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, November 11, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Pirates rule East Division — for now

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest Harold Robinson. 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

Bailey: Pirates rule East Division — for now

Skip Holtz Game Week 10 Press Conference
O'Brien: Reality dictates deliberate approach
C-USA Standings, Scores, Schedule
BCS Standings
Harris/AP/Coaches Polls
O'Brien: Harris Poll ballot
Game Center: East Carolina vs. Memphis
Box Score / Statistics
BVL Audio Replay: Skip Holtz post-game
Talk FM Audio Replay: Post-game Call-in Show
O'Brien: Rivalry moves up a notch
Myatt: Hartman, Pirates getting their kicks
Monroe: Kevin's Keys to the Game
C-USA Standings, Scores, Schedule
ECU Schedule, Scores, Attendance
Myatt: Contenders vie for high stakes
Bradsher: Lady Pirates find treasure in Texas

East Carolina’s overtime win over Marshall gave the Pirates a commanding two-game lead in Conference USA’s East Division with three games to play. Welcome to the driver’s seat.

It sounds great on paper. Marshall has a tough schedule remaining that includes games against Rice and Tulsa from the West, and Central Florida from the East. The Thundering Herd will be hard pressed to win out for sure.

With that said, there is still plenty of work to do for Skip Holtz and his Pirates. That work starts with this week’s road game against Southern Miss.

Southern Miss leads the all-time series against East Carolina 25-8. The Golden Eagles have simply owned the Pirates, especially in Greenville, where Southern Miss has won 15 of the 17 games played.

Thankfully, this year’s game is at the Rock in Hattiesburg. Though it is a difficult place to play, the Pirates are 6-10 on the Golden Eagles' home field and won the last time they paid a visit to Southern Miss in 2006.

As far as rivalries go, for East Carolina, this one is one of the biggest.

“It’s Southern Miss and ECU,” said Pirate coach Skip Holtz. “Talk to the people that have followed this rivalry for the past 40 years and you’ll know what we are up against.”

Southern Miss beat the Pirates last year on a late touchdown, 28-21. In 2006, East Carolina stunned the Golden Eagles in overtime.

Overtime? Now there’s a novel idea. Just when was the last time a Division I team won consecutive overtime games in the span of six days? We’re still researching that nationally, but here’s the history of consecutive overtime wins in C-USA.

It’s a first for the league in six days. It’s also the second time that a team has won back-to-back overtime games in consecutive weeks. The first team to do it was South Florida, which beat Cincinnati in OT, 24-17, on Oct. 31, 2003, and then beat East Carolina in Greenville, 38-37, on Nov. 8, 2003. That Pirate loss was the game in which Vonte Leach ran wild. Leach is still playing football, currently with the Houston Texans in the NFL.

Once again, Ben Hartman was the kicking hero on Saturday. He was 4-5 in field goals, missing at the final gun of regulation only to take advantage of the mulligan with the winning kick in overtime.

Hartman said afterwards that he thought he might have a big day.

“I was thinking last night at the hotel that I might get a lot of kicks,” said Hartman. “This was like a Big Ten game with lots of defense. I’m just glad I got a second chance.”

Hartman now has four game-winning kicks in the past two seasons. He may get another chance or two this year, especially as conservative as the offense has gotten of late.

Good teams win games in the fourth quarter. Championship teams get the football back with four minutes to go and collect enough first downs to put the game away. That’s the challenge that faces Skip Holtz.

“That was the one big disappointment,” said Holtz. “In order to win games like that, you have to be able to run the football, even when the entire stadium knows what you’re going to do. We just weren’t able to get that done. We’ve obviously got some work to do.”

That work continues this week as this squad gets set for the trip to Hattiesburg.

If the history of this series is any indication, hang on. Crazy things happen when the Pirates and the Golden Eagles hook up.


Send an e-mail to Brian Bailey.

Dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

11/11/2008 02:42:44 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.