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College Sports in the Carolinas

View from the East
Monday, November 11, 2002

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Triple OT takes on new meaning for Pirates



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The game that I would rank as the greatest in East Carolina football history was a 37-34 win over N.C. State in the Peach Bowl to cap an 11-1 season in 1991. The Pirates rallied from a 34-17 deficit in the fourth quarter to win that showdown against the Wolfpack.

ECU also faced a 34-17 deficit on Saturday at Houston. Although the matchup with the Cougars lacked the emotional impact across the region of the miracle comeback against NCSU over a decade ago, the Pirates’ more recent rally certainly had vital implications for this year’s team, not the least of which was keeping ECU in realistic contention for the Conference USA championship going into this week’s game at UAB.

Triple overtime for the Pirates in football will no longer be identified specifically with the 64-61 loss to Marshall in the 2001 GMAC Bowl.

When Art Brown finally ran 25 yards for the winning touchdown at Houston’s Robertson Stadium on Saturday to cap a highly-improbable 54-48 win in three overtimes over the Cougars, it probably marked a new level of confidence for this year’s team. Winning a close game in the manner the Pirates did can do wonders for morale.

By no means has this team arrived but it’s safe to say it has a better sense of how to get where it wants to go.

“It was a good comeback,” ECU coach Steve Logan told Henry Hinton of the Pirate Sports Network at the Houston airport. “The reality of it is we’re still not very stable on defense. ... The kids have got to execute their assignments better. We’ve got some issues we’ve got to deal with. I’m pleased with a lot of other things, our special teams and offense showed up, particularly in the second half.

“The intangible that showed up is I think we displayed a heartbeat for the first time with this particular group of kids. That’s something that just has to happen and now that it has happened, maybe we can draw from it.”

ECU’s sophomore quarterbacks, Paul Troth and Desmond Robinson, combined to throw for 440 yards. Troth completed 22 of 33 passes for 369 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, and Robinson directed a key fourth quarter scoring drive that started the Pirates on their way towards erasing Houston's 17-point lead.

“This is the thing that (offensive coordinator) Doug Martin and I and I have been seeing day in and day out in practice. We’re throwing and catching the football the way that I saw Jeff Blake and some of those kids do it. ... The thing that I keep getting so excited about is the fact that he (Troth) is a first-year player. He sees the field extraordinarily and our offensive line’s pass protection all year long has been great. Our receivers are playing well and I think Paul has a chance to be extraordinary. He’ll hit another bump in the road or two. That’s just the nature of the beast. You don’t ever just arrive but tonight may have given him a little definition.”

Border patrol

N.C. State lost for the second straight week but remains atop the State Line Power Rankings, where the Wolfpack has resided all season. It will be hard to budge the Pack from that pinnacle considering they’re 4-0 against other Division 1-A teams in the Carolinas, including a decisive win at No. 2 Clemson. The only shuffle came as Duke moved out of the basement to allow the new occupant, North Carolina, room to brood about its recent demise. In its last seven halves the Tar Heels have been outscored 159-25.

  1. N.C. State ... The Wolfpack loses the fourth quarter and the game for the second straight week.
  2. Clemson ... Tigers freshman Charlie Whitehurst has another big passing day in romp in Chapel Hill.
  3. South Carolina ... Gamecocks get shut out at home, 23-0, by Arkansas.
  4. Wake Forest ... Deacons in the midst of two open dates before hosting Navy on Nov. 23.
  5. East Carolina ... The Pirates rally from 17 points down in the final 10 minutes for 3 OT win at Houston.
  6. Duke ... The Blue Devils have a week off between a loss to Clemson and a trip to Georgia Tech. 7.
  7. North Carolina ... The Heels finish winless at home for the first time since 1952.

N.C. STATE (9-2, 4-2 ACC)

Wolfpack kicker Adam Kiker missed a 28-yard field goal that would have put State up by two scores, 24-14, with 11:20 remaining. On NCSU’s next possession, Maryland’s Domonique Foxworth intercepted and the Terps moved for a tying touchdown. Nick Novak’s 26-yard field goal with 34 seconds left provided the 24-21 Maryland win. Premier State receiver Jerricho Cotchery went out with an ankle injury in the Pack’s haste to move into position for a field goal try. Then NCSU’s Philip Rivers was intercepted again to seal State’s second straight loss. Virginia, coming off a 35-14 loss at Penn State, hosts State on Saturday.

CLEMSON (6-4, 4-3 ACC)

The Tigers fell behind 9-0 at North Carolina but four touchdown passes by freshman Charlie Whitehurst helped Clemson come back for a 42-12 win. Whitehurst, the son of former Green Bay Packers back-up quarterback David Whitehurst, threw for 274 yards in his second start as the Tigers accumulated 530 yards on total offense. The Tigers host Maryland on Saturday.


Three games ago the Gamecocks were 5-2 and appeared to be in good position for an unprecedented third straight bowl trip. That was also three losses ago. The latest setback was a 23-0 loss at home to a rampaging Arkansas team that became bowl eligible. USC quarterback Corey Jenkins threw for just 79 yards and was picked off twice. The hosts didn’t seriously threaten after controlling the ball almost seven minutes on their opening drive before Daniel Weaver missed a field goal. A bowl trip looks doubtful with remaining games at Florida and Clemson.

WAKE FOREST (5-5, 3-4 ACC)

Deacons coach Jim Grobe said he has never dealt with consecutive open dates as Wake is doing following its 34-21 loss to Florida State on Nov. 2. Next up is Navy on Nov. 23 and the Middies gave visiting Notre Dame a battle before falling 30-23 on Saturday in Baltimore. Citing the value of routine for younger players, the Deacons have continued practice on a regular schedule during their extensive down time.


Down 34-17 in the fourth quarter, the Pirates rallied for a thrilling 54-48 win in triple overtime as Paul Troth passed for 369 yards and ECU kept its chances alive for the Conference USA championship and bowl eligibility. Art Brown scored the winning touchdown on a 25-yard run as ECU gathered valuable momentum going into next Saturday’s 3 p.m. start at UAB.

DUKE (2-8, 0-6 ACC)

The Blue Devils had an open date after nearly knocking off Clemson and will aim for another upset at Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. on Saturday.


The Tar Heels appear to be pretty bad in the classic sense, B-A-D. They have little offense, little defense and apparently little chance of avoiding some ugly payback at Florida State beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Don’t forget the Heels hammered FSU 41-9 last season in Chapel Hill.

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02/23/2007 12:59:07 AM

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