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East Carolina Begins AAC Play This Saturday Against Tulane

CJ. Johnson and East Carolina open conference play in The American on Saturday against Tulane.
CJ. Johnson and East Carolina open conference play in The American on Saturday against Tulane. (James Guillory USA Today photo)

East Carolina opens league action this Saturday when Tulane rolls into Greenville for a 3:30 p.m. encounter in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

The Pirates enter at 2-2 after a 31-28 win over surprisingly talented Charleston Southern.

Coach Wilie Fritz and the Green Wave comes to town after having competed well against (6)Oklahoma in a five point 40-35 loss and a 61-21 defeat at the hands of (12) Ole Miss. Tulane lost to UAB last week by a touchdown, 28-21 and their only win has come against Morgan State in a 69-20 blowout.

ECU(2-2) got a bit of a wakeup call against the Buccaneers Saturday night in Greenville, yielding a pair of quick touchdowns and falling behind by 14 before rallying with 31 unanswered points and holding on for the win.

ECU head coach Mike Houston outlined his key points of emphasis heading into this week's preparation for the Green Wave.

“Well, they played very well at Oklahoma opening weekend, had a chance to win the ballgame on the final drive. I think Pratt earned a lot of respect from the Oklahoma faithful with just the way he competed that day. Had a tough day at Ole Miss, but Ole Miss is having a pretty special year. They’ve got a pretty big ballgame this week also. I think Tulane is well tested," Houston told PirateIllustrated.com, "They had a tough loss to UAB the other night in a game I’m sure Coach Fritz feels they should have won. It’s a big challenge for us. As you look back over the span of the last 11 games or so that we’ve played, the Tulane one last year is one that stands out where I didn’t feel like we played at our best."

"We were coming off the tough game at Tulsa and certainly that may have had a little bit to do with it. But at the end of the day, you did not have one of your better performances against this group last year. Our kids are going to be motivated. Between the way we played last Saturday night and the first conference football game along with that performance last year against Tulane, our groups going to be motivated. They want to play well. They want to figure out a way to win this ballgame. I expect us to have a great week of practice this week. I expect us to be ready to play at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and I expect us to play very well.”

The Pirates could have easily been 3-1 right now and despite not playing their best at times on Saturday, momentum is moving in the right direction heading into Saturday's encounter.

Mike Houston met with the press on Tuesday to discuss this week's tilt. Catch his comments along with defensive back Teagan Wilk, offensive lineman Fernando Frye, linebacker Teylor Jackson and wide receiver Tyler Snead as coverage of Tulane week begins.

Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.on Saturday in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Stay tuned for continuing coverage of Green Wave week here on PirateIllustrated.com.

PI AUDIO: TEYLOR JACKSON

PI AUDIO: FERNANDO FRYE

PI AUDIO: TEAGAN WILK

PI AUDIO: TYLER SNEAD

PI AUDIO: MIKE HOUSTON