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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
By Brian Bailey

Season in "single elimination" phase

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


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BVL: Skip Holtz Monday Press Conference
Bailey: Season in "single elimination" phase
BVL: BCS Standings
Denny O'Brien's BCS Harris Poll Ballot
Peele: Scheduling down has perks and risks
O'Brien: QB rotation finally shows promise

For the East Carolina football coach, one loss to North Carolina State was bad enough.

But as Skip Holtz looked at his team the Sunday after the loss to State, he knew that if he wasn’t careful, the Wolfpack would beat the Pirates again.

Holtz knew that if his team didn’t bounce back at practice last week, N.C. State would have essentially had a part in back to back ECU losses.

Instead, the Pirates played their most complete game of the year, blasting UAB for Homecoming 41-6. The only thing that went wrong was at the start, when the “Pirate” hung the skull and crossbones upside down. ECU Grounds Director Joey Perry came to the rescue, and the rout was on.

Add in Central Florida's win over Southern Miss on Sunday night in Hattiesburg, and the Pirates have all of their goals within reach.

ECU now needs wins at Memphis, at Marshall, and then a victory over Tulane at home, in order to host the Conference USA championship.

What a difference a week truly does make!

“It’s a single elimination tournament,” said Holtz at his weekly news conference on Monday. “I knew we couldn’t win the league championship this past Saturday, but I did know that we could have essentially lost it.”

East Carolina was in a similar situation to win the C-USA East Division title last year, but stumbled down the stretch in losing to Rice.

Holtz hopes that loss helps keep players focused this year.

“We had the prize in hand last year, but we didn’t finish the job,” Holtz added. “Again, we must stay humble and hungry.”

I watched Memphis and Marshall earlier this year on television and thought at the time that both of those teams were a little better then their individual records indicated.

The Tigers like to throw the football, and that’s been a big concern for this Pirate team all season long. Saturday night’s win over UAB, though, showed promise for the secondary.

These next three games offer a tremendous opportunity for East Carolina.

Coach Holtz is right. The Pirates can’t win a berth in the league title game this week, but they certainly can lose it.

It’s hard to believe that November is here. Thankfully, the Pirates are right in the race for a C-USA title.

Great skyline

I thought this was funny from the game on Saturday night.

I was standing in the corner of the end zone in the third quarter with ECU Associate Athletics Director Gary Overton. We both commented on how beautiful the sky looked over the stadium.

About that time, my former mother-in-law, who still loves me to this day, called. She was watching the game on television in Virginia, and wanted to make sure that I saw the sky.

I decided to take a picture on my cell phone and make it my new wallpaper.

Later that night, a group of guys called me over to their table to talk about the big win. One of them opened his phone, and there was the sky above the stadium.

I told him that I did the same thing. One by one, the entire table showed off their own pictures of the beautiful sky.

Just think, all of these guys sitting around a table talking football, and the main topic of conversation was the sky in the third quarter.

But, it was a beautiful sky!


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04/21/2008 07:02:51 PM


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