highlighted by the Pirates' upcoming trip to Raleigh to face the Wolfpack, which finished 9-4 a season ago but also lost key offensive personnel and offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz this offseason to become Appalachian State's head coach.

ECU’s last game was a 58-3 loss at N.C. State, on Dec. 1, 2018, two days after Scottie Montgomery was fired as part of a third straight 3-9 record by the Pirates.

Most of Houston’s staff is comprised of coaches who were with him at James Madison for a successful three-year stint that included winning the 2016 Football Championship Subdivision national championship. JMU began last year with a 24-13 loss to the Wolfpack in Raleigh.

"One big positive in being a little further south, compared to where I was last year, is we know how to drink sweet tea in the South," Houston said with a laugh to begin media day.

Houston also was asked often about not only JMU's matchup against N.C. State during Week 1 of 2018, but also the Pirates' game against the 'Pack at the end of the regular season.

"You have to look at both games," he said. "The (JMU) game was hot, No. 1, I remember that. They were a physical football team and we were a physical football team. It was one of those games where it was kind of a stalemate most of the day and they had a big play with about three minutes to go that gave them kind of the clinching score.

"It was a hard-fought contest. I am hoping to see that again in two weeks."

Media day was held after the Pirates conducted their final preseason scrimmage and before Meet the Pirates and the annual Pirate equipment sale for fans at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Physicality was a theme during the scrimmage, which carried over into conversational topics for media day at the Murphy Center.

"Either Tank Robinson or Bruce Bivens," No. 1 running back Darius Pinnix said when asked about the Pirates' hardest hitters on defense. "They bring the thump when they come at you."

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

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Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Navy cruised to a 2-0 record in a frustrating day Saturday for East Carolina football, which lost 42-10 to the Midshipmen for ECU to drop to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the American Athletic Conference in coach Mike Houston’s first season with the Pirates.

Here are three…

East Carolina Navy Football-4

September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Among the improbable things for a disastrous day by the East Carolina football team Saturday was that Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry passed for more yards than Holton Ahlers.

Perry and a stingy Navy defense led the charge in the Midshipmen's 42-10 rout of the Pirates in the…

East Carolina Navy Football-3

September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Add quarterback Malcolm Perry prominently to the list of Navy football players to enjoy spinning, shaking, shedding and sizzling the East Carolina football defense.

In a series that began in 2006 and has been dictated by the Midshipmen and their punishing and methodical…

East Carolina Navy Football

September 14, 2019

Here are three Navy players to keep an eye on as East Carolina heads to Annapolis, Md., to face the Midshipmen in American Athletic Conference action:

Malcolm Perry

Any Navy team runs as good as its quarterback. Perry, a senior former running back, is far from a perfect passer but he remains as one…

Navy Football Preview

September 14, 2019

Q: What is your favorite form of social media?

A: I would say Twitter. It’s more active, everybody is on Twitter. I like Instagram, too, but I like Twitter more.

Q: Where is your favorite spot to eat at in Greenville?

A: I will say Kickback Jacks. I like Kickback Jacks. I love their spinach…

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September 14, 2019

These three questions appeared in our Pirate Gameday section to preview East Carolina versus Navy in football. 

The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. Check back after the game for the answers:

1. Any turnovers by the Pirates? Because of time of possession, turnovers…

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September 14, 2019

Mike Houston didn't celebrate too long after his first victory as East Carolina's football coach, partly because he knew what was ahead in this week's trip trip to Navy.

ECU (1-1) and Navy (1-0) play their respective first American Athletic Conference game of the season today in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff…

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September 13, 2019

Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo said earlier this week that he wants to see more passes this year from quarterback Malcolm Perry.

East Carolina defensive coordinator Bob Trott is not putting too much stock into any new Navy mindset and is still planning to mainly see running plays Saturday when…

Navy Football

September 12, 2019

East Carolina first-year athletics director Jon Gilbert said he noticed even before kickoff last Saturday night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium that slow concessions could be an issue that could increase as the night progressed for ECU’s first home football game of the season, so he put a priority…

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September 12, 2019

East Carolina’s football team heads north on Saturday to play Navy, which has beaten the Pirates in three straight meetings and holds a 5-1 all-time advantage in the series.

It will be the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams and coach Mike Houston’s league debut with the…

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