TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
October 12, 2010
up under fire
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Another one for the
Games between East
Carolina and Southern Miss may be among the best kept secrets in all of
We would need much longer
than a column to go through the entire wild and wacky history of this
series between the Pirates and the Golden Eagles.
Saturday night just added
to the madness.
East Carolina was just
awful out of the gate and trailed 20-0 after the first quarter. After
falling apart in the second half of the team’s last two losses, it
looked like this time the Purple was going to fade early.
As ESPN announcer Lee
Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend!”
This Pirate team literally
grew up over the next three quarters of play. It wasn’t one comeback
either. Rather, the Pirates fought back, gave up a big play, only to
fight back again and pull out an amazing victory.
It all came on Ruffin
McNeill’s 52nd birthday. Surely, that’ll be one birthday the coach will
“It was a great team win,”
said McNeill. “I was very pleased. Playing for 60 minutes and four
quarters is something we will continue to do. We talked about playing
Pirate-type football, which is being physical, aggressive, making and
finishing plays and having a never-say-die attitude. We had that
Saturday. I was very pleased with the team.
"They gave me a birthday
present, which I’ll take, but I was more happy for the kids and coaches
because they worked hard.”
In a game of big plays,
the biggest came in the fourth quarter after ECU quarterback Dominique
Davis had thrown his third “pick six” in three games to hand Southern
Miss the lead.
A lesser man would have
probably thrown in the towel. That didn’t happen to Davis, who responded
three minutes later with the game-winning touchdown pass to Michael
“I wish you could have
been on the sideline,” said McNeill. “I mentioned last week that you
can’t magically make it happen. You can only gain and develop what we
need team-wise internally, through game experience and by going through
"You can talk about the
fight and rehearse the fight, but going through a fight is the only way
they can learn. He didn’t flinch. He said I’ll get it next time. I think
that speaks to what Dominique has been through.”
Another of the big plays
was the Jon Williams 99-yard kick-off return. The Pirates ran a reverse
on the return, with Dwayne Harris pitching to Williams. Rahkeem Morgan
threw a devastating block in the early stages of the play, and then
Harris hustled downfield to take out a pair of Golden Eagles to ice the
What you might not have
realized is that Morgan got up after his big hit and had another block
later in the play.
ECU special teams
coordinator Clay McGuire was my radio show guest on Monday night on
Pirate Radio 1250 and 930 [Replay
Audio>>>]. It was his idea to go with the reverse on the
“We watched film on them
from last year,” McGuire explained. “We saw that their backside contain
guy would get caught up in trash. We thought he’d chase Dwayne down in
there and it set up perfectly after that.”
The Pirates improved to
3-2 with the victory and stand
unbeaten in Conference USA’s East Division
Next up is North Carolina
State, and the Wolfpack is 5-1. Both head coaches spent parts of Monday
complimenting the other program.
The niceties end at noon on Saturday in Greenville.
“I understand how
important this rivalry is,” said State coach Tom O’Brien. “We’ve been
over there once — they’ve been over here once and we’re heading back
over to Greenville. It’s a great atmosphere. They love football. They’re
like our people, they love football. These are the two best football
loving schools in the state and it should be a great game on Saturday.”
Color Fall Baseball
East Carolina’s Purple
team clinched the annual Purple-Gold World Series with a 3-2 win in the
third and final game of the annual event.
Purple took the first
game, and then the two squads battled to a 2-2 tie through 10 innings in
the second game. Pirate Coach Billy Godwin
decided to play the third game on schedule, and only break the tie if it
Purple took care of
business in game three and took the series 2-0-1.
“We are tremendously
pleased,” said Godwin in wrapping up the fall season. “We had great
crowds. I thought our kids played great. We had a great fall, probably
the best fall that we’ve had since I’ve been at East Carolina. I thought
our guys came out every day and competed and played hard. It was
I’ll have much more on the
fall baseball season, including the thoughts of Billy Godwin on the new
bats in college baseball in the upcoming edition of The Pirate’s
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10/12/2010 02:46 AM