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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Pirates striving for maturity the hard way



Catch Bonesville's exclusive weekly Internet radio program, BONESVILLE HUDDLE, featuring insightful give-and-take between columnists Al Myatt, Brian Bailey and Denny O'Brien. (Posted in Windows Media Format each Wednesday for streaming on demand.)



THE BRIAN BAILEY SHOW airs live at 7 PM every Monday night on WCZI 98.3 FM, the Flagship Station of the East Carolina Pirates. If you miss the live version, and have teamed up to make the audio archive of the show available on demand on Bonesville Internet Radio.







Usually, an off week for a football team means a little bit of a break.

That’s not the case this year at East Carolina.

Steve Logan has still not gotten over his team’s play at West Virginia, and the Pirates continue to pay a price on the practice field that the coach believes must be paid in order for this squad to grow up in a hurry.

"If our football team had maturity about it, we would not be doing what we are doing,” explained Logan at his weekly news conference on campus. “This is a very immature group.

"I do not like to practice the way we are practicing. I don't think that it is particularly conducive to a lot of things. But the core element of football is physical toughness and that has to be developed. Normally we could develop it without doing what we're doing, but with this particular group, we were unable to do that.”

Logan’s frustrations with this team on the maturity front continue. He maintains that this team didn’t handle several things well early in the season, thus the change in the way this team practices.

“We have made a little progress and continue on this track until we get it straight,” Logan added. “Whatever they see on game day and how they react, I don't know. We will be missing a few players from time to time because there are going to be people getting hurt in these practices. That's the price we're going to have to pay.”

Logan went on to say that his normal practice mode is to never go in full pads, but with this particular team, that’s just not possible.

Pirates have early respect for Bulls

East Carolina has won thirteen consecutive homecoming games.

This time out, the Pirates won’t be favored to make it fourteen in a row. East Carolina is an early two-point underdog against South Florida.

“I know first hand that they are very good,” said quarterback Paul Troth. “I watched them in the Oklahoma game and you can tell they have some great athletes, especially up front.”

One Pirate player told me that South Florida looks a lot like West Virginia on tape. If odds makers hear that, that line may move several points.

The Bulls return 56 letterman and 21 starters from last year’s team, which finished 8-3. They are led by quarterback Marquel Blackwell, who has thrown for 1300 yards and six touchdowns.

“Our fans are going to see a lot of Marcus Crandell in Blackwell,” said Logan. “This is a kid that moves around a bunch, throws a nice ball and is impossible to sack.”

The Bulls are also 17th in the nation in rushing defense and 19th nationally in total defense.

But don’t believe everything you read in analyzing stats. East Carolina is 12th in the nation in Pass Defense, and 14th nationally in pass efficiency defense. Obviously, this is more of a case of teams not needing to put the ball in the air, as the Pirates are also 109th in the country against the run.

Be sure to be there for Homecoming

If you miss this game, you won’t see the Pirates again until almost Thanksgiving.

The Pirates travel to Louisville, then take a weekend off, then go to Houston and then UAB before returning to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to host Texas Christian.

The third off-week of the season comes on November 2nd, and that’s the game that was moved to December 6th for television.

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02/23/2007 01:23:05 AM

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