Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9


Football Formulas 101: Turnovers = Losses


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 Syracuse.

Cure the give-aways, cure the problem

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 Brian Bailey.

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

02/23/2007 01:23:15 AM

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.