GAME DAY REPORT:
SATURDAY, JAN. 2, 2010
WNCT-TV 9 Sports
Director Brian Bailey was on the
scene in Memphis during bowl week bringing
daily reports and pictures to Bonesville's readers
and Channel 9's viewers.
MEMPHIS — What a way to
Earlier this week I
used that line about "just when I thought I'd seen
everything." Unbelievably, it's time to pull that line
How in the world did
East Carolina lose to Arkansas in this 51st Liberty
Bowl? The Pirates were unbelievable on defense, holding
the Razorbacks to 0-for-16 in third down conversions.
This wasn't a bend but don't break defense. This was a
suffocating unit that deserved to win this game.
On offense, the Pirates
were efficient in grounding out first downs and putting
points on the board. Patrick Pinkney's two picks were
huge, as both led to Razorback points.
Then came the Ben
Hartman fiasco. On a night that Hartman should have
celebrated taking over as East Carolina's all-time
leading scorer, he leaves Memphis as the goat.
It's the life of a
kicker. Maybe they get more credit then they deserve in
good times and more blame in bad times.
Hartman, though, missed
a hat trick that could have won the game for East
Carolina. He missed two field goals in the final couple
of minutes, and then one in overtime.
Arkansas 20, East
Carolina 17. I still don't believe it.
out to C.J. Wilson, Scottie Robinson, Van Eskridge and
the rest of the Pirate defense for a brilliant night of
play. This team goes home short on the scoreboard, but
there were no losers wearing purple in Memphis.
The Pirates outplayed a
good SEC team, and should have won the game.
It's a crushing end for
so many seniors, including Hartman.
Still, this squad
leaves Memphis with back-to-back conference championship
trophies in the case. This group of seniors came to East
Carolina as freshmen, when the school's football program
was about as low as it could have gotten.
This senior class can
now leave with heads held high. Thanks guys, it was a
privilege to cover you during your time at East Carolina
Brian Bailey. ©2010 Bonesville.net and WNCT-TV 9. All