Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather





Put your ad message in front of 1,000's and 1,000's of Pirate fans. Call 252.637.2944 for flexible options & rates.





From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Time to reflect, regroup, reload

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay last night's Brian Bailey Show with guest ACC football referee Darrell Harrison. The show, Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show, airs every Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250-AM and 930-AM.
Replay Show
Pirate Radio Home Page


Other Recent Items

BVL: Updated Football Recruiting Thumbnails
Bailey: Time to reflect, regroup, reload
BVL: Harris, AP and Coaches Polls
O'Brien: Week of frustration raises questions
O'Brien: Harris Poll ballot
Game Center: ECU-Houston
Box Score / Statistics
BVL Audio: Skip Holtz post-game
Talk FM Audio: Post-game Call-in Show
O'Brien: Pirates backed into corner
Myatt: ECU not spared in wave of upsets
Monroe: Kevin's Keys to the Game
C-USA Standings, Scores, Schedule
ECU Schedule, Scores, Attendance
Batten: ECU O-line gaining more stature
Myatt: New controversy swirls around rivals
Bradsher: Drew masters the art of the tight end

East Carolina football coach Skip Holtz has had his share of challenges since arriving in Greenville.

None of those challenges, though, may compare to what he has to encounter this week.

What looked to be the second coming of “The Dream Season” after a 3-0 start has turned “nightmarish” with losses to N.C. State and Houston.

There is plenty of blame to go around. The Pirates just don’t have the swagger they had in the first two games. In those wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia, the Pirates pushed people around and made a statement.

The Tulane win was a survival victory on the road.

Early this season, ECU certainly played to win. Of late, at least at times, it looked like the Pirates played not to lose. Ask any coach, because there is a huge difference in the two.

The thing that makes college football so magical is also the thing that drives many fans so crazy. Take Southern Cal last Thursday night. The Trojans' run to the national title game was derailed by an Oregon State team that was a 25 1/2 point underdog. Last year, Stanford beat USC as a 41-point dog.

To say every dog has his day is an understatement.

East Carolina's issues start with the injury situation. While there are other linebackers in the program, there aren’t many teams in the country that have a player the quality of Quintin Cotton, much less one on their bench. The Pirates have some good young players at linebacker, but there is certainly an understandable drop-off.

How much does the Dominique Lindsay injury hurt the offense? Here’s a senior leader that is well respected in the huddle. Brandon Simmons is a bruiser and has played well. Norman Whitley needs more touches. Jonathan Williams fumbles too much, and thus spends more time in the Holtz doghouse than as the coach's pet.

There are more injuries and even more players that are playing with all kinds of nicks and bruises. The walking wounded will certainly welcome the chance to have a weekend off.

Don’t expect a “lolly-pop” camp from Holtz in the off-week. Holtz has seen that his team hasn’t been as physical as it was at the start of the season and will look to change that mindset this week.

I was impressed with Houston. The Cougars really only stopped themselves most of the afternoon. Houston arrived in Greenville at just 1-3, but after getting the win they left Dowdy-Ficklen with sights set on competing for the Conference USA Western Division crown.

That parallels the goal at East Carolina. Skip Holtz and company have to plug the holes in the Pirate ship, turn this thing around, and win the league's Eastern Division.

Marshall leads the East at 2-0 but lost to West Virginia 27-3 in the “Friends of Coal Bowl” this past weekend. The Herd has wins in league play over Memphis and Southern Miss.

East Carolina will host Marshall as a part of a big five-game slate in November. Four of those games are against teams in C-USA’s East Division. Three are on the road.

The Pirates open the month at Central Florida on November 2nd in a Sunday night game. Six days later, they host Marshall. Then, ECU goes on the road to take on Southern Miss and UAB.

The last game in November features Texas-El Paso in Greenville on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend.

Obviously nobody likes to lose. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo perhaps said it best. When asked if this was the year that the Cowboys would finally win a playoff game for the first time since 1996, he put things in perspective.

“We have to get there first,” Romo said. “We’re going to enjoy the journey. We’ll have our ups and downs, but I’m going to enjoy each and every week out there.”

Redskins fans will be quick to point out that he probably didn’t enjoy this past week all that much!

Football seasons all have their separate journeys. I don’t think this team was as good as it looked against West Virginia. I don’t think this team was as bad as it looked against Houston. The real Pirates are somewhere in between.

A conference title is still the goal. It’s a very attainable goal.

Enjoy the journey, even with its ups and downs.


Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

09/30/2008 02:50:55 AM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.