Insights and Observations
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
By Henry Hinton
Best crystal ball might be
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In spite of
the disappointing outing in the Papajohns.com Bowl, East Carolina has a
bright future, if history tells us anything.
similarities between Skip Holtz’s second year in Greenville and the 1994
East Carolina team are amazingly striking.
Pirates finished the year with a 7-6 record after the thrashing in
Birmingham on Dec. 23. The ’94 Pirates finished 7-5 and were the victims of
a 30-0 beatdown in Memphis at the Liberty Bowl.
It was what
happened the next season that should give Pirate fans great hope for the
following year the program took off and finished 9-3. The 1995 Pirates also
finished the season with a Top 25 ranking after landing right back in
Memphis and knocking off Stanford 19-13.
Want to hear
something even more spooky? The two seasons prior to the 7-5 record the
Pirates posted 2-9 and 5-6 records. The two prior seasons to this year?
pattern continues (and it often does in sports) the Pirates could be in for
a banner year in 2007. Some might say, yeah but ECU has a much more
difficult schedule next year with the likes of Virginia Tech, North
Carolina, N.C. State and West Virginia coming up.
see. During that 9-3 season in 1995, the Pirates played Tennessee, Syracuse,
Illinois and that same West Virginia program. In fact after opening the
season with a loss in Knoxville, the Pirates went on to post victories over
the Orange and Mountaineers.
convinced? Then try this on for size. With all the problems ECU has had over
the years with its competitive nemesis Southern Miss, the ’94 and ’95
seasons are two of the few seasons the Pirates have posted back to back wins
over the Golden Eagles.
bodes well for next season’s meeting with Jeff Bower’s team when it visits
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in what will, no doubt, be a pivotal conference game
With all the
similarities we would be remiss not to point out the biggest difference in
the upcoming 2007 Pirates and the team ECU fielded in 1995.
Logan-led Pirates had a seasoned returning quarterback that year. After
suffering through the disappointing finish to the ’94 season, Marcus
Crandall returned for a stellar senior season.
does not have the luxury of a returning starter as the field general and
must quickly find a way to win without experience at that position. While
playing sparingly during the regular season, the only meaningful minutes Rob
Kass had came in the second half of the Birmingham bowl game.
fret. In 1995 it took a while for ECU to get cranked up. They opened the
year 3-3 with losses to UT, Illinois and Cincinnati while downing Central
Michigan to go along with the Syracuse and West Virginia wins.
ECU reeled off six straight wins, including the bowl victory over Stanford.
That season continues to be one of the bright spots in Pirate football
fingers crossed. The stars are aligned in 2007.
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This page updated
04/21/08 07:02 PM.