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BAILEY'S TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS

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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

By Brian Bailey

On to the make or break month of November

BRAIN BAILEY SHOW

Replay Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW, with guest ECU offensive line coach BRANDON JONES. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.
REPLAY SHOW
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ITEMS OF INTEREST

On to the make or break month of November
Big East's methodology a curious mystery
BCS Standings
Harris/AP/Coaches Polls
Big East fighting for AQ survival
Time to play political football again

Conference Realignment Articles

C-USA Standings

East Division

SCHOOL

C-USA

ALL

USM
ECU
Marshall
UCF
Memphis
UAB

3-1
3-1
3-2
2-2
1-4
1-4

7-1
4-4
4-5
4-4
2-7
1-7

West Division

SCHOOL

C-USA

ALL

Houston
Tulsa
SMU
UTEP
Rice
Tulane

4-0
4-0
3-2
1-3
1-4
1-4

8-0
5-3
5-3
4-4
2-6
2-7

Scoreboard & Schedule

By Brian Bailey
©2011 Bonesville.net
All rights reserved.

Football is a sport where everyone wants to be undefeated, but very few can pull off the trick. The real trick is to be in line to make sure those November games really matter.

That’s where East Carolina finds itself as we turn the calendar to the next to the last month of the year.

This November features four more games. Four wins moves the team to 8-4. Four losses and the Pirates limp home at 4-8.

As we have already seen, either one of these scenarios is certainly a possibility.

There’s not a team left on the schedule that the Pirates can’t beat. Likewise, there’s not a team left that can’t win against the purple and gold.

The bottom line is that East Carolina controls its own destiny, and that’s really all you can ask for when the calendar turns to November.

“I think in life as a whole if you’re able to control your own situation you’re OK,” said ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill at his weekly news conference on Monday. “If you’re able to drive your own car, that’s always a positive. We just have to stay focused and stay within the moment. We have to enjoy the journey and understand that we’re making progress.

"We’re not there yet, though. That’s my job and our job as coaches is to keep them focused. Our players and coaches are doing a great job of that so far.”

First up is perennial nemesis Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are the best team of the four and are ranked nationally in the polls.

“We know what’s at stake,” explained McNeill. “I talked to the players about our overall goals, but then get immediately back to what’s at hand. Our biggest game is this week’s because it’s the only one we have.

"I’m better at making sure we’re darn good at one thing than trying to be OK at ten things. I’d rather focus on what we’re doing right now.”

Central Florida is the other home game this month. Road trips at Texas-El Paso and Marshall also provide still challenges.

Still, the games in November matter and that’s part of the formula for a winning season or a bowl berth.

East Carolina enters the month on a three-game winning streak, with two of those wins coming on the road.

This past week the Pirates took care of business after a little bit of a slow start and beat Tulane for homecoming 34-13.

Thus, ECU opens November after winning its final three games of October.

Beating Southern Miss won’t be easy. McNeill compared the Golden Eagles to the likes of South Carolina and Virginia Tech, early season heavyweights on the Pirate schedule.

“They’re one of the fastest teams, on offense and defense, we’ll play,” said McNeill. “They can flat-out run. (USM coach) Larry (Fedora) has been there for a while and kept most of his coaching staff intact. The defensive scheme has changed, but it remains nearly the same on offense. All Larry has done is add to the offense.

"I see some Oklahoma State flavor there, but also some things Larry has expanded to.”

The poem goes that the “Autumn wind is a pirate, blustering in from the sea…”

Those blustery late October winds made for a cold day at the stadium last week. Now it's on to November.

The Pirates hope to heat things up and take a huge step towards a possible Conference USA East Division title with a win on Saturday against Southern Miss.

BB

E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

11/01/2011 03:13 AM

 

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