ECU News, Notes and Commentary
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
By Bethany Bradsher
Battle in the trenches
shapes up as key
Duke game and only 103 rushing yards in their rear-view mirrors, the East
Carolina coaching staff paid special attention to the Pirates' offensive
line this week during film sessions. It was, on the whole, a heartening
back watching the film, I felt during the course of the game we were
physically really being manhandled up front,” Holtz said. “I was really
encouraged, believe it or not, after watching the film, because if you’re
being physically outmatched, you can’t correct that in a week. The things
that we saw on film were correctable.”
linemen are the air traffic controllers of the gridiron: They’re almost
invisible, but one missed assignment can produce major problems. And most of
the mishaps against the Blue Devils could be traced easily to a single
player making a beginner’s mistake.
offensive line you can have four guys that make great blocks and one guy
that goes the wrong way and somebody’s free in your backfield and everybody
goes, boy, they aren’t very good up front,” Holtz said.
off week spent drilling on fundamentals behind them and some personnel
changes made to shore up the Pirates' front, offensive line coach Steve
Shankweiler said that both the linemen and the backs have made significant
progress in a short period of time.
component of the Duke game from the offensive line's standpoint was its
effectiveness in protecting the quarterback, Steve Shankweiler said. James
Pinkney was hardly touched by the Duke defense, but the Wake Forest
defenders will undoubtedly throw up steeper hurdles.
we’re hitting on all cylinders, it’ll be a challenge,” Shankweiler said of
the Demon Deacons. “Nebraska couldn’t run the ball on them.”
though the Cornhuskers came out with a 31-3 win last week, WFU held them to
just 30 rushing attempts for 120 yards thanks to the efforts of a stellar
defensive line anchored by defensive tackle Goryal Scales. With the Pirates
still working to find their rhythm on the ground, they won’t be doing it in
an easy environment, Holtz said.
strength comes from their front four,” he said. “I think they’ve got a
couple of NFL prospects on their defensive line.”
though WFU has plenty of strengths that are holding the Pirates’ attention
in workouts this week, last week was spent with little mention of their next
opponent. Instead the coaches opted to take the team back to boot camp to
fix the problems that cropped up during the season opener.
“It was a
very productive week for us,” Holtz said. “We went back to the drawing
board, and instead of saying we’re going to take two weeks to get ready for
Wake Forest, we really said we’re going to take this week and we’re going to
concentrate on us and try to improve our football team.”
Katrina victims not
frequent Conference USA opponent Tulane exiled from its New Orleans campus
and defensive line coach Donnie Thompson’s family picking up the pieces in
Louisiana, the senior leaders on the ECU squad wanted to do their part to
help victims recover from the Katrina catastrophe.
captains Gary Freeman, Chris Moore and Richard Koonce turned to their fellow
Pirates and asked for donations. They collected $2,000, which they presented
to the American Red Cross at Holtz’s Monday press conference.
thought whatever little thing we could do, to at least raise some money and
send it to them just to let them know that we care,” said Freeman, a senior
offensive lineman from Chesapeake, VA.
When I was
a college student I mastered the art of eating dinner at Taco Bell for less
than $2, so a collection of that amount from a group of college kids,
athletes or not, is no small feat.
punter Ryan Dougherty was named to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award,
which is presented annually to the top college punter in the nation.
Dougherty, who was also on the list last season, is a two-time
All-Conference USA selection who has punted for at least 200 yards during 11
games in his career.
season opening victory against Duke, Dougherty punted five times for 201
yards and an average of 40.2 yards. His 59-yard punt in the fourth quarter
was the fifth longest punt of his career.
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