Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather





Put your ad message in front of thousands of Pirate fans. Call 252.349-3280 for information.





From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

By Brian Bailey

Title shot still on Ruff's radar

Pirates have plenty to play for heading to Rice

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

East Carolina's win over UAB Thursday night combined with Central Florida's loss to Southern Miss on Saturday certainly adds to the plot of this 2010 football season.

A third straight Conference USA East Division title is contingent upon the Pirates winning out and having UCF drop one of its final two games. The Knights finish with road games at Tulane and Memphis and will be favored to win both games.

Still, there’s a shot, and in November that’s all you can really ask for.

“Like I’ve mentioned before, anything can happen here in this league,” said Coach Ruffin McNeill at his weekly news conference on Monday. “East Carolina lost one last year and won it and two the year before. We just have to make sure we always stay focused here on what we can control, which is our preparation during the week.

"We focus on one game a week because that’s all we can play. We have to make sure we stay the course.”

While the win over North Carolina State may be the most memorable for Pirate fans, it’s the victory over UAB that may be the one that proves to be the most important for the season.

That Thursday night win at Legion Field snapped a two-game losing streak and kept East Carolina in the league title chase.

It also proved to be a psychological comeback for a Pirate defense that had been shredded before to the tune of a 76-point outburst by Navy.

“I was really pleased with the win and the way we fought,” said McNeill. "I thought it showed character and great competitive spirit, which is one of the intangibles I want to be a part of this team. The determination and never-say-die attitude that we’ve talked about as a football team were present Thursday. It was a big win that made the weekend go by a lot of faster.”

Next up is a trip to Houston to take on Rice. The last time ECU battled the Owls in Houston the Pirates came into the game in the driver’s seat in the C-USA East Division race. The Owls kicked a field goal with three seconds left to stun the Pirates 18-17. East Carolina led by 8 in that game with just over two minutes to play.

The Pirates should have won that game. The Pirates should win this week, but anything is possible in Conference USA.

Rice has certainly put points on the scoreboard and will most likely do so again this weekend. This East Carolina defense doesn’t have to throw a shutout, but it will have to slow the Owls down and create a turnover or two.

The short week leading up to the UAB game was a disadvantage for sure, especially playing on the road. Now the Pirates have had a couple of days to rest and gear up for the last two games.

“I think we needed those two days,” said McNeill. “The coaches did, too. It was a jam-packed week. The two days helped us get our feet back underneath us a little bit.”

This time of year any extra day to heal is a blessing.

Garrard’s Magic

Former East Carolina quarterback David Garrard has had his share of magical moments during his NFL career.

He added one to his list on Sunday.

Garrard’s Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans were headed for overtime when Garrard threw one final, high-arcing pass towards the left side of the end zone.

Defensive backs are always taught to knock the football straight down, and not to go for the interception. That’s exactly what Houston’s Glover Quinn tried to do. Quinn went up and batted the ball straight down.

He batted the ball straight down into the gut of Jacksonville’s Mike Thomas.

Touchdown Jaguars! David Garrard and the Jags had pulled one out of the fire on a “Hail Mary.”

Garrard told reporters afterward that all he could see were bodies scattering and the ball getting tipped. The crowd told him that he had orchestrated a miracle finish.

“I’ve never been a part of anything like that,” Garrard said in his postgame press conference. “I was just hoping that I had thrown it far enough.”

The play is called rebound and is designed for one of the receivers to catch the football after a tip. It wasn’t exactly designed the way it turned out, but Garrard and the Jaguars will certainly take it.

Lost in all of the excitement was the fact that Garrard completed his 13 previous passes in a row to get in position for the game-winner. That’s 14 completions in a row to end the game.

Completion number 14 will go down as one of the greatest in Jacksonville Jaguars history.

Garrard was in Greenville just last week during the Jaguars' bye week. While he was home he announced a new partnership with Beau’s Buddies of Greenville, a cancer awareness organization, and his own foundation. The two groups will join up for a celebrity golf tournament.

Garrard told me he’s anxious to give back and support an area that gave so much to him during his collegiate days.

He’s a class act and deserves all of the success he’s getting in the NFL.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

11/23/2010 01:39 AM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.