Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
The Pirates are 0-2 on the season because they continue to
turn the football over.
It’s really a simple equation. Nine give-aways versus one
take-away equals back-to-back losses to open the season.
The problem is obvious for all to see, and East Carolina
head coach Steve Logan has has an up-close-and-personal view.
Unlike the pessimistic outlook the Pirates might face if the
early stumbling could be traced to lack of talent, the coach sees reasons to
anticipate better times.
“Yeah, it’s really simple,” Logan said. “You can’t turn the
ball over like we’ve done and expect to win. That’s the bad news.
"The good news is that we’ve turned the ball over a lot and
we’ve really had a chance to win both games.”
In this week’s NCAA statistics, the Pirates are ranked 114th
of 117 Division I-A teams in turnover margin, giving away four per game.
Only Ball State, Army and Louisiana-Lafayette are worse, all tied for 115th
in the nation in the category.
Ironically, Duke and Wake Forest stand tied for third
nationally in turnover margin. As it turned out, both the Devils and the
Deacons handily won the turnover battle against the Pirates but each barely
hung on by a nail to win on the scoreboard.
North Carolina turned it over an ACC record 9 times in their
opener against Miami of Ohio. Currently, the Tar Heels are 107th in the
nation in turnover margin, but they were much better in their victory over
Cure the give-aways, cure the
Louisville from Conference USA is 112th in the nation in
turnover margin. The Cards suffered the bulk of their turnover problems in
their first game, that loss to Kentucky.
“Once we correct the correctable, which is to take care of
the football, and then at the same time create some turnovers, then the wins
will come,” said Logan. “The ball has been on the ground six or seven times,
and we’ve gotten just one of those balls. Our defense is quicker this year,
and we should be making those plays.”
Tulsa is 31st in the nation in turnover margin, which is the
highest ranked team in the listings with a losing record to date.
The bottom line is that losers turn the football over. You
can have all of the x’s and o’s in the world, but if you turn the football
over, you’re going to lose.
There is an upside to all of this. Even with all of the
turnovers, the Pirates had a chance to be 2-0.
The play of the defense has to be applauded. This defense
has given up just 23 points on those nine turnovers. Come to think of it,
this Pirate team could have been blown out on back-to-back Saturdays, had
the defense not played as well.
After adding up the pluses and minuses, Logan is forging
ahead with positive expectations.
“I know there are some that think I am coming across crazy,”
he said. “But I’m terribly excited about this football team. All of the
anxieties that I had at quarterback are gone. Paul Troth will do great
things here. He is always in control. There is never any chaos out there,
even when Paul does make a mistake.”
Troth knows that it’s his job to help this team win. He also
seems to realize that Coach Logan is looking to build his confidence. The
growing pains are just that, painful.
“It’s really frustrating because I feel like I’m doing a lot
of great things out there,” Troth said. “I just don’t think that I am very
consistent. I just think it would mean the world to get that first win. I
honestly feel that this team has a lot of talent and can get on a roll. I
just hope it starts this week.”
And so do Pirate fans everywhere. If ECU hangs on to the football, victory
this week will be at hand.
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville
02/23/2007 01:23:15 AM