ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
By Brian Bailey
ECU in 'survive and
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East Carolina stayed right on
track to host the Conference USA championship game with Saturday’s 56-40 win
Offensively, the win over the
Tigers was a cakewalk.
Defensively, the win was a
good one, but provided even more questions about a secondary that has had
its share of growing pains this season.
Pirate Coach Skip Holtz has
called his secondary an “ugly baby.” He always followed that up by saying,
“but it’s our baby.”
That baby needs a spanking.
Actually, I thought the
secondary played well until the Pirates built that big lead. Then it was a
matter of not giving up the big play.
Still, Memphis ripped East
Carolina in the second half. Those 56 points seemed to be just enough to
keep the Tigers at bay.
“We played 90 plays (on
defense) in the game against Memphis,” Holtz explained. “I was really proud
that we only gave up 139 yards in 75 of those plays. That’s less then two
yards per play. But we gave up 350 yards on the other 15 plays. That’s the
main thing that we have to correct.
"We have to understand that we
can’t play first, second and third down well, and then give it all away
doing our own thing.”
Chris Johnson ran past the
Tigers like they were standing still most of the day. This Pirate offense is
putting numbers on the board in record fashion.
Johnson should do well in the
NFL combines and may be a sleeper come draft day. His head coach couldn’t be
prouder of the job that Johnson is doing.
“Chris is a leader on this
football team.” Holtz said. “He comes to work everyday. Seniors sometimes
have agendas and sometimes practice so they don’t get hurt. You don’t get
that with Chris Johnson. I really couldn’t be any prouder of his work ethic,
his attitude and his performance on game day.”
Next up is a Marshall team
that is just 1-8 on the season. Holtz points out that North Carolina State
was just 1-5 when it came to Greenville.
The Thundering Herd, despite
struggling this year, has proven to be almost unbeatable at home through the
“I reminded our team about
North Carolina State’s record,” said Holtz. “This (Marshall team) is a much
better football team then 1-8 would indicate. They’ve been in games with
good teams. We have to realize that if we don’t show up to play, then we’ll
be the ones coming home with a loss.”
The Pirates need a win at
Marshall and then a victory over Tulane at home to nail down the host slot
for the Conference USA title game.
It’s survive and advance for
the Pirates. Holtz calls it a single elimination tournament. Round three is
this week in Huntington, West Virginia.
More on the Dowdy-Ficklen sky
It’s been a long time since
I’ve gotten as much e-mail about a column as I did about the comments
regarding the sky that framed Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium during the UAB game. It
seems like everyone saw the sky and took a picture.
Several readers sent in
pictures. I’ve included one of those at the bottom of this article to show
what that very special sky looked like.
Someone joked that my buddies
and I were going to watch Oprah together. I thought that was pretty funny!
Enjoy the picture, lets get
the Pirates a win on Saturday, enjoy the off-week, eat some turkey and then
beat Tulane on Nov. 24 to clinch the host slot in the C-USA title game. Is
that too much to ask!?
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04/21/2008 07:03:49 PM