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College Football in the Carolinas

View from the East
Thursday, September 13, 2001

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Life Goes On... with Limits


Life goes on in these United States but in many cases this weekend, it will go on without college football.

Conferences discussed on Wednesday the advisability of playing games on Saturday and reached different conclusions in the aftermath of the massive terrorist violence Tuesday morning.

To Play or Not to Play — Two Schools of Thought

East Carolina’s football game at Syracuse on Saturday was postponed to Sept. 29 at a time to be announced. The Big East Conference, which includes Syracuse, made a unanimous decision to postpone all conference activity through Sunday.

“There are two schools of thought in this situation,” said ECU athletic director Mike Hamrick. “One is that you don’t play and honor those directly affected with a mourning period. The other is that you go about your business and don’t let terrorism affect our way of life.

“The President indicated we should go on with our lives but we are in a unique situation, playing Syracuse because they are so connected to the tragedy at the World Trade Center. They had alumni who worked there. They have anger and grief issues to resolve.

"We’re sorry that this will inconvenience some people but in light of the tragedy that has occurred, we’re very understanding of the Big East’s decision.”

Logan Adjusts Pirates' Practice Agenda

No time had been set as of Wednesday for the Sept. 29 makeup date. The game was set to kick off at noon this Saturday to accommodate television interests, a factor ECU coach Steve Logan liked because it meant his team wouldn’t be killing time in a hotel as might be the case if the starting time had been later.

The Pirates initially had an open date before playing at North Carolina on Oct. 6. Now, in effect, the Pirates have an open date before playing their former Southern Conference rival Southern William & Mary.

“It’s just a situation where you have to be flexible and adjust,” Logan said. “For every disadvantage created, there’s an advantage and vice-versa. This thing has affected everybody. There’s nothing to do other than adjust.”

Logan planned to continue preparations for Syracuse in practice this week.

“We’ll stay in a routine,” he said. “We’ll finish the game plan for Syracuse this week and then next week we’ll flip the page for William & Mary.”

The Tribe plays the Pirates for the first time since 1983 on Sept. 22 in Greenville.

ACC Reschedules Games Out of Respect

The ACC announced at 5 p.m. on Wednesday that it would postpone athletic events through Saturday.

“It is the opinion of our conference members that this will allow for an appropriate period of reflection and respect for those many people who have been impacted by the tragic events,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford.

N.C. State had already moved a Thursday night home game with Ohio to Nov. 24. Duke will play at Clemson at a date to be determined. Northern Illinois will visit Wake Forest on Nov. 24. SMU will play at North Carolina on Dec. 1.

“We have already looked at some of the Maryland tape,” said Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe. “It gives us a little extra time to get ready for our ACC opener.”

Wake defensive back Quintin Williams said practicing on Tuesday afternoon was good therapy after the trauma of the terrorist acts.

“It was a good thing that we had practice to get out and get our mind off of it,” Williams said. “It was a relief to turn off the TV and focus on something solid.”

The Deacons host the Terps on Sept. 22. Other games that Saturday include State at SMU, Northwestern at Duke, Florida State at UNC, and Virginia at Clemson.

SEC and Carolinas I-AA Leagues Plan to Tee It Up

The only Division I-A team in the Carolinas which will play this Saturday is South Carolina, which will host Bowling Green at 7 p.m.

Division I-AA conferences, the MEAC and the Southern Conference, are planning to go ahead with their regularly-scheduled games.

Southern Conference interim commissioner Geoff Cabe has requested that a moment of silence be held at each game site and that flags be flown at half staff.

The SEC and Big 12 are playing their games.

“This is indeed a time of mourning and a time to remember those who tragically lost their lives during these horrific terrorists acts on Tuesday,” said South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee, who was head coach at ECU in 1970. “We have also been reminded by President Bush that we should never allow terrorists to restrict our freedoms or alter our way of life.

“We also believe this will provide an important means for allowing people to come together for the common cause of expressing their support for the victims and their families and the countless heroes who participated in the rescue efforts.”

South Carolina will honor those who lost their lives in a pregame ceremony and the SEC has pledged $1 million to the victims’ relief fund. Additional security measures will be in place at Williams-Brice Stadium.

“With the assistance of all levels of law enforcement, we want to assure our fans that their security will be protected at all costs,” McGee said.

Elon, a I-AA independent, will play its first game on campus since 1909 with the opening of 8,250-seat Rhodes Stadium, a $13 million facility. The Phoenix, the Fighting Christians until last year, hosts Eastern Kentucky at 2 p.m.

“I believe it is in the best interest of the Elon community to carry on with normal activities as best we are able, including this weekend’s game,” said Elon president Leo M. Lambert. "There isn’t a right or wrong decision in this situation. Everyone making a choice to play or not is following a course they feel is best and appropriate. Thankfully, we have little precedent to determine protocol.

Prognostication Limited to One Game

Since the Gamecocks are going to tee it up on Saturday, a prediction is necessary even in view of the week's tragic circumstances. Last week’s record of 6-1 — missed the South Carolina-Georgia game — brought the season record to 10-3.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.


Bowling Green isn’t your garden variety football powerhouse but the Falcons are off to a 2-0 start under first-year coach Urban Meyer, a former assistant to South Carolina coach Lou Holtz at Notre Dame.

The Gamecocks, also 2-0, return home as triumphant warriors from a 14-9 win at Georgia but, of course, Lou is running scared.

“I don’t care what the experts say and I don’t care what anybody else says,” Holtz declared. “Bowling Green has 18 starters back. They’re No. 12 in the country and No. 9 in scoring defense. They beat Missouri at Missouri (20-13) in their opening ball game. They look like an encyclopedia on defensive football.”


Meyer is 37, the second youngest coach in Division I-A to Greg Schiano of Rutgers, who is 36. The Falcons are 2-0 for the first time since 1985 and blanked Buffalo last week for their first shutout in 72 games. Bowling Green’s most memorable win was a 17-13 upset at Purdue in 1972 when the Boilermakers were ranked No. 18. Coincidently, South Carolina is ranked No. 18 this week.


South Carolina will mix the running of Derek Watson and the passing of Phil Petty to inflate the Falcons’ defensive stats. If Lou wants to talk about a good defense, he doesn’t need to look any farther than his own Gamecocks unit that held Georgia without a touchdown — the first time that’s happened to the Bulldogs in 22 games.

PREDICTION: South Carolina 31, Bowling Green 10.

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02/23/2007 01:03:03 AM

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