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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

By Brian Bailey

Time to bounce back and forget

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

The Pirates need a big dose of amnesia in preparing for Thursday night’s game at UAB. Seventy-six points certainly put a big black eye on a season that finds East Carolina in the bowl picture and still with at least a slim shot at a conference title.

Saturday’s weather went right along with the Pirates' second half meltdown. Both were absolutely miserable, and both got worse as the night grew longer.

Everyone knew that East Carolina was most likely in for a shootout against Navy. This ECU defense had struggled against the run all year. The Pirates, though, can score with anyone and this was a shootout for at least a half.

Turnovers turned the shootout into one of the biggest blowouts in Pirate football history. The disturbing part is that a couple of the fumbles looked to come from more of a lack of concentration and execution than from a big hit.

It’s either a great time for a short week, or the worst time. When is the last time a defense gave up 76 points and then had to turn around and play a game on the road five days later?

“I look at this as a great opportunity for us as a football team,” said ECU coach Ruffin McNeill. “The glass is always half full, and usually more than half full with me. We have the chance to be able to come back after an adverse situation. Saturday was an adverse situation.”

McNeill reflected on the miserable afternoon.

“There will be some tough things that happen in these kids’ lives," he said Monday. "There is always the opportunity to come back from it. I’m really anxious to get started with practice again tonight and to get back into the film. It’s a great opportunity for us as a football team.”

For the Pirate players, the “76” may prove to be a constant reminder of what can happen.

“It hurts my pride,” said Pirate defensive lineman Josh Smith. “I’ve never been this embarrassed, not just for myself but for all of us. I think the short week is a good thing. It gives us a chance to get it out of our head and move on.”

ECU linebacker Dustin Lineback had similar thoughts.

“We have to keep our heads up,” said Lineback. “We have to throw it out the door and move on to the next one.”

Holland on Big East

Last week the Big East Conference announced plans to expand by two teams.

East Carolina Director of Athletics Terry Holland knows how important this expansion is. He also says that Pirate fans have to continue to be patient.

“They (Big East) have to establish the process on how they are going to go about their selection,” said Holland on Saturday. “Certainly it’s something that a lot of schools are very interested in and certainly our name is going to be thrown around. It is something we would have to look at.”

Holland says he knows that the Pirate Nation wants to help out in any way possible. For now, though, it’s a case of the old saying of ‘keep on keeping on.’

“There’s nothing anyone can do right now. They don’t even have a process. If you tried to do something now you would just be shooting in the dark and having the chance of hitting another Pirate," joked Holland.

"I don’t think there is anything they can do other than what they always do and that’s fill up the stadium and create a great game day atmosphere," he added.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

11/10/2010 01:38 AM


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