From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Brian Bailey

Pirates' goals on the line in November


ECU's goals on the line in November

Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser
ECU coach Ruffin McNeill met with the press after the Pirates' win over Southern Miss: Select clip...
Audio: Steve Logan Show
The Steve Logan Show airs on FM 103.7 and FM 94.1 each Monday from 6-8 p.m. Replay this week's show: Select clip...

Conference USA players of the week


This week in college football history


'No Quarter' like the third quarter


Vliegen blazes new trail for Pirates


Just what the doctor ordered

Audio: Pirate Radio 1250
The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was Ken Potosnak: 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 this week's show: Select clip...

Conference USA players of the week


Leadership magnifies Carden's skills


Southern Misstery


Inglorious series finale


By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

View the Mobile Alpha version of this page.

In some ways the football season is a marathon.

In others its a September through November sprint.

This Pirate November features five games in 2013. The team's momentum hangs in the balance as East Carolina heads to Miami to take on Florida International.

ECU goes into the game as a three-touchdown favorite. The Pirates are coming off a very solid performance as that same type of favorite in the route of Southern Miss last week at home.

The Pirates will then come back home as a favorite to beat both Tulsa and UAB before finishing the year with road tilts at North Carolina State and Marshall.

Despite the Thundering Herds loss at Middle Tennessee, the matchup at Marshall looms as the East Division championship game, unless MTSU holds serve and there is a tiebreaker involved. Still, the Pirates control their own destiny, and thats really all you can ask for during this final month of the football season.

With a win this week the Pirates become bowl eligible.

Its very important for us to be bowl eligible, said ECU coach Ruffin McNeill at his weekly press conference. Weve missed it one time since Ive been here, but I havent missed it many times during my coaching years, personally. Its more important for the team and the university. That is one of our goals.

This Florida International team is just 1-6 on the season. I confess that I dont know a lot about the Panthers. I have seen former Pirate coach Skip Holtzs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs from earlier this year. Skips team isnt very good in his first year, but the Bulldogs beat FIU last week 23-7.

Pirate quarterback Shane Carden understands the Pirates are big favorites again. He knows his role and the role of his offense in games like this.

We just have to worry about ourselves, said Carden. We have to execute the little things and the big plays will come.

Carden said he enjoyed the Saturday off until Saturday came and he wasnt playing a game.

When I was watching all of the other teams playing, I really missed it, he said. I think we are all ready to get back after it.

The Pirates handled the role of big favorites very well in the win over Southern Miss. Coach McNeill says his team has to keep focused and not listen to the negatives or the positives.

I keep harping on that, explained McNeill. I think what happens, and whether its a negative or a positive, you tend to look at that. If they believe in me and trust me, like I think they do, theyll only be concerned with what I tell them. Ill tell them when they do well, Ill tell them when they need to work on something, and Ill tell them I love them in between, because I have no hidden agenda but to make sure theyre successful here.

"Its hard, but I keep preaching it because its important that we grasp it. I think the noise can get them off base about what goals they have. Its a never-ending battle but I emphasize it daily.

That emphasis will continue.

Maness looks to bounce back

Seth Maness wishes he had one pitch to Johnny Gomes back in his pocket.

The pitch came in game four of the Fall Classic. Maness came in to try and get Gomes to hit a ground ball. But Maness had a sinker that didnt sink. The pitch got up, and then out of the park.

It was the key play in a 4-2 Boston win that evened the World Series at two games apiece.

Maness was obviously shaken when he spoke to reporters after the game. He told the mass around his locker that pitchers have to have short term amnesia.

Maness will need a short memory. Hopefully he will get another chance, and soon.

Im not rooting for either team, but Id love to see Maness get a ground ball double play to end the series. Its been fun watching the former Pirate, who now has to bounce back when called upon.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

10/29/2013 12:03 AM