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Bailey's Take on the Pirates

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 23, 2001

By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

That, Pirate Fans, Was a Total Victory


This is what we had all hoped to see, beginning with the Wake Forest game. Sometimes, though, things take longer than any of us would like.

Finally, this East Carolina football team came through with a 'total' victory, dominating Memphis in every phase of the game.

On offense, both the running game and the passing game clicked.

Perhaps the addition of the freshmen wide receivers into the line-up is pushing some of the older players to play better. Whatever it was, there were few if any drops, elevating David Garrard’s stats for the game.

Leonard Henry had yet another bruising performance. With 4th and one and the game on the line, there is only one guy that I want to carry the pigskin. Henry made every Tiger tackler pay a high price for his effort.

I haven’t seen anybody in college football this year that runs with Henry's type of mentality. He may get tackled, but it’s going to hurt you a lot more then it’s going to hurt him!

The Pirate defense also played with an attitude against the Tigers.

Prior to the game, I asked several of the players on that side of the football about the struggles they have had this season — guys like Ty Hunt and Pernell Griffin, who were heavily recruited coming out of high school.

With all of the great athletes on this team, I wondered why the defense was being pushed around like it was.

Both Hunt and Griffin hinted that things were going to change. That change came against the Tigers.

Instead of racking up tackles five and six yards past the line of scrimmage, the Pirate defense was doing the pushing. Memphis was thoroughly frustrated the entire game.

There were other factors, too — Kelly Hardy’s return from injury made the kind of difference that Pirate head coach Steve Logan fully expected.

“There is a reason why we have a first team and a second team,” explained Logan. “He is a great player back there. We want to develop depth all over the field and we want people to step up. But again, there is a reason for a first team and a a second team.”

Pirates Gear Up for Odd Week

You will need a TV Guide to keep up with the Pirates for the rest of the season, thanks to ESPN's envelope-pushing contract with Conference USA.

First, it’s a Tuesday night in Fort Worth. Later on, we’ll spend the Thursday night before Thanksgiving and the Friday night after the holiday gathered at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Logan prefers Saturdays, but he has come to the conclusion that his players view the intense exposure of the weeknight games as a major plus.

“I think the schedule effects the fans and the coaches more then it does the players,” said Coach Logan. “I call this the SportsCenter age. These guys just want to be on ESPN, so they’ll play anywhere and anytime.”

The first in the Tuesday night experiments featured Louisville and Southern Miss. On that night the C-USA game was the only game in town.

This time, though, the Pirates and the Horned Frogs will be going against the World Series.

Still, for football fans this will still be the only game in town. The ESPN2 audience will get a look at one of the unbeatens in the league against an up and down TCU team.

Pirate Schedule Borders on the Wacky

Logan says his team will have a very different practice schedule in getting set for the TCU game a week from Tuesday.

The Pirates took days off on Sunday and Monday. When they return to the grind today, they will work only in shells. The major practice days for the TCU game will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“The days of a 1:00 kickoff in college football are over,” Logan said at his weekly news conference. “Television dictates the schedule, we just play when they tell us to.”

The Pirates will miss three days of school for the TCU game. The team will hold a light practice before traveling on Monday to Fort Worth, Texas.
Tuesday is game day, with the Pirates returning about 3:30AM on Wednesday.

The players will be excused from class on all three days, but the schoolwork still has to be made up. A couple of the players that I talked to say they will take some reading material with them, to try and keep pace.

It’s just too bad that this game didn’t coincide with the Pirates' recent Fall break. That would have certainly made for a better situation on the academic side.

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02/23/2007 01:19:41 AM

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