From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Brian Bailey

Pirates head 'home' to the bayou


Pirates head 'home' to the bayou

Audio: Pirate Radio 1250
The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest was Duane Price: Replay show...
Audio: The Steve Logan Show
The Steve Logan Show airs on FM 103.7 and FM 94.1 each Monday from 6-8 p.m. Replay last night's show: Select clip...
Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser
Coach Ruffin McNeill discussed the Pirates' win over Middle Tennessee State and previewed the Tulane game: Select clip...

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Pirates not sharp, but sharp enough


Won and done with Raiders


Greg's Game Day Breakdown


This week in college football history


Kevin's Keys to the Game


Recruiting: DB Charles Gaskins...


Not a trap, but a challenge


15 Questions for Isaiah Jones


Tick, tick, tick... Time is running out to get your print or digital copy of the 2013 Bonesville The Magazine...


By Brian Bailey
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Its back to the bayou this week for East Carolina.

Since last November, the Pirates have played four games at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, while this Saturday's matchup with Tulane will mark the teams third contest at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The dome is the official home of the Saints from the NFL and of the Green Wave from Conference USA.

The New Orleans landmark is all of a sudden an unofficial home for the Pirates. ECU coach Ruffin McNeill hopes it pays dividends.

It helps, said McNeill at his weekly news conference on Monday. Today, we did the schedule and were staying in the same place and keeping a bit of the same routine. Three of our last eight games have been in the Superdome and its a great venue to play in.

"Im looking forward to going back down there and playing again.

ECU leads the all-time series with Tulane 10-2. The Pirates have struggled somewhat in games against the Wave in New Orleans.

Last year the Pirates pulled out a 28-23 victory. In 2008, the Pirates won 28-24.

No one in the Pirate camp is expecting a blowout this year either.

Tulane has an aggressive defense and leads all of C-USA with 11 interceptions on the season. The Wave has also found success of late, and like East Carolina comes into this game on a two-game winning streak.

They do a great job of blitzing and they have the speed to lock down receivers on every play, said McNeill. Its not by accident. They really have an attack-mode type of defense. Watching them against North Texas, they did a good job of mixing up their different blitzes, and coverage-wise, blending in from coverage to man to zero blitzes with no help.

"To get interceptions, you have to have really good athletes, and they have really good athletes.

So do the Pirates. Each week this East Carolina team is led by a different star.

Chris Hairston came through when Vintavious Cooper went down.

Damon Magazu did what he does best. Mags came up with the big defensive play when the Pirates needed it. Hes done it against North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, Marshall and now Middle Tennessee State.

I thought I had it but I wanted to make sure, said Magazu of his diving pick that cut off the Blue Raiders' final drive last Saturday. I took a chance because I knew that if I missed, there was a linebacker there to make the tackle.

Magazu also got the praise of his coach.

Hes a pleasure to be around, said McNeill. Hes the son of a coach and hes a great leader. I nominated him for C-USA player of the week honors with the 15 solos, the four assists and the big interception. I was really pleased with his production.

So far the Pirates have done a good job with staying focused about the job at hand. That focus will be tested again this week.

East Carolina is favored, and the Pirates should be.

Any lapse in that focus, though, could de-rail what has the making to be an outstanding 2013 season.


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10/08/2013 06:07 AM