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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Bright spots becoming scarce


I consider myself a fairly positive person. Granted, I’m not as positive about life as East Carolina football coach John Thompson.

Thompson’s glass is always half full. Mine tends to at least need a little ice.

A lesser man might look back and wonder just what he had gotten into at East Carolina. The Pirates lost 40-3 at Cincinnati, and then followed that effort up with a 48-7 loss to West Virginia at home.

The troubling part for me is that the team didn’t seem to have any fight in either game. Thompson disagrees, and says there were positives on Saturday night.

“It’s one thing that you try to draw some positives,” Thompson said at Tuesday’s weekly news conference. “We found some things to build on. Our guys never gave in and they had several chances to do just that. We just turned the football over too many times. We’ll fix that and I promise things will get better.”

This team has played two games with little or no confidence. Part of that is trying to learn a new system. Unfortunately, the place to find self-assurance isn’t the Orange Bowl against the second-ranked team in the nation.

“We’ve got to get some confidence,” said Thompson. “We’ve got to control the things that we can control. We can’t control how good Miami is. We can control how good East Carolina is. We know that we can’t go in there and turn the football over or it will be a long night, for sure.”

Robinson among nation's pass efficiency leaders

I couldn’t believe it when the stat sheet came out. Desmond Robinson had set a school record by going 21-26 through the air in the 48-7 loss to West Virginia.

How could the Pirate quarterback be that efficient, and the Pirates lose by 41 points?

This week, Robinson is second in the nation to Phillip Rivers of North Carolina State in passing efficiency.

The word on the street is that Robinson’s passes have been little more then handoffs. But a look at the stats show that he’s averaging almost ten yards per completion.

The knock on Paul Troth last year was that he threw too many interceptions. Thus far this year, Robinson has 2 picks and no touchdown passes.

Still, he’s second in the nation in passing efficiency. Wow!

“I think we got better from game one to game two,” Robinson said. “Definitely the team has gotten better. You just can’t turn the football over five times and win. I think we’ll be successful if we just don’t turn the football over.”

I think the offense still has a way to go. Things just weren’t in sync on Saturday night. I saw three different problems between the quarterback and the center in the exchange. In fact, Robinson made like Curly Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters at one point.

“The center thought I was in the shotgun,” explained Robinson. “He kind of snapped it high on me and I had to catch it with my legs. But it really hasn’t been a problem for the most part.”

“It hasn’t been a problem so far,” said ECU Running back Coach Jerry McManus about the quarterback-center exchange. “Sometimes a hot night can create a slick football, but that’s really not a problem for Desmond.”

Thompson says that Robinson separated himself in the quarterback race even more with his second half performance on Saturday night.

Still, isn’t it shocking that East Carolina has the second-rated quarterback in the nation in passing efficiency, and the nation’s reception leader in the same huddle, and have only gotten ten points on the year. Both the field goal and the touchdown were scored when the Pirates were down by a bunch.

The saying goes that statistics lie. In this case, they certainly don’t tell the entire story.

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02/23/2007 01:26:55 AM

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