From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Justin Hardy: A player for the ages

Receiver Justin Hardy talks with the media after smashing the FBS career receptions record in ECU's win over Tulane on Saturday. The senior from Vanceboro caught 9 passes on the day to boost his career total to 355, six better than previous record holder Ryan Broyles of Oklahoma who finished his career in 2011. (Photo by W.A. Myatt, ©
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 director of high school relations Harold Robinson: Replay show...


Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday as the Pirates prepare to visit Tulsa for a Friday night matchup (courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250): Select clip...


American Football Scoreboard

   UCF 53, SMU 7 (ESPNN)
   Houston 38, Tulsa 28 (ESPN3)
   ECU 34, Tulane 6 (ESPN3)
   Memphis 31, USF 20 (ESPNN)
   Cincinnati 41, UConn 0 (CBSSN)
AAC SCOREBOARD >>> ..... | Houston 38, Tulsa 28 (ESPN3) ..... UCF 53, SMU 7 (ESPNN) ..... ECU 34,  Tulane 6 (ESPN3) ..... Memphis 31, USF 20 (ESPNN) ..... Cincinnati 41, UConn 0 (CBSSN) ..... | .....


Green Bay tops ECU

ESTERO, FL — Short-handed East Carolina opened play in the Gulf Coast Showcase at high noon on Monday and was dealt a 66-49 setback by Green Bay. The Pirates were without versatile senior wing man Paris Roberts-Campbell due to a knee ailment and post player Marshall Guilmette because of a hip flexor injury. ... More...



Inside Game Day | Photos... | Post-game Audio...

AAC SCOREBOARD >>> ..... | Houston 38, Tulsa 28 (ESPN3) ..... UCF 53, SMU 7 (ESPNN) ..... ECU 34,  Tulane 6 (ESPN3) ..... Memphis 31, USF 20 (ESPNN) ..... Cincinnati 41, UConn 0 (CBSSN) ..... | .....

'Deuce' becomes No. 1

GREENVILLE — "Deuce" is how East Carolina football coach Ruffin McNeill refers to senior inside wide receiver Justin Hardy. It's because Hardy wears uniform No. 2. "Deuce" became No. 1 on Saturday, moving ahead of former Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles for the most career catches in Football Bowl Subdivision history. ... More from Al Myatt...

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: A mammoth banner was unfurled from the Murphy Center soon after senior wide receiver Justin Hardy made his 350th career catch during East Carolina's 34-6 victory over Tulane on Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The play pushed Hardy past the previous NCAA FBS career receptions record set by Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles in 2011. Hardy hauled in nine passes for 104 yards against the Green Wave and finished the day with 355 career receptions. [W.A. Myatt photo. ©]

View W.A. Myatt's gallery from Thursday night's game...

Audio: Ruff & Hardy Post-game

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill and senior receiver Justin Hardy spoke with the press after the Pirates' win over Tulane on Saturday (recorded by W.A. Myatt): Select audio clip...


Kevin's Keys to the Game

The Pirates will take on a challenge from Tulane today in their first appearance in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in a month. It will also be East Carolina's last Saturday home game this season. ... More from Kevin Monroe...



Biletnikoff voters missed the boat

At some point during Saturday’s game against Tulane, probably in the first half, Justin Hardy will come off the line, get a step on his defender and catch his fourth pass of the day from quarterback Shane Carden.  ... More from Brett Friedlander...



Transfers pace Pirates

GREENVILLE — Florida State transfer Terry Whisnant made four of seven attempts from behind the 3-point line and scored 16 points to lead East Carolina to a 92-51 nonconference basketball win over Virginia-Lynchburg at Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum on Thursday night. ... Story, photos and audio...
Pictured: The East Carolina bench reacts after walk-on Peyton Robbins scores a basket in the final minutes of the Pirates' 92-51 victory over Virginia-Lynchburg on Thursday night at Minges Coliseum. Thirteen ECU players scored in the rout, five of them in double figures. (Photo by W.A. Myatt. ©

Post-game: Lebo, Tyson, Nzege...


By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

View ECU's 2014 football schedule


What a thrill it was to be on the sideline on Saturday when Justin Hardy set the all-time NCAA FBS record for career receptions.

The former West Craven standout needed just four catches to break the all-time mark. His first three grabs came rather quickly, setting up the record breaker.

As was the case in many of the receptions through the years, it wasn’t all that spectacular. In typical Justin Hardy fashion, he made the catch, returned the football to the closest referee, and went about the business of the next play.

Always humble, Hardy met the army of reporters afterwards with his same, low key attitude.

"Never let anybody tell you that you can't be anything," Hardy said. "Not really having any D-I offers and coming here as a walk-on, I earned my scholarship, earned my playing time."

He then went out and earned the respect of the entire college football nation.

Give the Pirate brass credit for honoring Hardy in a great way. At the appropriate time the game was stopped momentarily for a short presentation. That presentation included a giant banner that hung from the Murphy Center.

Hardy may know when the ball is coming, but he had no idea that the banner was in the game plan.

Story continues after the following picture...

A mammoth banner was unfurled from the Murphy Center soon after Justin Hardy made his FBS record-breaking 350th career catch during East Carolina's 34-6 victory over Tulane on Saturday.

“It was breathtaking and I wasn’t expecting it,” Hardy said. “I was just thinking, ‘I got the catch, we’ll take a couple of pictures and go back and play.’ But it was great!”

Pirate coach Ruffin McNeill was most emotional after the game when talking about “Deuce.”

He then touched on the topic again on Monday.

“He symbolizes what we want our program to stand for,” said McNeill. “He symbolizes that in so many ways as a team first, team last, team always player with a total commitment and dedication to the team while embracing his role, which is a high-priority role, but also finding ways to make the team better. Justin does that, (after) working his way from a walk-on to one of the greatest receivers in the history of college football.

"It’s something someone could make a movie or write a book about. His teammates absolutely adore him. He will be the first to tell you that his teammates are the reason he was able to achieve the record.”

“I would never want to be anywhere else,” Hardy added. “East Carolina has done a lot for me, and I’m going to continue to do a lot for them.”

Next up, East Carolina hits the road for the ‘Black Friday’ matchup with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

The Pirates are still on the outside looking in as far as a shot at the American Athletic Conference title is concerned. Memphis, Central Florida and Cincinnati have just one conference loss. The Pirates can give UCF their second. The trick is that the other two teams have to get to two losses for any chance. The Bearcats still have Temple and Houston. Memphis wraps up its season with UConn this weekend.

Still, the Pirates will be bowling this postseason and another win gets them that much closer to back to back 10-win seasons, something to really hang the helmet on.

You know the likes of Shane Carden and Justin Hardy want to finish strong.

Happy Thanksgiving and save some leftovers for Friday night football featuring the Pirates and Tulane. Hopefully, the Pirates can feast on the Golden Hurricane.


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11/25/2014 04:28 AM