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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports
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From the Anchor Desk
Friday, October 18, 2002
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By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

ECU Homecomings flavored by wins and old friends

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©2002 Bonesville.net

The best thing about homecoming games is the chance to see old friends at the football game.

I can’t tell you how many former Pirate football players and former students have come by during the past 18 East Carolina homecomings that I’ve been a part of. In fact, one of my best friends, who once served an internship under me, is coming in with his son this weekend. He's an ECU grad who wants to make it an annual tradition, to bring his son to the  ECU homecoming game.

Homecoming has been very good to the Pirates. East Carolina has won 13 consecutive homecoming games and is 40-7 all-time in homecoming games.

The Pirates will need a big crowd to help out in a bid for a fourteenth straight homecoming win. South Florida is a very good football team. The Bulls bring a 4-2 record into the match up.

“I think this will be more of a measuring stick,” said Pirate Coach Steve Logan. “Coming off the Army game, we still really don’t know where we are. This is a good team, and we should learn a lot about ourselves in this game.”

Odds makers originally liked South Florida in this game, by as muchas 2 ½ points. However, the money this week has been on East Carolina, moving the “line” in this game to “pick-em” or even. Late this week the Pirates became a 1-point favorite.

Garrard now battle-tested pro

Former Pirate quarterback David Garrard made his official National Football League debut on Sunday. Garrard came in for the injured Mark Brunnell for the Jacksonville Jaguars and scored a couple of touchdowns on the ground.

Unfortunately, Garrard’s first NFL pass was an interception. However, the holder of most of ECU's quarterbacking records kept his composure and played a very solid second half.

“I was really just trying to do whatever I could to help my team win,” said Garrard. “You prepare all week to play, just in case. But actually getting in and playing is very different.”

Garrard was 4-7 through the air for 53 yards and two interceptions in the game. He had runs of 4 and 41 yards for touchdowns in the game.

Keys to beating South Florida

The two primary factors which will decide this homecoming game are turnovers and running the football.

If the Pirates lose the turnover battle, they will lose, and if they can’t establish a solid ground game, they will lose.

“Southern Miss couldn’t run the ball on these guys,” said Logan. “They (the Golden Eagles) tend to go straight at it with the running game. We like to do a little more finesse and angle blocking, so maybe we’ll have more success.”

The Bulls have an outstanding front seven, featuring several players whom Logan believes could be playing the SEC.

“They have some great players, some outstanding athletes,” explained Logan. “They will provide quite a challenge. It will be some kind of contest.”

If you’re heading back to campus this weekend, "Happy Homecoming!" Enjoy yourself, because there is nothing like a Fall Saturday at ECU!.

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:23:05 AM
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