ECU fans start a petition to bring back coach and fire AD

Former East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill. David Manning USA TODAY SportsLast Friday, East Carolina athletic director Jeff Compher fired sixth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill, a former Pirates defensive back from 1976-79, after his team finished 5-7 (3-5) to finish in fifth place in the American Athletic Conference. It was a move that did not sit well with the fan base, who have...
Via Fox Sports
December 07, 2015  |  Discuss

ECU Abruptly Fires Ruffin McNeill After Six Seasons, 42-34 Record

Between all of the jobs opened due to firings and retirements as well as the opening created by candidates taking them, we thought we had a final count on the number of FBS head coaching jobs by now. Turns out, East Carolina University had other ideas. ECU announced Friday that head coach Ruffin McNeill has been fired after a 5-7 season, the school’s first losing record since...
Via The Comeback
December 04, 2015  |  Discuss

Week 6 Power Rankings: Clear Path to 12-0 for Houston?

We’re six weeks into the 2015 college football season, and the American Athletic Conference has already made a case for itself as the premier component to the Group of Five. With a heavy slate scheduled for Week 7 between Friday and Saturday, let’s rank all 12 teams in the AAC. 1. Houston Cougars (5-0, 2-0) Houston has an excellent chance to move to 7-0 over the next two weeks...
Via AAC Football Fever
October 16, 2015  |  Discuss

After 3-year run, season of change arrives for East Carolina

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) East Carolina has beaten power-conference teams, put up big offensive numbers and even popped into the national rankings during an impressive three-year run. Now the Pirates must prove they have some staying power. After 26 wins over three seasons, East Carolina enters its second year in the American Athletic Conference with a new offensive coordinator leading...
Via AP on Fox
August 21, 2015  |  Discuss

East Carolina's offense opens training camp in transition

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) For the past two seasons, East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill had the comfort of knowing Shane Carden was at quarterback, Justin Hardy was at receiver and Lincoln Riley was calling the offense. Things are going to be a bit different this fall. All three are gone now, leaving the Pirates' high-scoring offense in training camp transition. The main focus is a three...
Via AP on Fox
August 08, 2015  |  Discuss

Justin Hardy called the new 'secret weapon' for the Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have some intriguing options at wide receiver heading into 2015. This includes the obvious options of Julio Jones and Roddy White, but also Leonard Hankerson, Devin Hester and none other than rookie Justin Hardy. Hardy, for one, is a player who has massive upside and potential. Brian Jones of 247Sports is obviously a big believer in this, as he called Hardy the...
Via Fox Sports
July 12, 2015  |  Discuss

‘Cats Toughest Game

Looking at the ‘Cats schedule in 2015, I see a lot of blanks. Those blanks are where a Top 25 ranking normally goes. In fact, I see 12 of those blanks on the schedule, and I expect it will be that way when the official AP preseason rankings come out later this summer. That’s not to say it won’t change over the course of the season based upon how those teams do as they march...
Via AAC Football Fever
June 08, 2015  |  Discuss

Post-Spring 2015 AAC Power Rankings (Nos. 5-8)

Time to reveal teams five through eight in my post-spring American Athletic Conference football power rankings.   5. Temple Temple is the ultimate wildcard in the AAC: It returns eight offensive starters, 10 on defense, and lost three games in 2014 by a touchdown or less. A big play here or there in those tight losses could’ve helped the Owls go 7-5 or 8-4 last season, instead...
Via AAC Football Fever
May 11, 2015  |  Discuss

Head Coach Hot Seat Ratings: AAC East Division

Spring football is upon us, which means the coaching carousel has stopped spinning and each team is focusing on the 2015 season. The situations of coaches across the country varies wildly, with some entering their first season with a program, while others will be coaching for their jobs in 2015. That range certainly exists in the American Athletic Conference, where young coaches...
Via AAC Football Fever
April 23, 2015  |  Discuss

Kansas City Chiefs prospect talk: East Carolina wide receiver Justin Hardy

Over the course of what has been an eventful offseason, to say the least, much has been made of the Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers’ record breaking 2014 season, where not a single wideout caught a touchdown pass – and deservedly so. General Manager John Dorsey and company managed to plug a considerably large hole at receiver with the addition of Jeremy Maclin in free agency...
Via cover32
April 21, 2015  |  Discuss

Justin Hardy: The Panthers and Carolina's Best Kept Secret

Dave Gettleman may refer to it as “chutzpah,” but we’ll just call it resolve. And Justin Hardy has plenty of it.Hardy, who wasn't recruited into college football, walked on at East Carolina University in 2010. The Tar Heel State native redshirted during that initial year, playing out a scouts team position for the Pirates.The budding receiver wouldn’t, however, be kept under...
Via Pro Football Spot
March 24, 2015  |  Discuss

Around the AAC: Spring Football Quick Hits

Spring is nigh upon us, and just as hope springs eternal with nature, so does it with football. With some teams embarking on their second week of off-season practice and others awaiting their first, I thought now would be a good time to go around the conference and collect some stories, videos and other reports from each team’s start to 2015. Programming note: this is in alphabetical...
Via AAC Football Fever
March 11, 2015  |  Discuss

Does ECU Have the AAC’s Most Passionate Fanbase?

