ECU vs. USF 2021

ECU junior quarterback Holton Ahlers leaps into the end zone against USF.

After a rainy night, East Carolina football (4-4-0, 2-2-0 American Athletic Conference) defeated the University of South Florida (2-6-0, 1-3-0 AAC) 29-14 on Oct. 28 at the Dowdy Ficklen Stadium.

This primetime game was aired live on ESPN, which caused there to be a lot of “media timeouts” for commercial breaks. This gave both teams a chance to communicate with players. Kickoff was at 7:30 p.m. and, despite the rain and cold weather, the Boneyard was full of students dressed in all black to show their Pirate pride for the games “blackout” theme.

“Really just want to thank the fans that were here, certainly it wasn't the best conditions in the world but you know the Pirates showed up and the student body, I mean what a great job our student body did, they were instrumental the whole ball game, made the stadium loud,” ECU head coach Mike Houston said. “They made it tough on South Florida when they were at that end of the field.”

The Bulls freshman starting quarterback, Timmy McClain, was out due to an ankle injury from the previous game, and sophomore quarterback Katravis Marsh took his place in Thursday’s match-up.

Throughout the first quarter, neither team was able to get on the board. While trading possession back and forth, the Pirates and Bulls both suffered a fumble. In both occurrences, the ball was recovered by the opposing team.

To start off the second quarter, ECU freshman running back Rahjai Harris scored the first points of the game, however, Pirates redshirt freshman Owen Daffer fell short to get the extra point. Soon after, Bulls junior Jaren Mangham scored and junior kicker Spencer Shrader got the extra point, which took the score to 7-6, Bulls.

“I mean I knew I was prepared, I just gotta lead by example. If I go out there to practice and just lack off and not work, they’re gonna do the same thing. So just out there with the right mindset and I might be sore but you know, it’s whatever, it’s college,” Harris said.

As the rain continued to pick up, ECU regained possession but fumbled the ball which allowed USF to get the ball once again. Less than a minute later, USF’s junior wide receiver Xavier Weaver scored and after an extra point attempt by Bulls kicker Shrader, the Bulls took the lead 14-6.

With the second quarter coming to a close, ECU junior quarterback Holton Ahlers rushed the ball for five yards and attempted to score but after the play was put under further review, it was confirmed incomplete. The Pirates attempted to score again at the one-yard line but were pushed back by the Bulls’ defense, which led to a fumble, recovered by USF. The second half ended with the Bulls in the lead, 14-6.

“We’re a pretty veteran offense, these guys have played a lot of games, so I mean we knew what we were capable of and he (Houston) just kinda said that pretty much to stick to it, the plays will come and we knew that we could score on these guys,” Ahlers said. “It was going to be tough to match our physicality up front all game.”

Since the Pirates won the coin toss at the top of the game, they were able to start the second half with the ball. In the first play, junior wide receiver Tyler Snead ran 43 yards for a first down.

Pirate graduate student wide receiver Audie Omotosho scored off of a 17-yard pass from Ahlers in the upper half of the third quarter, taking the score to 14-13 for the Bulls. Pirates sophomore wide receiver C.J. Johnson was then able to get the Pirates down the field after Ahlers threw a 42-yard pass to Johnson.

With less than three minutes left in the third quarter, ECU sophomore cornerback Malik Fleming intercepted the ball and ran into the endzone which took the score to 19-14, Pirates ahead. The third quarter ended when the Bulls kicked a touchback into the endzone, which left the score at 19-14, Pirates.

In the fourth quarter, ECU freshman running back Keaton Mitchell scored a 25-yard rushing touchdown and Daffer got the extra point, which put the Pirates further in the lead 26-14. Bulls junior running back Kelley Joiner had a 56-yard rush into the endzone but it was nullified by a penalty against the Bulls.

The Bulls set up to try to score again, but Pirate sophomore safety Shawn Dourseau intercepted the throw that was intended for Bulls junior wide receiver Demarcus Gregory. After three failed attempts to score, Daffer kicked a 37-yard field goal and succeeded, which took the score to 29-14, Pirates.

With less than five minutes on the clock in the fourth quarter, freshman safety Teagan Wilk had an interception, which gave ECU possession of the ball once again. The game ended, with the Pirates taking the win, 29-14.

“It’s not really me, it's more the team. On the interception for me, that’s big for me because it’s my first one but we got a good pass rush. We got people in great spots, so it’s really not me,” Wilk said. “If you look at the film, it's a tent pass, it really wasn’t me, the strip was just a tackle, we all swarmed to the ball and we just happened to get to the ball just from our defense swarming to it.”

The Pirates will face Temple University (3-4-0, 1-2-0 AAC) at home in Dowdy Ficklen Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m.

(1) comment


The Bulls freshman starting quarterback, Timmy McClain, was out due to an ankle injury from the previous game, and sophomore quarterback Katravis Marsh took his place in Thursday’s match-up. This is the game really good. you can play casino games. which rarely happens when you have the best website. Here are the fastest payout online casino and You can use this site to win a casino game.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.