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Hilliard to start vs. East Carolina

FIU football coach Ron Turner said after Tuesday's practice that sophopmore EJ Hilliard will replace redshirt junior Jake Medlock at quarterback Saturday against East Carolina.

Turner wanted to make clear that the 1-6 record falls on the team, not just on Medlock, and he just hopes this will give the team a spark.

Hilliard gets no easy assignments. East Carolina (5-2, 3-1 in conference) was the preseason Conference USA favorite. The Pirates only losses were 15-10 against Virginia Tech and 36-33 to Tulane in overtime. Hilliard also started against Louisville this season and got hancuffed by an offensive game plan so run-based -- after FIU failed to run effectively against even Bethune-Cookman -- that the television announcers made fun of it.

Last season, Medlock injuries sent Hilliard into the second half against Louisville; made his first start on the road against Louisiana-Lafayette (bowl team); second start five days later against Arkansas State (bowl team); came in for the final play against Western Kentucky (bowl team) and started the season finale against Louisiana-Monroe (bowl team).  

Also, Turner made clear that sophomore outside linebacker Davison Colimon has not quit the team, but has been dealing with some family issues. Fifth-year senior Derrick Jones Jr. will start in his place again this week. Markeith Russell should be fine also for Saturday's game.

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