A Look Behind the Purple Curtain with Bonesville's Web Roundup Curator

Wednesday, November 29, 2014

By Greg Vacek

Familiar Foes


A South wind at 13 miles per hour could be a significant factor as East Carolina visits Tulsa for an 8:30 p.m. kickoff, Eastern time, tonight. The temperature will be a relatively-mild — compared to recent trips to Temple and Cincinnati — 54 degrees as the contest gets under way on ESPNU. There is a zero percent chance of precipitation, according to the forecast. The temperature will remain in the lower 50s for the duration of the American Athletic Conference matchup. Humidity will increase from a projected 62 percent to 74 percent during the game. The Pirates will be on the East sideline of Skelly Field. The breeze will be blowing from left to right as ECU faces the synthetic playing surface at H.A. Chapman Stadium. (Filed by Al Myatt)

Full-size radar loop Scientific forecast

American Football Scoreboard

UCF at USF, 12 pm (ESPN2)
Houston at SMU, 12 pm (CBSSN)
ECU at Tulsa, 8:30 pm (ESPNU)
Cincinnati at Temple, 12 pm (ESPNN)
UConn at Memphis, 4 pm (ESPNN)
LAST WEEK'S SCORES >>> ..... | Houston 38, Tulsa 28 (ESPN3) ..... UCF 53, SMU 7 (ESPNN) ..... ECU 34,  Tulane 6 (ESPN3) ..... Memphis 31, USF 20 (ESPNN) ..... Cincinnati 41, UConn 0 (CBSSN) ..... | .....


Kevin's Keys to the Game

East Carolina and Tulsa will face off tonight in an American Athletic Conference contest. ECU enters this game 7-3 against a 2-9 Golden Hurricane team. ... More from Kevin Monroe...


Familiar Foes Tangle

Familiar foes clash in the 12th meeting between Tulsa and East Carolina. The Pirates lead the series 6-5-0. East Carolina has won the last four meetings, including a 58-24 home victory last year. ... More from Greg Vacek...


Ruffin and stuffin'

Al MyattEast Carolina's football team observed Thanksgiving on Wednesday and will fly to Tulsa today for an American Athletic Conference game with the Golden Hurricane at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on Friday. The contest may be seen on ESPNU. ... More from Al Myatt...


Hawaii edges East Carolina

ESTERO, FL — East Carolina overcame an 11-point second half deficit to lead Hawaii with 8:18 left in the fifth-place game in the Gulf Coast Showcase on Wednesday before the Rainbow Warriors responded with a 14-3 run en route to a 75-73 win over the Pirates. ... More...


Tyson helps ECU hold off Fresno

ESTERO, FL — Freshman guard B.J. Tyson scored East Carolina's last eight points, including all six of his free throw attempts down the stretch, as the Pirates held off Fresno State for a 58-52 win in the Gulf Coast Showcase on Tuesday afternoon. ... More...



Justin Hardy: A player for the ages

What a thrill it was to be on the sideline on Saturday when Justin Hardy set the all-time NCAA FBS record for career receptions. The former West Craven standout needed just four catches to break the all-time mark. ... More from Brian Bailey...

Audio: The Brian Bailey Show
The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was ECU director of high school relations Harold Robinson: Replay show...


Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday as the Pirates prepare to visit Tulsa for a Friday night matchup (courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250): Select clip...



Green Bay tops ECU

ESTERO, FL — Short-handed East Carolina opened play in the Gulf Coast Showcase at high noon on Monday and was dealt a 66-49 setback by Green Bay. The Pirates were without versatile senior wing man Paris Roberts-Campbell due to a knee ailment and post player Marshall Guilmette because of a hip flexor injury. ... More...



Inside Game Day | Photos... | Post-game Audio...

AAC SCOREBOARD >>> ..... | Houston 38, Tulsa 28 (ESPN3) ..... UCF 53, SMU 7 (ESPNN) ..... ECU 34,  Tulane 6 (ESPN3) ..... Memphis 31, USF 20 (ESPNN) ..... Cincinnati 41, UConn 0 (CBSSN) ..... | .....

'Deuce' becomes No. 1

GREENVILLE — "Deuce" is how East Carolina football coach Ruffin McNeill refers to senior inside wide receiver Justin Hardy. It's because Hardy wears uniform No. 2. "Deuce" became No. 1 on Saturday, moving ahead of former Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles for the most career catches in Football Bowl Subdivision history. ... More from Al Myatt...

