ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
By Brian Bailey
Different feelings for
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SKIP HOLTZ PRESS CONFERENCE:
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East Carolina won its opening
game of the season last year, beating Duke.
That game film had Pirate
Coach Skip Holtz worrying about personnel. Immediate changes were made. Even
after a win, the Pirate coach didn’t like what he saw.
Fast forward 365 days. This
time, even after a loss, the film was much easier for the coach to take.
“We found a way to win that
first game last year with our skill players,” said Holtz at his weekly news
conference on campus on Monday.
“I remember watching that
film, watching our offensive line, and realizing that we just weren’t a very
good football team. We were 1-0, but again, we weren’t a very good football
Holtz liked this year’s film
much more. He said he saw talented players really playing hard.
“Most of the mistakes that we
saw from the Navy game are fixable,” said Holtz. “Last year we made a bunch
of personnel moves out of the gate, but we won’t do that this year. It’s
just a case that freshman are going to have to play like juniors. There’s
not a pill for that. It’s just going to take more hard work and some time to
solve some of those problems.”
The Pirates hung tough and
things could have been much worse. Navy missed a couple of easy, play action
passes that would have opened the game up.
This week, it’s almost like an
exact opposite for East Carolina.
“UAB is like the heavyweight
fighter. They are big and strong and they will stand toe to toe in the
middle of the ring and duke it out with you,” Holtz said in describing the
difference between Navy and UAB.
“Navy was more like the
featherweight guy," Holtz said. "They are going to dance all over the place.
They are almost exact opposites on both offense and defense, even though
they both run a bunch of option.”
Last year, UAB came to
Greenville in need of a win to become bowl eligible. You’ll remember that
Skip Holtz and company slammed the bowl hopes door on both Marshall and the
Blazers to close out the season.
UAB lost a close one to a
powerhouse Oklahoma team this past weekend. For the second straight year the
Blazers battled a top 10 team on the road, losing by a touchdown. Last year
it was 5th-ranked Tennessee; this time out, it was the 10th-ranked Sooners.
Holtz was impressed with UAB’s
opening game effort.
“They played Oklahoma toe to
toe, so we’ll certainly have our work cut out for us," he said.
The Pirates are an early
touchdown underdog to UAB. East Carolina then comes home for what’s being
referred to as the “home stand,” the five straight home games over six
weekends that bring Memphis, West Virginia, Virginia, Tulsa and Southern
Methodist into Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
That home stand is
unprecedented at East Carolina, and the Pirates would dearly love to roll
out the welcome mat after a win over UAB!
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