Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
By Brian Bailey
Pirates hope to kill the
buzz in Texas
the archive of Monday night's Brian Bailey Show,
with guest Steve Shankweiler:
Select audio clip
Holtz's weekly press session (recorded by
It’s a great time if you’re a
football fan in the Lone Star State. Can East Carolina spoil the party?
--- The Texas Longhorns
are ranked second in the nation.
--- The Dallas Cowboys
and Bill Parcells just jumped all over NFC favorite Philadelphia and play at
home this coming weekend.
--- Southern Methodist,
East Carolina's opponent this week, just shocked one of the favorites in
Conference USA on a last second touchdown pass.
Things are looking good in Big
Enter the Pirates, and this
week’s challenge for Coach Skip Holtz and the staff: to win a game on the
SMU has certainly had its ups
and downs this year. The Mustangs beat Texas Christian, their DFW Metroplex
neighbors from Fort Worth, when the Horned Frogs were coming off of a win
SMU has also had some bad
losses but does carry the momentum of last week’s last second win over UAB
into the matchup with ECU.
“They’ve done a great job of
building their program,” Pirate coach Skip Holtz said at his weekly news
conference on Monday (Replay
audio archive). “They are very similar where we are in trying to
build their way out of the bottom. They haven’t had a lot of production over
the last couple of years but they’ve been very close, and I really think
they are trying to get over the hump.”
It seems like each coaching
staff over the years sees improvement in stages. Perhaps the next stage for
Coach Holtz and company is to win on the road.
“It’s hard,” said Holtz. “Your
Friday is a travel day, which takes something out of you. Then you’re in a
hotel, you go to an unfamiliar locker room, you play the game, and then
you’re traveling again. Sometimes you can find a way to win at home, because
you’re in your comfort zone, your family and your friends are around. But
winning on the road is hard."
SMU formerly played its home
games at Texas Stadium, but now they play in the 35,000 seat Gerald Ford
It will be a rare road trip
for me. I made plans months ago to cover this game and to stay over to get
with Washington, NC, native and former ECU star Terrance Copper and do a
story with him at the Cowboys game on Sunday.
It should be a great trip.
Maybe if the Pirates win, Coach Holtz will take me on another road venture!
Mirror, mirror on the wall
East Carolina and SMU will
look a lot alike on Saturday in Dallas. Both teams are similar on both sides
of the football.
The Pirate coaches spent all
of last week gearing up for the option attack of Rice. This week, Holtz
says, will be much easier as far as schemes are concerned.
“This is a game where nobody
is going to be surprised,” Holtz said. “We worked all spring practice on
their offense and their defense, because that’s what we do as well.
Likewise, they spent all spring against our offense and defense. We run very
similar things. There won’t be a lot of surprises in this game. The team
that executes the best will be the team that wins.”
The team that wins also stays
in the hunt in the
C-USA race. Central Florida was picked dead
last in the league and now the Knights are the only unbeaten team in C-USA.
It sort of goes back to the
old adage, "That’s why they play them on the field.”
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