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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
By Brian Bailey

Pirates must keep eyes on the prize

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


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BVL: Skip Holtz Monday press conference
Bailey: Pirates must keep eyes on the prize
BVL: BCS Standings
O'Brien: QB shuffle has run its course
Game Center: NCSU 34, ECU 20
Box Score/Statistics
Audio: Skip Holtz post-game
Myatt: State reasserts itself after bye
O'Brien: Pirates stumble in unfamiliar role
Monroe: Kevin's Keys to the Game
ECU Media Relations/AP Game Recap
C-USA Standings, Scores, Schedule
ECU Schedule, Scores, Attendance, Links

North Carolina State beat East Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The big fear now at ECU is that the loss might take enough steam away from this team so that it falls again this week to UAB.

“We can’t let them beat us twice,” said Skip Holtz at his weekly news conference on Monday. “We all hated to lose that game, but we have to put that loss behind us. I told the guys to come to work Tuesday with all of the thoughts of the N.C. State loss behind them.”

The coach knows that will be easier said then done. East Carolina was riding high after the win at Texas-El Paso last week. This was a team that always seemed to be able to take a team’s best shot and still figure out a way to win.

That script looked like it would stay the same when the Pirates rallied from 21-0 down to cut the lead to a single point early in the third quarter.

But soon after, that winning script went by the wayside. The Wolfpack made the plays to win, and the Pirates were left to wonder just what went wrong.

There was certainly plenty of blame to go around. The Pirates had more drops in this game then they had had all season. Rob Kass held onto the football way too long a couple of times, and his reads struggled too.

Coach Holtz said there would be no pity party. His team and the Pirate Nation must turn all energy toward the shot at a Conference USA championship.

“There are two kinds of teams playing in November,” Holtz said. “Those that are trying to win championships and go to bowl games, and those relegated to the role of spoiler. We are right in this thing in C-USA and hopefully we’ll get some help with Southern Miss down the road.”

ECU, which lost to USM earlier this season, is tied with the Golden Eagles for the C-USA East Division lead. If Southern Miss stumbles down the stretch, the Pirates can take the division by taking care of business over the next four games, all against beatable foes.

Like N.C. State, UAB comes to town with a bad record. Also like the Pack, the Blazers have played several good programs, opening their season with losses at Michigan State and at Florida State on the road.

“I think this is a very talented football team,” said Holtz. “They are young and they have made a lot of mistakes. Still, they have a lot of talent on that roster.”

East Carolina had had some outstanding crowds this season. That trend should continue as ECU celebrates Homecoming this week.

“For most schools, the Homecoming crowd is their biggest of the season,” Holtz continued. “But we’ve had some sellouts, and so we can only get to that figure as far as fans in the stands are concerned. It’s really a great week, because so many of our alumni get the chance to return to campus to see all of the improvements and such. It’s really a great time for a college and their football team."

Here’s hoping the Wolfpack hangover ends at practice by Thursday night and that the Pirates take another big step in C-USA on Saturday night against UAB.


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04/21/2008 07:03:33 PM


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