TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Pirates unleash the
magic of the Justins
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Justin Hardy caught six passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns in
East Carolina's 41-7 win over Memphis
Justin Jones helped in the thrashing of the Tigers by catching five
passes for 80 yards, three of which went for touchdowns.
The only think the Justins didn’t do was win Homecoming King honors.
Check that — Justin Jones was named Homecoming King. It wasn’t the same
guy, but the guy who was named the 2012 Homecoming King at East Carolina
was one Justin Jones.
You just can’t make that kind of thing up, can you? It was that kind of
Homecoming for the Pirates, led by the Justins.
Justin Hardy and Justin Jones (the football player, not the Homecoming
King) are roommates and play the same position. They play the same
position in a very different way, though.
“A lot of times when we’re out there together it can be a real fit for
defenses,” said Jones. “You want to double-cover me in the red zone but
you want to double-cover him (Hardy), too, because he can do the same
The Pirates were big favorites and played the role to perfection on a
perfect Saturday for football at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. East Carolina
built a big lead and was never really threatened in the win.
“It was a great team and conference win over Memphis,” said Ruffin
McNeill at his weekly news conference. [Replay
press conference audio...] “I was very proud of our guys.
I thought we had a good week of practice. Our staff did a great job of
teaching and demanding and the team responded very well on Saturday.
improved on starting fast, which is something that we have done the last
two games, and then sustaining the positive momentum from a fast start.
It was good to see us sustain momentum and energy throughout the game
and then finish the game just as strong.”
Now East Carolina hits the road to take on UAB. Whereas the Pirates
usually pump in loud music to work in game like conditions, this week
the coaches would be better off sending in the sound of crickets. There
will be no crowd to battle at UAB.
That in itself causes a much different issue in trying to get up for a
Coach McNeill says his team will concentrate on itself, and create
excitement for what he calls the “fourth”side of the ball.
“When we go on road trips, it is up to the 67 players that we travel
with to generate excitement,” said McNeill. “At home, we know the crowd
will pick us up and help us get or keep momentum, but during road games
it’s up to our players to do that job and help us get or keep momentum
when swing plays happen.
we are at home we try to build that up so when we go on the road it is
something that is naturally done. It is tough, but after three years I
feel like the team believes in the message.”
ECU quarterback Shane Carden
was named Conference USA Player of the Week
on Monday. Carden enjoyed his best game to date. He was 25-33 for 308
yards and five touchdowns in the win over Memphis.
“You know in the second quarter we didn’t play very well,” said Carden.
“In the third quarter we were much better. But you can see what we can
do when we play 11-man football. When we trust each other and make
routine plays and when we do that for four quarters, it’s going to be
The Pirates should have the upper hand as far as the schedule goes the
rest of the way. ECU heads to UAB as a 4-point favorite.
“We need to be more consistent as we try to put back-to-back wins
together for the first time this season,” said McNeill. “Our objective
is always to win every game. Keeping our urgency, focus and
determination strong throughout the week of practice and the game is
The way the Justins played this week, perhaps the Pirates should put a
call out to that Justin Jones who was named Homecoming King.
It seems at East Carolina, you just can't have too many Justins.
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