INSIDE GAME DAY
27, Tulane 25
Saturday, Oct. 9, 2004
|By Al Myatt
Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004
Foot of fate pivotal as
GREENVILLE Graham Broadwell must have had a premonition or maybe it was
Spurrier on hand for ECU win
There have been a lot of rumors lately
regarding former Duke, Florida Gators and Washington Redskins coach
Steve Spurrier lately.
According to the gossip mill, the
former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida and NFL quarterback has
bought houses in various locations of his future employment,
including Chapel Hill and Columbia, S.C.
This much is for sure: Spurrier was
among the homecoming crowd at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday
watching his protege, East Carolina offensive coordinator Noah
Brindise, orchestrate an NFL-like 2-minute drill that produced a
27-25 win over Tulane.
"He was supposed to sit with my
wife," Brindise said. "But he probably got hounded so he probably
found an empty bench somewhere."
Spurrier visited with ECU quarterback
James Pinkney before the game.
"I saw him before the game and
afterward," said Brindise, who wore a visor on Saturday a la his
former boss. "He was excited."
Brindise,who is in his first season
on the Pirates staff, acknowledged that Spurrier had brought ECU
some good luck to end a 9-game home losing streak.
"He sure did," said Brindise, who
worked as Redskins quarterbacks coach until Spurrier resigned. "I
told him he was going to have to go down to Hattiesburg in a couple
ECU has an open date before playing
at Southern Miss on Oct. 23. Al Myatt
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He told his son, East Carolina kicker Cameron Broadwell, to be ready when
Saturday's game got down to the short rows.
"My dad was telling me it was going to come down to me," said the younger
Broadwell, whose 30-yard field goal with 12 seconds left lifted the Pirates
to a 27-25 homecoming win over Tulane. "He was telling me to be ready. I was
like, 'Dad, I'm always ready.' "
Teammates engulfed Broadwell after his second field goal of the game helped
ECU snap a 9-game home losing streak.
Broadwell became a focal point in the postgame celebration, although he did
his best to deflect the praise.
"I didn't win this game," Broadwell said. "The team, the coaching staff and
these fans won the game. I'm really happy to get it for them."
The deciding boot helped ECU overcome a couple of touchdowns the Pirates had
given up on special teams.
"I've got to give credit to the line and the whole field goal unit,"
Broadwell said. "Brandon Howard (snapper) and Ryan Dougherty. He's an
amazing holder, man. He just gives me the perfect hold every time."
Dougherty also gave Broadwell some advice as the Green Wave sought to ice
the ECU kicker with a late timeout.
"Ryan was telling me it was just like an extra point," said Broadwell. "He
was saying 'Just get your hips through it and stay down on it just like a
golf swing. Just hit it nice and smooth.' "
Broadwell's "pitching wedge" split the uprights. There was no hesitation as
the officials raised their arms to indicate the kick was good.
"I knew right when it left my foot it was good," Broadwell said. "I hit a
long one earlier and that felt good so that was a little motivation for me."
Broadwell connected from 44 yards early in the fourth quarter for a 24-13
ECU lead. Then the Wave came back with two touchdown passes by LSU transfer
The Pirates had just 1:51 left after Ricard's 24-yard TD toss to Chris Bush
put the Greenies up 25-24.
"We just executed our 2-minute offense like we do in practice," said
offensive coordinator Noah Brindise.
Kevin Roach made a leaping 20-yard catch from James Pinkney to get the
Pirates into field goal range.
"They were playing a cover two zone," Brindise said. "Roach just ran a
little up and in. We had somebody underneath him to suck up the linebacker.
He ran it perfectly and James threw it right where we practice it. That was
a big play."
Chris Johnson, who ran 31 times for 158 yards, got Broadwell within chip
"Coach (John) Thompson and I were talking constantly," Brindise said. "Once
we got inside a 40-yard kick, we were trying not to let anything stupid
Pinkney ran parallel to the line of scrimmage and took a knee to give
Broadwell a favorable angle.
"I knew he was going to make it because it was just right down the middle,"
said ECU's sophomore quarterback. "Cam's a very good kicker. He made a
44-yarder today. Cam's a very good kicker and he came through for us in the
Thompson said he also had confidence in Broadwell.
"I knew Cam was going to hit it," said Thompson after his first head
coaching win at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. "I'm proud of him. He's been under
the gun on a lot of things, too."
The Pirates have two weeks to build on the momentum of the uplifting victory
with an open date before a game at Southern Miss on Oct. 23.
Broadwell will be able to look back on this year's homecoming with more
positive emotion than last year's 39-38 loss to South Florida in double
overtime. His conversion attempt was tipped, hit an upright and missed to
end that game.
"It's totally two different emotions," Broadwell said after ECU improved to
41-9 since 1955 in its homecoming games. "Last year, it broke my heart. The
team fought so hard. Vonta Leach put it in (scored a touchdown). The whole
team was fighting so hard."
Broadwell, an East Wake product, won the kicking job last season over Chris
Baglio, his former rival at Apex High and his roommate during their battle
for the position.
Last year's experience in the South Florida game has made Broadwell a better
kicker this year.
"Knowing that's in the past has helped me prepare for each game," he said.
"It's helped me know my job and know what I've got to do put the ball
through the uprights and don't leave any points off the board."
Broadwell just did his job on Saturday afternoon as the sun shone over the
south stands and that was pretty special.
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02/23/2007 12:47:13 AM