ECU avoiding the hype for Cincinnati game, set to celebrate seniors who steered the ship back to Pirate football
#4 Cincinnati at ECU 3:30 PM Friday
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU football has 13 wins, 62 losses, and 1 tie all-time against ranked opponents. The Pirates face 4th ranked Cincinnati Friday at 3:30 PM in Greenville. ECU has never won against a top 5 team in program history. Cincinnati is undefeated this season and just cracked the College Football Playoff top 4 this week.
“Yeah we don’t have any pressure. They are undefeated. We aren’t going to make the conference championship, we already made the bowl game,” says ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers, “We don’t have any pressure on us. We just have to go out there, and play loose, and try and make history.”
“They are a top 4 team playing for their spot, playing for their spot in the playoff,” says ECU offensive lineman Avery Jones, “So, we are not in a position like that, but we are going to come out there to win, and hopefully we can knock them off.”
It’s natural the Pirates would be excited to face a top-5 team on Friday, on national television.
“There’s lessons we can reference from earlier this season, or last year, or we use other teams across the country with certain examples like that. We just talk about it,” says ECU head coach Mike Houston, “The whole thing is just focusing on the guys that are in that building, the guys in that room, and you can’t pay any attention to the noise.”
To add to the all the excitement surrounding the game, it’s also senior day.
“Something I am going to be real proud of because we finally got this program turned around,” says ECU linebacker Bruce Bivens, “I get one more football game to go out there and display what being a Pirate is. So, it means a lot man.”
“The young guys they call me unc in the locker room. They just call me old,” says ECU defensive back Warren Saba, “But uh, it’s a blessing. I can’t ask for anything more than that to just get an opportunity to play the game I love.”
A group which has worked to bring back the fear of “No Quarter”.
“It’s been their backs that this whole thing has turned on. So, those kids will be special to me for the rest of my life, the rest of my career,” says ECU head coach Mike Houston, “I, and everybody else, are indebted to them. Because they are the leaders. It’s why I trust them so much, I’m proud of them, and it’s going to make Friday afternoon special when we recognize them.”
All of it adds up to one of the biggest games the Pirates have ever had. The chance for their first ever win over a top 5 team. A chance to play spoiler for the College Football Playoff.
“They believe in how we want to play. They believe in what kind of identity we want,” says Houston, “I don’t have any eligibility left, I’m not the one out there playing, and so it’s those kids. If they believe in what we are doing, then we have a shot. They believe in our style of play.”
ECU and Cincinnati are set to kickoff at 3:30 PM Friday. The game is nationally televised on ABC. Check your local listings.
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