TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Open date allowed
Pirates to rejuvenate
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East Carolina football coach Ruffin McNeill says the bye week came at a
Several players spent the off week healing, gearing up for what the
Pirates hope is a strong run to end the season. ECU visits Tulane this
weekend and then hosts Marshall on “Black Friday,” the day after
"Our open date came at a great time for our football team,” said McNeill
at his Monday news conference. “We needed the time to rest both mentally
still worked throughout the week and had three days of practice and four
days of lifting. The team took the opportunity to catch-up on some
treatments and of course their classroom work. We dove into Tulane and
exposed the team a little bit to some of the things that they like to
Coach Ruff also made it official that quarterback Rio Johnson was
leaving the program. Many around the team had said that Johnson wasn’t
the same after he lost the starting quarterback job to Shane Carden.
Carden has shown no signs of giving the job back, so perhaps Johnson saw
the writing on the wall.
"Rio Johnson has decided to leave the program and the team,” explained
McNeill. “He left on good standing with us. Rio came and met with
Lincoln (Riley) and me about his decision. We wish him the best and we
will try to help him in any way that we can.”
McNeill began his weekly presser by saying that football seasons simply
fly by. I think this one has been an absolute blur. It may be that I’m
just getting older, but this season feels like it just really started.
With Central Florida needing two losses in their last two games to move
East Carolina into the Conference USA title game, the Pirates' concerns
are on the two final games, and then the bowl trip.
Ruff also touched on former ECU star Dwayne Harris’s big play this
weekend. Harris sparked the Dallas Cowboys to a much needed win with a
78-yard punt return. For Harris, it was his first touchdown as a pro.
"That was cool,” commented Coach Ruff. “I saw the replay of the return
by Dwayne for the Cowboys, and I say they should play him all the time.
He is the best player on the team. Number 17 can play!”
“I called his brother, Derrick, who also wears 17 for us, over at
practice and was giving him a hard time about what 'Big 17' had just
done for the Cowboys, and teased him about what he was going to do for
am very proud of Dwayne and how he carries himself. The Cowboys could
look very smart by putting him in the game and giving him the ball as
many times as they can."
Pirate hoops off to good start
East Carolina is 3-0 in basketball going into tonight's game with
Methodist. The ECU women have two of those wins, having beaten William &
Mary on the road on Friday and then blowing out St. Andrews on Sunday.
The ladies got off to a quick start in their Sunday game and rolled to
an 84-41 victory. Katie Pascual was the only Pirate in double figures
with 11 points. Everybody got into the act in win number two for Heather
Macy and her program.
The Pirate men
made short work of Washington & Lee
to start their season. The men limped away from their first win, after
several Pirate players came off with a variety of injuries. The most
serious of those appeared to be when freshman Mike Zangari rolled his
ankle shortly after scoring the first basket of his college career.
Zangari will be out of the lineup when ECU hosts Methodist tonight. Also
out of action will be Miguel Paul, who will sit out the second game of a
two-game suspension for breaking team rules.
The Pirates will be looking for their second win in their matchup with
the Monarchs tonight. ECU continues the home stand when UNC-Greensboro
visits on Friday.
It's a busy start but a welcome one for Pirate coach Jeff Lebo.
"I think the guys like it," said Lebo. “I know we all like playing a
different color jersey.”
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