From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Brian Bailey

Pirates not playing blame game


Pirates not playing blame game

Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser
Coach Ruffin McNeill discussed the Pirates' loss to Tulane and previewed the Southern Miss game: Select clip...
Audio: The Steve Logan Show
The Steve Logan Show airs on FM 103.7 and FM 94.1 each Monday from 6-8 p.m. Replay last night's show: Select clip...

Tidewater pipeline still flowing


Fans take social media too far


Conference USA at a glance


The Big Easy too difficult for Pirates


Audio: Ruff & players post-game...


Hoops recruiting thumbnails: F Grant Bryant & G Bunyon 'B.J.' Tyson...


This week in college football history


Greg's Game Day Breakdown


Kevin's Keys to the Game


Ruff celebrates 55th



Tick, tick, tick... Time is running out to get your print or digital copy of the 2013 Bonesville The Magazine...


By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

View the Mobile Alpha version of this page.

As bad as things were for most of the day on Saturday in New Orleans, this East Carolina football team still should have come back to Greenville with a victory.

The offense put up big numbers between the 20’s. The defense played relatively well, giving up just 12 points before the overtime.

The key play in the game came in the third quarter. The Pirates were set up inside the Tulane five yard line. The Green Wave’s Derrick Strozier picked off a Shane Carden pass and sprinted 99 yards for a touchdown.

Instead of the Pirates going up 13-9, it was Tulane that was in control with a 16-6 lead.

The Pirates had several earlier opportunities in the red zone but had to settle for field goals.

How in the world could Carden (480 passing yards) and Justin Hardy (17 receptions for 230 yards) set school records and the Pirates only score one touchdown in regulation? That touchdown came in the last two minutes to send the game to overtime. It’s hard to figure.

The Pirate defense then rose to the occasion and East Carolina would actually get in position to steal the win and not worry about overtime.

As the saying goes, ECU kicker Warren Harvey picked a bad day to have a bad day.

Harvey hooked a 42-yard effort at the gun and so it was on to the extra period.

Still, the Pirates would have plenty of chances to win the game in the overtime.

East Carolina scored on the first play of their first possession on a Carden to Reese Wiggins connection.

Tulane answered quickly enough. Double overtime went the same way, but this time the Wave scored first and the Pirates answered.

ECU's third overtime drive stalled, and when Harvey pushed his 34-yard attempt to the right it opened the door for the Green Wave.

Tulane decided to kick a field goal on its first play of that decisive overtime. 2012 Lou Groza Award winner Cairo Santos connected with his fifth field goal of the game to hand the Pirates the most disappointing of losses.

Kickers are like quarterbacks in that they often get too much praise in good times and too much blame when those kicks aren’t true.

Warren Harvey was as sick as anyone that the two kicks didn’t find the middle of the uprights.

Shane Carden defended his kicker, and shouldered much of the blame for the loss.

“We had several things that could have gone differently,” Carden said. “My read on the goal line was terrible and resulted in a 14-point swing. One person never wins or loses a game. We’ll get things corrected and bounce back.”

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill was quick to defend Harvey as well.

“The biggest thing we told him is that we believe in him,” said McNeill. “Warren has earned his way here. When you have earned and nothing has been given, he’s not afraid of it. He has a belief in faith and God. He’s one of our top students – period – here at East Carolina… Last night, we put him in the same situation, with no time on the clock, and he drilled it.”

I get the feeling that if given the chance again, Harvey will drill it through.

I hope he gets a shot.

Former Pirate is a Sunday night star

Former ECU standout Dwayne Harris is having a Pro Bowl-type season for the Dallas Cowboys.

Harris was the star on Sunday night as Dallas beat Washington 31-16. Harris had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown. He later had a 90-yard kickoff return that set up another touchdown in the win.

Harris had 222 yards of offense, more than the entire Dallas offense against the rival Redskins.

“I give all the credit to the guys blocking,” Harris told reporters after the game. “We work hard and we’ve come close a couple of times.”

Many have wondered why Harris doesn’t get more touches on offense. Perhaps it’s to keep him fresh for results like those from Sunday night.

Harris is well on his way to a Pro Bowl appearance for his work on all of the special teams with the Cowboys.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

10/15/2013 12:52 AM