From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Big win means bigger opportunity


Audio: Brian Bailey Show
The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was ECU RBs coach & recruiting coordinator Kirk Doll: Replay show...
Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser
ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday (courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250; Bonesville file photo): Select clip...


Inside Game Day | Photos | Post-game Audio

AAC SCOREBOARD >>> ..... Thursday > BYU 33, Houston 25 ..... ..... Friday > Cincinnati 58, Toledo 34 ..... ..... Saturday > ECU 28, Virginia Tech 21 ..... Missouri 38, UCF 10 ..... Boise State 38, UConn 21 ..... NC State 49, USF 17 ..... FAU 50, Tulsa 21 ..... Tulane 35, SE Lousiana 20 ..... .....

Carden leads poetic triumph

Al Myatt

BLACKSBURG, VA — The late British poet laureate, Rudyard Kipling, probably would have liked Shane Carden. In the poem 'If' Kipling says, "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same ..."

The Captain, Carden, has experienced both triumph and disaster in the span of two weeks on the road against nationally-ranked teams as East Carolina quarterback. ... More from Al Myatt...

Game Day Pix from Lane Stadium

ECU quarterback Shane Carden gives offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley a bear hug after putting the Pirates ahead of Virginia Tech in the game's final minute. [W.A. Myatt photo]

View W.A. Myatt's complete photo gallery...

Audio: Ruff & Players Post-game...

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill and some of his players spoke with the press after the Pirates defeated Virginia Tech on Saturday (recorded by W.A. Myatt; file photo): Select audio clip...


Kevin's Keys to the Game

Today’s game is a big one for both East Carolina and Virginia Tech. The Hokies are 2-0 coming off a huge win over Ohio State in the Horseshoe in front of 108,000 screaming Buckeye fans. The Pirates are 1-1 coming off a tough loss in which they went toe to toe against South Carolina and, arguably, outplayed the Gamecocks everywhere but on the scoreboard. ... More from Kevin Monroe...



Irresistible force vs immovable object

The crawl at the bottom of the screen on ESPN Saturday will note that the football game being played at noon in Blacksburg, VA, will be between East Carolina and Virginia Tech. But that’s only true in the strictest sense of the word. ... More from Brett Friedlander...



Pirates seek to break Bud's shackles

Al Myatt

East Carolina averaged 40.2 points per game in 2013. The potent Pirates exceeded 50 points five times. Against this week's opponent, Virginia Tech, ECU was on the short end of a 15-10 score last season. After a 22-yard scoring pass from Shane Carden to Bryce Williams in the first two minutes, the end zones were off limits to the Pirates. ... More from Al Myatt...



Florida talent pool still producing

C.J. Maybin has always like to hit people on the football field, even when it wasn’t appropriate. “When I was younger my Dad started me off by signing me up for flag football,’’ Maybin recalled recently. “But it wasn’t fun to me just grabbing somebody’s flag. I wanted to hit. So I immediately started tackling the other players. “The other parents did not like it. So they moved me up to the tackle league.’’ ... More from Sammy Batten...


Fifteen Questions for Cam Worthy

Cam Worthy (6-3, 220) provides the 2014 East Carolina football offense with a big, physical weapon at the outside wide receiver position. The Blair, SC, native caught 19 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns in the 2013 Pirate campaign. Thus far in his senior season, Worthy has five receptions for 78 yards including a 17-yard touchdown catch last week at South Carolina. ... More from W.A. Myatt...

Pictured: ECU receiver Cam Worthy has carved out a role as a key starter since joining the program as a walk-on from Yuba (CA) Community College. The Lower Richland (SC) High School product is a senior communications major. (ECU Media Relations photo)


By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

View ECU's 2014 football schedule

East Carolina made it three in a row over ACC teams on Saturday, beating Virginia Tech 28-21 in Blacksburg. More impressive is the fact that each of the three wins came on the road.

Now the Pirates can go for four in a row hosting North Carolina this Saturday.

East Carolina beat the Hokies for the sixth time in the series with Saturday’s win. I can proudly say that I had the chance to see each of the six wins in person.

I even had a chance to visit the site of the very first matchup between ECU and Virginia Tech. That game was played at Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield, West Virginia in 1956. No, I didn’t cover that game, but six years later I was born at the hospital just down the street.

Story continues below the following picture

Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield, WV, the site of the
inaugural clash between East Carolina and Virginia
Tech in 1956. Open higher resolution picture in a new window... (Photo by Brian Bailey)

I’ve also had a chance to see some of the Pirate losses to the Hokies along the way.

Still, wins in Blacksburg are hard to come by. These last two were separated by some 23 years.

Now the Tar Heels come calling as the Pirates wrap up the non-conference portion of their schedule. A 3-1 September would go a long way towards a great season. Still, an American Athletic Conference title will continue to be the goal.

The Pirate Nation can’t wait to welcome the Heels to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

”It’s good to be home and it will be great to be in front of our fans,” said ECU coach Ruffin McNeill. “They have a pride and passion for our athletic program. Being at home at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is good. Now does it make it magical? No. Having the fans’ support? Yes.

"We have to have a great day of planning and practice each day so that we can have the best chance of success on Saturday.”

The Pirates put it to North Carolina in last year’s 55-31 victory in Chapel Hill. So you have to think the Tar Heels will bring a huge chip on their shoulder with them to Greenville.

Coach McNeill says last year’s game is not a topic of conversation in the Pirate camp.

“I don’t bring it up,” said McNeill. “Each team’s personality is different. We don’t have to bring it up because of what we keep preaching. We know we’re facing a talented team as I mentioned before. I’m anxious to dive into the film a little more because they got onto a great streak at the end of last year.”

The Tar Heels turned things around after their embarrassing loss to ECU and ended up in a bowl game. The Heels beat Cincinnati 39-17 in Charlotte in the Belk Bowl.

Despite last year’s loss, Tar Heel coach Larry Fedora says he likes this game.

“Oh yeah, who doesn't like rivalries,” said Fedora. “Who doesn't like playing teams that dislike each other? I think that's a good thing. You know what the stadium is going to be like. You know that the crowd is going to be hostile. You have to relish that environment. That should be a lot of fun.”

The Pirate camp will be more concerned about ECU than UNC going into this game.

Coach McNeill and offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley have to analyze the Virginia Tech game and find out why the Pirate offense was so good early and so good late, but struggled in the middle.

The truth is that ECU could have put close to 40 points on the board in that first half in Blacksburg. The Pirates were deep in the red zone on three different occasions in that second quarter and came away with a big, fat goose egg in that second stanza.

It was like the Pirates found the power switch again in that fourth quarter. With the game on the line and the clock quickly winding down, the Pirates went to work.

The Pirates shredded the Hokies like a hot saber through leftover gobbler on that final drive. Shane Carden scored the game winner and the celebration was on.

Now ECU hosts the Tar Heels and Pirate pride will certainly be on the line.

It may be just the next game on the schedule, but we all know it’s more than that.

A sellout crowd in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and a national television audience on ESPNU will watch the rivalry in all of its glory.

The Heels head to Greenville with something to prove.

The Pirates ALWAYS have something to prove.

This one will be fun for everyone.


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09/16/2014 03:17 AM