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Sunday, September 24, 2023



To put it simply, none

Ronnie Turner

The most enjoyable part of the Cougars’ trip to Greenville, N.C. will be the sightseeing, because they won’t beat East Carolina.

The Pirates have intangibles the Cougars can only dream of – a dominant defense, an offense that can finish the deal and upset wins over two teams (Virginia Tech and West Virginia) that began the season in the AP Top 25 poll. Plus, the Pirates suffered a tough 30-24 overtime loss to North Carolina State on Saturday, and are probably hoping to rebound in a big way.

UH, on the other hand, is on a three-game losing streak. The Cougars’ pass-happy offense has gotten off to slow starts in the last three games, and will probably struggle against a Pirates defense that allows only 176 passing yards per game. The Cougars’ embattled defense might also have a few problems containing talented ECU senior quarterback Patrick Pinkney, who is completing 71.3 percent of his passes.

Clearly, the Pirates have more than enough firepower to put down the Cougars.

Cougars need to get their act together

James Rincon

If the Cougar offense kicks into gear early, East Carolina may not have a number next to its name next week.

A young and talented UH squad has shown sparks of brilliance, but have yet to put together four quarters of good football against a formidable foe. In the Cougars’ three losses, seven of their 12 touchdowns came in the second half.

East Carolina beat a now unranked and struggling West Virginia and a Virginia Tech team that has been less than dominant. However, ECU had to come back in the last two minutes to barely beat Tulane, and at this point, the Pirates’ loss to N.C. State could prove more an exposure than an upset.

The Pirates are a good football team with an athletic arsenal of offensive weapons, but so are the Cougars. If sophomore quarterback Case Keenum shows up for four quarters and the UH defense can minimize bleeding, Saturday’s shootout may prove that the emperor (or in this case, the pirate) hath no clothes.

Not by a long shot

Keith Cordero Jr

I completely agree with Ronnie on this. The Cougars (1-3) do not have a chance at beating No. 23 East Carolina. Despite the Pirates’ heartbreaking loss to unranked rival North Carolina State, ECU will beat the Cougars on their home field on Saturday.

The Pirates, led by third-year head coach Skip Holtz, will bounce back. ECU has a tough schedule and has already beaten powerhouses West Virginia and Virginia Tech in its first two games of the season. Senior quarterback Patrick Pinkney will play much better against the Cougars than he did against the teams the Pirates faced earlier in the season and will score points on Houston’s defense.

The Cougars will play a close game, but for the fourth consecutive week will play on the road. The Cougars dominated Southern 55-7 in their home opener, but haven’t won a game since. Houston can’t wait to finally play Alabama-Birmingham at home on Oct. 9 after Hurricane Ike forced the Cougars to move the Air Force game to Dallas.

It’s possible, but Cougars have to be perfect

Judge Dredd

The Cougars might seem completely overmatched in their Saturday matchup against the Pirates, but there will be one factor that should level the playing, even if for only a few quarters.

It’s a conference game.

ECU has never really been considered a rival by UH, but right now it’s a favorite to take the Conference USA Championship. That, coupled with the fact that games from here on count for more, has to do something to fire up a team that to this point has been underachieving.

To say that the Cougars don’t stand a chance wouldn’t be accurate. Judge Dredd says they can beat the Pirates if everything goes right. That’s not an exaggeration. One botched snap on offense or one missed assignment on defense, and the Cougars are pretty much screwed. ECU has just looked too strong this season.

On the bright side, perfect games have happened before, and if the Cougars somehow land one of those gems, they’ll be looking at 1-0 in the all important C-USA column.

Verdict: James wins

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