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2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Daily Report & Photo Blog No. 5

Brian Bailey's photo gallery for Friday is directly below. His daily report is below the slide show.

Links to Day-by-Day Coverage: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

(This gallery includes 10 photographs. Click the left or right pointers to slide the thumbnail navigation strip.)


Skip Holtz meets with the press after the game. (Photo: Brian Bailey, ©2009 & WNCT-TV-9. All rights reserved.)



KEY LINKS:  Daily Report...  Photo Blog...  Audio Clips...

Domination begets pain

By Brian Bailey

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.
Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

MEMPHIS — What a way to lose!

Earlier this week I used that line about "just when I thought I'd seen everything." Unbelievably, it's time to pull that line out again.

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.

Congratulations goes 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 University.

Content: Brian Bailey. ©2010 and WNCT-TV 9. All rights reserved.


PAGE UPDATED 01/03/10 08:57 AM.

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