Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
From Hurricanes to hurricane
Just when you thought you had heard enough about the
Hurricanes, the Pirates are putting together a whole different approach
for another imposing storm. With Hurricane Isabelle barreling toward the
Carolina coastline, East Carolina John Thompson shared this week’s modified
“We just have to monitor that very, very closely,” said
Thompson. “First of all, we want our players and our families to be safe.
We’ve got to make all decisions based on that, depending on what happens
with our administration and our school schedule.
"If we don’t have school on Thursday then we’ll head west.
We’ll spend an extra day in a hotel and then practice up there. Then, we’ll
pick up on our normal game day Friday in Winston-Salem.”
As for that last band of Hurricanes, I thought the Pirates
showed definite improvement. This wasn’t the same East Carolina team that
was never in the game at Cincinnati or against West Virginia.
“It’s been a very difficult twelve days,” said Thompson.
“This football team has been through a whole lot in these 12 days. We were
improved against Miami and we have to build on that. We just have to keep on
working and working to get better and better.”
The offense still can’t score, but they looked better on
I thought Desmond Robinson showed that he could be a
playmaker. I also thought the running game was much better in game three
when compared to the first two games. It looked like Marvin Townes was
running with a purpose, and not tip toeing through the holes like before.
On defense, the Pirates also finally showed some bite. Miami
scored on a long pass play in the game’s first couple of minutes. But this
team stood firm, and trailed only 17-3 going into the fourth quarter.
There are no moral victories for this team. No one in the
program is satisfied, nor should they be, with playing Miami tough for three
The only thing that would have satisfied this program would
have been an upset win over the Canes. It didn’t happen, and now East
Carolina braces for one of the nation’s up and coming teams, the Deacons
from Wake Forest.
Who would have ever thought that Wake Forest would be the
best football team in the state in 2003? East Carolina does have a chance to
challenge that, but to date; the Deacs are the best in the Tar Heel state.
Wake Forest lost last week to Purdue, but the week before
the Deacs stunned North Carolina State. That same Wolfpack team pushed
defending national champion Ohio State to three overtimes before losing last
week at Ohio Stadium.
“Wake Forest will do so many different things,” said
Thompson. “But at times against State, they rammed the ball right down their
throats. They are very dangerous, because they can just about do it all.”
Forgive Thompson if football isn’t the only thing on his
mind these days. The two principal players in his hiring, former athletic
director Mike Hamrick, and former chancellor William Muse are both now out
of the picture.
Thompson realizes that his program must have a Bowl
Championship Series connection in the next realignment, or things could
really get ugly. But as always, the coach has a plan.
“I think we all have to set up and do a little bit more,”
Thompson said. “I think if you are in a leadership role, like I am, then you
have to find a way to do more. We have great leadership at this university.
It’s about the entire community; we all have to put our best foot forward.
"We’ve got to find a way to win some football games and a
lot of us have to really step it up for East Carolina University.”
I agree. Winning cures most woes. This week, though, the
Pirates are a 19-point underdog against the Deacs. Then, it’s a
well-deserved 10-day break before the Houston game.
The Pirates need to step it up, both on and off the field.
Thompson’s team showed marked improvement against Miami. That same type of
effort will be needed this week in order to win at Wake Forest.
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