From the Booth
Monday, September 2, 2002
By Jeff Charles
Voice of the Pirates
Sooner or later it had
to happen. Duke was going to win a football game. The Pirates were hoping
it would come later rather than sooner. It came sooner rather than later.
Duke 23, ECU 16.
Give the Blue Devils
credit. Coach Carl Franks had his team ready to play.
No one epitomized that
more than Alex Wade. Nine straight carries in the fourth quarter to set up
the final field goal. Like a human battering ram, the big fella punished
the Pirates time and time again en route to 109 yards rushing.
That Duke drive
reminded me of a wishbone team that just pounds away consuming time off the
clock as it puts a game away. It was old fashioned football. Woody Hayes
would have loved it.
Sometimes stats lie,
sometimes they don’t. The one that almost never lies is turnovers. The
Pirates had four, Duke had none. Game, set, match Blue Devils. Last year
the Pirates ended the season minus ten in the turnover department.
Saturday night didn’t help reverse that trend.
The Pirates couldn’t
run the ball and that was perplexing. Twenty five yards net rushing? This
team has to do better than that.
Paul Troth played his
heart out and shows promise, but he needs the help of a good running game
as he develops.
The defense shows
signs of being better. Chris Moore, the freshman linebacker, had a
sparkling debut with twelve tackles, four behind the line of scrimmage.
This week will be an
interesting one to see how this team responds. It will be both a mental and
physical challenge. The week started at two o’clock Sunday afternoon with
team meetings. The focus was on getting better and getting ready for Wake
Forest Saturday night in Winston Salem at 6:30.
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