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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Dr. Jekyll, meet Mr. Hyde

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay last night's Brian Bailey Show with guest Rock Roggeman. 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.
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You just never know what you’re going to get in college football these days.

Take East Carolina. The Pirates were world beaters for two weeks. Since then ECU has a win over Tulane and back to back losses to N.C. State and Houston.

East Carolina came from behind to get past a Green Wave team that Army destroyed this past weekend. Houston was just 1-3 when the Cougars came to Greenville and took out their frustrations on the Pirates.

You just never know.

Take Virginia. The Cavaliers were blown out by Southern Cal in week one, which was pretty much expected. Then Duke lays a beat-down on the Cavs to the tune of a 31-3 pasting.

Maryland then traveled to Charlottesville with the momentum of a win over Clemson in Death Valley. The Terps were talking ACC title. That’s when Virginia came to life, and pounded the Turtles 31-0 this past Saturday night.

You just never know.

Will you get Dr. Jekyll or will it be Mr. Hyde?

Pirate coach Skip Holtz knows first-hand that the saying “any given Saturday” is ringing especially true this football season.

“There is a tremendous amount of parity in college football,” said Holtz. “It’s difficult, but the team that can stay focused and concentrate on the task at hand is the team that will have the most success.”

Most great teams get better as the season continues. Sure, mistakes are made, but the teams that adjust and learn from those mistakes are the teams ready to play for championships in November.

Holtz knows his team is not following the winning formula, at least not yet.

"I don't think we're playing as well in the fifth game as we did in the first two. I don't think we're playing at that same level," said Holtz. "It's very hard to put a finger on exactly why.

"I don't think we're as together as a football team as we need to be right now. That's something that we've talked about. I'm very honest with them. I'm not a bag of tricks guy to try and motivate them. I'm very honest with them and I think we have to go back to holding everybody accountable, from coaches to players to being productive.”

You get the feeling that UVa coach Al Groh and the Cavaliers had that same attitude after their loss to Duke.

Homecoming for Holland

East Carolina athletic director Terry Holland spent most of his career on some part of the University of Virginia campus.

Holland was Virginia’s basketball coach from 1974-1990, leading the Cavaliers to a pair of Final Four appearances. He is the school’s winningest basketball coach with a record of 326-173.

Holland also spent six years as the AD at UVa. He was the major force behind the fundraising campaign that helped to build the $86 million expansion of Scott Stadium and the Carl Smith Center.

Holland looks forward to his trip back to Charlottesville this weekend.

“The main thing for us is to leave there with a win,” said Holland. “I can assure you that the Virginia people feel the same way. They weren’t very happy about losing down here two years ago.

"It’s just part of the game. You’re always playing against people you like and respect, but you really want to like them and respect them more after you win.”

Holland says Virginia was ranked 6th nationally when the Cavaliers agreed to play East Carolina in this series.

“This is brother against brother, and friend against friend,” said Holland. “Both teams need to win this game very badly, and that’ll certainly be the focus.”

Coach Holtz says the matchup with Virginia is another highlight of the Pirates' non-conference schedule.

“This is a great game for us,” said Holtz. “Just like the other three games against BCS teams, this is a great opportunity for our football team.”

Maybe the Pirates will leave Mr. Hyde in Greenville this week.


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10/07/2008 01:39:25 AM


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