Both the East Carolina Pirates (0-2) and the South Florida Bulls (1-2) desperately need a win when they clash in this key American Athletic Conference matchup.
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The game (7 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch East Carolina vs South Florida live on ESPN+ right here:
ESPN+ is the digital streaming service from ESPN that has live college football (select AAC, Big 12, Conference USA and Sun Belt games) and dozens of other sports, every 30-for-30 documentary, and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch East Carolina vs South Florida live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
East Carolina vs South Florida Preview
The Pirates and the Bulls are looking to avoid wearing the dreaded “cellar dweller” label, but someone will be donning it when this is over. Both teams are currently sitting at the bottom of the AAC, so this showdown will be huge for each squad.
The Pirates are coming off a disappointing 49-29 loss to Georgia State in which they were thoroughly outplayed despite winning the time of possession battle. They were horrible on third down, going 5-17, and they failed to find any rhythm on offense, netting just 50 yards rushing. A primary issue had been their pass protection, which is currently rated last in the nation by Pro Football Focus.
Quarterback Holton Ahlers has 451 yards passing over his first two games, but he has also thrown four picks, so East Carolina is really struggling on offense.
On defense, they were shredded by Georgia State’s run game, and they are allowing an average of 50 points a game, along with 558.5 yards. Still, South Florida head coach Jeff Scott is prepared for a solid battle.
“Their linebackers are big, strong physical guys. That’s a matchup with our running backs in pass protection that’s a big emphasis this week, and getting rid of the ball, getting it out of our hands, those types of things,” Scott said about East Carolina, adding:
“I think their offense does a really good job of spreading you out. Their quarterback, he’s a savvy player. When he rolls out, you still have to cover the entire field. He’ll throw it over here, or he’ll turn and throw it all the way to the other sideline rolling out to his right. It really makes you as a defense really have to protect different areas on the field. It’ll be a good test for us.”
South Florida will also be tested by themselves, in a way, as their current quarterback situation is dire. They had three different quarterbacks enter their last game against Cincinnati: Jordan McCloud, Katravis Marsh and Cade Fort in all made appearances, and they threw five interceptions between them. McCloud was the most effective, and will likely get the nod, but the team has yet to name a starter for this game.
The Bulls’ slow start likely has a good deal to do with a tough opening schedule, however. They’ve faced two top 12 teams (Notre Dame and Cincinnati) and their defense, which allowed just six points against Citadel in their season opener, should thrive against an ECU squad still searching for an identity on offense.
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