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GAME 5 VITALS: Tulane at East Carolina

 • Box Score & Statistics
 • AP: Home drought ends in dramatic fashion
 • O'Brien: Pirates resurrect sentimental script
 • Myatt: Foot of fate true; Spurrier checks in
  Post-Game Audio: Coaches & players
 • 2004 ECU schedule, scores, attendance, TV


East Carolina 27, Tulane 25
Saturday, Oct. 9, 2004
By Al Myatt
Story posted Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004

Foot of fate pivotal as predicted


GREENVILLE — Graham Broadwell must have had a premonition — or maybe it was deja vu.

Spurrier on hand for ECU win

There have been a lot of rumors lately regarding former Duke, Florida Gators and Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier lately.

According to the gossip mill, the former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida and NFL quarterback has bought houses in various locations of his future employment, including Chapel Hill and Columbia, S.C.

This much is for sure: Spurrier was among the homecoming crowd at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday watching his protege, East Carolina offensive coordinator Noah Brindise, orchestrate an NFL-like 2-minute drill that produced a 27-25 win over Tulane.

"He was supposed to sit with my wife," Brindise said. "But he probably got hounded so he probably found an empty bench somewhere."

Spurrier visited with ECU quarterback James Pinkney before the game.

"I saw him before the game and afterward," said Brindise, who wore a visor on Saturday a la his former boss. "He was excited."

Brindise,who is in his first season on the Pirates staff, acknowledged that Spurrier had brought ECU some good luck to end a 9-game home losing streak.

"He sure did," said Brindise, who worked as Redskins quarterbacks coach until Spurrier resigned. "I told him he was going to have to go down to Hattiesburg in a couple of weeks."

ECU has an open date before playing at Southern Miss on Oct. 23.  — Al Myatt —

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He told his son, East Carolina kicker Cameron Broadwell, to be ready when Saturday's game got down to the short rows.

"My dad was telling me it was going to come down to me," said the younger Broadwell, whose 30-yard field goal with 12 seconds left lifted the Pirates to a 27-25 homecoming win over Tulane. "He was telling me to be ready. I was like, 'Dad, I'm always ready.' "

Teammates engulfed Broadwell after his second field goal of the game helped ECU snap a 9-game home losing streak.

Broadwell became a focal point in the postgame celebration, although he did his best to deflect the praise.

"I didn't win this game," Broadwell said. "The team, the coaching staff and these fans won the game. I'm really happy to get it for them."

The deciding boot helped ECU overcome a couple of touchdowns the Pirates had given up on special teams.

"I've got to give credit to the line and the whole field goal unit," Broadwell said. "Brandon Howard (snapper) and Ryan Dougherty. He's an amazing holder, man. He just gives me the perfect hold every time."

Dougherty also gave Broadwell some advice as the Green Wave sought to ice the ECU kicker with a late timeout.

"Ryan was telling me it was just like an extra point," said Broadwell. "He was saying 'Just get your hips through it and stay down on it — just like a golf swing. Just hit it nice and smooth.' "

Broadwell's "pitching wedge" split the uprights. There was no hesitation as the officials raised their arms to indicate the kick was good.

"I knew right when it left my foot it was good," Broadwell said. "I hit a long one earlier and that felt good so that was a little motivation for me."

Broadwell connected from 44 yards early in the fourth quarter for a 24-13 ECU lead. Then the Wave came back with two touchdown passes by LSU transfer Lester Ricard.

The Pirates had just 1:51 left after Ricard's 24-yard TD toss to Chris Bush put the Greenies up 25-24.

"We just executed our 2-minute offense like we do in practice," said offensive coordinator Noah Brindise.

Kevin Roach made a leaping 20-yard catch from James Pinkney to get the Pirates into field goal range.

"They were playing a cover two zone," Brindise said. "Roach just ran a little up and in. We had somebody underneath him to suck up the linebacker. He ran it perfectly and James threw it right where we practice it. That was a big play."

Chris Johnson, who ran 31 times for 158 yards, got Broadwell within chip shot range.

"Coach (John) Thompson and I were talking constantly," Brindise said. "Once we got inside a 40-yard kick, we were trying not to let anything stupid happen."

Pinkney ran parallel to the line of scrimmage and took a knee to give Broadwell a favorable angle.

"I knew he was going to make it because it was just right down the middle," said ECU's sophomore quarterback. "Cam's a very good kicker. He made a 44-yarder today. Cam's a very good kicker and he came through for us in the clutch."

Thompson said he also had confidence in Broadwell.

"I knew Cam was going to hit it," said Thompson after his first head coaching win at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. "I'm proud of him. He's been under the gun on a lot of things, too."

The Pirates have two weeks to build on the momentum of the uplifting victory with an open date before a game at Southern Miss on Oct. 23.

Broadwell will be able to look back on this year's homecoming with more positive emotion than last year's 39-38 loss to South Florida in double overtime. His conversion attempt was tipped, hit an upright and missed to end that game.

"It's totally two different emotions," Broadwell said after ECU improved to 41-9 since 1955 in its homecoming games. "Last year, it broke my heart. The team fought so hard. Vonta Leach put it in (scored a touchdown). The whole team was fighting so hard."

Broadwell, an East Wake product, won the kicking job last season over Chris Baglio, his former rival at Apex High and his roommate during their battle for the position.

Last year's experience in the South Florida game has made Broadwell a better kicker this year.

"Knowing that's in the past has helped me prepare for each game," he said. "It's helped me know my job and know what I've got to do — put the ball through the uprights and don't leave any points off the board."

Broadwell just did his job on Saturday afternoon as the sun shone over the south stands — and that was pretty special.


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02/23/2007 12:47:13 AM

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