View W.A. Myatt's complete photo gallery...

Audio: Ruff & Hardy Post-game

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill and senior receiver Justin Hardy spoke with the press after the Pirates' win over Tulane on Saturday (recorded by W.A. Myatt): Select audio clip...

By Greg Vacek
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View ECU's Football Schedule


Familiar foes clash in the 12th meeting between Tulsa and East Carolina. The Pirates lead the series 6-5-0. East Carolina has won the last four meetings, including a 58-24 home victory last year.

Friday’s matchup against Tulsa marks the third of four non-Saturday contests this year for East Carolina. It will also be the teams' second-straight non-Saturday encounter at Tulsa’s Chapman Stadium — the last occasion resulted in a 44-17 ECU win on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. The two also met on a non-traditional day, a Sunday, in the 2010 season opener, which produced a memorable 51-49 Hail Mary victory in Ruffin McNeil’s debut as ECU’s head coach.

Thanksgiving is a time of family gatherings and traditions (food and football). I remember growing up eating turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole and watching Dallas and Detroit. I also remember watching college football the Friday after, which more often than not included the annual Nebraska-Oklahoma game (my father’s team vs. my mother’s team). The Pirate Nation has shared in that Thanksgiving tradition, playing in six Black Friday games. Many families have headed to Dowdy-Ficklen over the years tailgating with leftover turkey sandwiches.

As fun as it can be to road-trip with family and friends, playing a game on foreign turf during Thanksgiving week two years in a row can be distracting for the team.

Coach McNeill summed it up.

"It's different," he said. "We will try to make it as family-appropriate as possible. We always do. We will have a meal, invite the coaches' families and kids. As coaches, we've done some things different with practice all year, such as when to give them (days) off and when to give them rest because it's been a very physical year for everyone, coaches included.

"It's very important that we have the right mindset, understanding that we have to play a great game on the road."


The old adage, it’s better to give than receive doesn’t apply to football unless the giving is the delivery of a hit. The Pirate defense forced a season-high four turnovers to spearhead last season’s victory over the Golden Hurricane in Greenville. Dating back to the 2010, Tulsa went 48 straight games season with a turnover before stopping the streak with zero turnovers at Temple.

After forcing only eight turnovers in its first seven games (1.1 tpg), ECU has produced five takeaways in its last two (2.5). This season East Carolina has forced only 13 turnovers and converted 8 into scores. That is a conversion rate of 61.5 percent. The Pirates need to force three more TOs to avoid posting their lowest total in school history (16 in 2001).

The Pirates will need to continue working on securing the ball. In the last seven contests, the Golden Hurricane defense has forced 12 turnovers. Turning the ball over 16 times in 2014 has given East Carolina opponents 16 extra opportunities, with opposing teams converting 9 into scores, a 56.3 percent success rate.

Lincoln Riley will surely give Shane Carden some opportunities to throw the deep ball this week. Tulsa opponents have had 42 plays of 30-plus yards this season for an average of 51.4 yards per play and a total of 19 touchdowns. That's an average of almost four big plays per game. According to CFBstats.com, no other team in FBS has given up more 30-yard plays.

ECU’s record is 3-3 on Black Friday. Last year my family took its first Thanksgiving football road trip to cheer on the Pirates eating Thanksgiving dinner at Huntington, West Virginia’s finest Golden Corral. Although the outcome of last year’s game against Marshall was one to forget, spending time with family and friends cheering on the Pirates is something my kids will always remember. We won’t be making the trip to Tulsa this year, but will once again be having a Thanksgiving with family, food and Pirate football (on ESPNU).

Have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

East Carolina’s Thanksgiving Friday History:

Nov 24, 2000 — at Southern Mississippi (W) 14-9
Nov 23, 2001 — SOUTHERN MISS (L) 21-28
Nov 28, 2007 — TEXAS-EL PASO (W) 53-21
Nov 26, 2010 — SOUTHERN METHODIST (L) 38-45
Nov 23, 2012 — MARSHALL (W) 65-59 (2OT)
Nov 29, 2013 — at Marshall (L) 28-59
Nov 28, 2014 — at Tulsa

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11/28/2014 03:55 AM