TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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East Carolina got back
to the basics with the start of bowl practice last week.
It’s always such a
different feel in the postseason. The start of practice in August in the
sweltering heat versus the chill in the air that accompanies bowl
practice is an amazing contrast.
temperatures were above average for sure, but it’s still a big change
from the start of the year.
Some of the bowl sites
through the years have also had a chill. Memphis and Washington, DC, in
late December are certainly not what you think about when you think of
great weather bowl sites.
Hawaii, of course, was
the big exception for the Pirates. That 2007 clash with Boise State was
the last time this football program won a bowl
ECU certainly needs a
bowl win. Getting to the postseason is nice. Winning the game is the
goal that head coach Ruffin McNeill laid out with his first postseason
meeting with the team last week.
Carden agrees that this team really wants to add one more victory to cap
off this year's effort and set the stage for 2013.
“It means a lot to all
of us to get that ninth win of the season,” said Carden. “We had a lot
of non-conference games that we feel we could have played better in.
Next year we’d certainly like to win those games. I think a ninth win
would be a great start.”
The team has yet to
really focus on its opponent in this R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The
Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette continue as five-point favorites in
the game according to oddsmakers. The Pirates will start thinking about
the Cajuns this week.
“We’ll install the
game plan, portion by portion, piece by piece, starting next week," said
coach McNeill after one of the practices last week. “We still have two
weeks before we play. We won’t give the full dose right away. We hope to
have everything in before we get to New Orleans.”
players know they’ll be facing a hostile crowd in New Orleans. That
isn’t usually the case in a bowl game, but this will essentially be a
home game for UL-Lafayette.
The last time the
Pirates faced a bowl assignment like this one was just a couple of years
ago at the 2010 Liberty Bowl against Arkansas. East Carolina faced a
wall of red in that game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
I will never forget
the entire place chanting ‘Woo Pig Sooie’ just before the Hogs were
introduced. It certainly felt like a road game. The Pirates outplayed a
talented Arkansas team but
lost the game 20-17 in overtime
after ECU missed several field goals down the stretch.
Carden looks forward
to battling the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“We know they’ll have
more fans there, especially with it almost being a home game for them,”
said Carden. “We know we have our fans too. I think going there earlier
this year will be an advantage, knowing just how the stadium feels for a
overcame Conference USA foe Tulane
in the dome on Nov. 17.
Senior wide receiver
Andrew Bodenheimer agrees that the team's previous outing in the
facility will be a positive factor this time out.
“It will definitely
help us,” said Body. “Not many college teams get a chance to play in a
dome. You have to get used to it. We should be ready to go for the game
after just playing there.”
The Pirates leave for
New Orleans a week from today.
They’ll get a taste of
the Cajun culture, and then set sights on whipping the Ragin’ Cajuns at
the end of the week.
I’m certainly looking
forward to this assignment...
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12/11/2012 03:52 AM