East Carolina fans were steadily spoiled by their high-flying Pirates last season. Quarterback Shane Carden, reciever Justin Hardy, and the American’s top-ranked offense dazzled fans on a every performance at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.ECU had the highest average home attendance in the AAC in 2014 — its first year in the conference —  at 44,786* (50,000-seat capacity). With Carden...
Via AAC Football Fever
March 09, 2015  |  Discuss

Breaking Down the AAC East’s 2015 Road Schedules

The 2015 football schedules for each member of the American Athletic Conference were announced last week, building our anticipation for next season even further.  A lot changes for the AAC next fall: a new member (Navy) joins; with 12 members the league will split into two six-team divisions (East and West); and the inaugural AAC Championship Game will be held at the end of the...
Via AAC Football Fever
February 28, 2015  |  Discuss

Way-Too-Early Top 5 AAC Games to Watch in 2015

The American Athletic Conference football schedule for the 2015 season was officially released Thursday, giving fans a glimpse at what’s in store when college football eventually returns a little over six months from now. 2015 is of course a huge year for the AAC, as the conference will be split into two division, East and West, thanks to the addition of Navy. While there’s still...
Via AAC Football Fever
February 20, 2015  |  Discuss

Who Were Our Favorite AAC Players to Watch in 2014?

Writing for AAC Football Fever has its perks: you get to watch massive amounts of football and study a lot of players. We’re over a month removed from the 2014 season, which makes the next six months — and a smidge — the perfect time to reminisce on last season’s AACTION. I caught up with a few of our staff writers and Tyler Waddell, AAC Football Fever editor-in-chief and...
Via AAC Football Fever
February 18, 2015  |  Discuss

Pirates unveil 17-player class for national signing day

East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill is still relying on the same steady-build approach to recruiting at his alma mater. The Pirates unveiled a 17-player class on national signing day Wednesday. The balanced class, far fewer than the 27-player haul from a year earlier, included five January enrollees and brought in three players each along the offensive line, in the secondary, at linebacker...
Via AP on Fox
February 04, 2015  |  Discuss

Top Five Recruits ECU Must Sign on National Signing Day

Tomorrow is when college football is actually made. The sport is built on National Signing Day, where thousands of former high school and Junior College recruits make their final decision on which of the 128 FBS programs they want to play for. East Carolina lost only 15 seniors from last year’s roster, but several of them were impact performers and school record-breakers (i...
Via AAC Football Fever
February 03, 2015  |  Discuss

Offseason To-Do List: East Carolina Pirates

East Carolina’s 2014 season came to an emphatic thud with a 28-20 loss to Florida in the Birmingham Bowl. After wins over North Carolina and Virginia Tech, pollsters, fans, and the Pirate Nation all believed this was the “It” team among the Group of Five conference, and the soon-to-be American Athletic Conference champion in its first season in the conference. After falling...
Via AAC Football Fever
January 12, 2015  |  Discuss

East Carolina Pirates’ 2014 Season Report Card

The 2014 season began as quarterback Shane Carden and wide receiver Justin Hardy’s swan-song that had East Carolina fans sad about waving goodbye to two of their schools’ best players, but also anticipating a wildly fun finish to the Carden-Hardy era. The Pirates 8-5 season met preseason expectations nearly head-on, considering the Pirates were tabbed as the American Athletic...
Via AAC Football Fever
January 07, 2015  |  Discuss

AAC 2014-15 Bowl Season Recap

Well folks, we are officially down to one game in the 2014-15 college football season, so be sure to indulge yourself one last time because we have a LONG way to go until that first September Saturday when the 2015-16 season begins. There were lots of interesting games throughout this bowl season, per usual, and the AAC was represented in five of them resulting in a 2-3 combined...
Via AAC Football Fever
January 05, 2015  |  Discuss

Fitting finish: Defense -- what else? -- stands tall for Florida in bowl victory

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- If you like an ending that fits, the Gators delivered one Saturday. The Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field was on the line as East Carolina drove deep into Florida territory in the final moments. The Gators' 14-point lead had dwindled to eight with the Pirates threatening to score and force potential overtime with a two-point conversion. On second-and-10 from the...
Via Fox Sports Florida
January 03, 2015  |  Discuss

Four Downs: Florida keeps SEC East perfect with Birmingham Bowl win

Going inside Florida's 28-20 win over East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl. 1. The SEC East reigns supreme ... at least as far as the postseason The Birmingham Bowl doesn't have the mystique of some of the other SEC's bowl destinations, but it provided one of the league's more resounding statements of this postseason: The East has the last laugh. The division hasn't won a conference...
Via Fox Sports South
January 03, 2015  |  Discuss

2015 NFL Draft: Birmingham Bowl Scouting Preview – Florida vs East Carolina

The New Year is underway with some great football games, and this Saturday should offer another fun matchup. The 8-4 East Carolina Pirates face off against the Florida Gators in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl. The once-powerful Gators enter at just 6-5 and coming off another coaching change, so they’re vulnerable in this matchup against the veteran Pirates. Let’s take a look at the...
Via Optimum Scouting
January 03, 2015  |  Discuss

Birmingham Bowl: Florida hoping to secure winning record by beating ECU

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- The Florida Gators are still keeping the focus on the same thing after weathering a coaching change and disappointing season: Each other. The Gators can secure a winning record and usher in the Jim McElwain era on a positive note with a victory over East Carolina in Saturday's Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field. They'll be led by interim coach and defensive...
Via AP on Fox
January 02, 2015  |  Discuss
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