ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Monday, October 10, 2006
By Brian Bailey
Tulsa is THE game
All rights reserved.
in on the radio or catch the live Internet feed
of The Brian Bailey Show with WNCT-TV 9
Sports Director Brian Bailey, each Monday
night from 7-8 p.m.
Select Live Stream
TALK 1070 INSTANT REPLAY:
Catch past Brian
Monday night's program with guests Junior
Select Archive Clip
SKIP HOLTZ PRESS CONFERENCE:
Coach Skip Holtz' remarks from his Monday
media luncheon. (Recorded by Brian Bailey) ...
Select Archive Clip
East Carolina has had great
crowds to date for non-conference games with West Virginia and Virginia. The
Pirate Nation has come out in force, providing a huge lift to this team.
The problem is that this
is the week the Pirates probably need that lift the most. Tulsa comes to
town as the defending Conference USA champion and winner of the Liberty Bowl
It’s the biggest problem that
East Carolina faces in Conference USA. There is local and regional interest
in the likes of West Virginia, Virginia and in future games with N.C. State
and North Carolina.
But C-USA is the Pirates'
league and we all have to understand that!
This is the game the Pirates
need to win to get respect in the conference. This is the one we should all
be excited about, the champs visiting ECU for what should be a great game.
This week, though, the
partisan forces will have to overcome some obstacles. It starts with the
student body. The students have been a great part of the game atmosphere so
far this season, but this Saturday is a part of fall break.
That means anyone and everyone
who is not leaving town needs to be in Dowdy-Ficklen stadium on Saturday.
Coach Skip Holtz has gone out of his way to thank the students for their
support. This time the students that stay face a real challenge.
Tulsa comes to town with wins
over Navy and Southern Miss on its resume. The Golden Hurricane has suffered
just one loss, that on the road at BYU.
If East Carolina wants a shot
at the league title, this game is a must. The Pirates already have that loss
to UAB from September.
The Golden Hurricane is an
outstanding team, and really played well last year in the C-USA championship
game in Orlando. But, as the saying goes, to be the best you have to beat
the best, and that will be the Pirates' challenge this week.
Last year, East Carolina
kicked a late first half field goal and went into the locker room with a
13-10 halftime lead. The Pirates had to feel pretty good about themselves
with that lead at the break.
The second half, though, was a
Tulsa blowout. When that Hurricane had blown through, the Pirates had given
up 35 second half points and were on the wrong end of a 45-13 score.
“It was by far our worst
defeat last year,” said Holtz at his weekly news conference on Monday. [Replay
press conference audio.] “I really think it was one of the
better football teams that we played last year. They have some outstanding
players, and I know that last year’s outcome has our players' attention this
Chris Johnson should be back
in the line-up for East Carolina this week, though Brandon Fractious and
Brandon Simmons both earned more playing time with their performances
against Virginia. Some are calling them the “Brandon Tandem,” while others
have suggested the “Killer B’s.” Whatever you call them, understand that the
Pirate running game was the difference against the Cavaliers.
“I thought they both played
well,” said Holtz. “Life is so much easier when you’re calling plays and
it’s second and six instead of second and eleven.”
“Simmons gives us a dimension
that we lost with the injury to Dominique Lindsay," added Holtz. "We need a
strong back to stick it in there, and he did a nice job.”
Tulsa comes to town as a
2-point favorite to beat East Carolina.
Somehow, someway, everyone
needs to get the word out that this is a HUGE game for East Carolina. It may
not have the appeal that a visit from a West Virginia from the Big East or a
Virginia from the ACC has, but this is ECU’s conference.
It’s a conference the Pirates
have never won, and they need a win Saturday to stay in the race.
Tell a friend. Educate them.
Convince them that this is a big game.
Coach Holtz and his team
deserve another great crowd at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. It could very well be
the difference in winning and losing!
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville
04/21/2008 07:07:59 PM