College Football in the Carolinas
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
“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
“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
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
“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.
BOWLING GREEN at SOUTH CAROLINA
Saturday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.
THE BARE BONES:
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
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.”
NUTS AND BOLTS:
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.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN:
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