ARTICLE OF THE DAY

First Response
by Brian North
9/20/05


One of my favorite quotes is, "10% of life is what happens to you, 90% of life is how you react to it." So how will ECU's football team react to it's first loss under Skip Holtz?

The Pirates reaction to winning against Duke was mixed. ECU's offense played better at Wake Forest, but the defense had some familiar problems with players missing their assignments and getting out of place. Skip Holtz and defensive coordinator Greg Hudson said the problems are correctable, and that they were not man handled against the Demon Deacons.

That's good news because the purple and gold will get another chance to stop the run when they head to West Virginia. Rich Rodriguez's offense spreads the field, but the Mountaineers love to run out of the shotgun formations. It's worked in the past. Last year Kay-Jay Harris rushed for 337 yards and four touchdowns, and WVU piled up 478 yards on the ground in a 56-23 win. West Virginia hung 48 points on ECU in Greenville in 2003, and 37 points in Morgantown in 2002. In fact WVU has averaged 33 points per game in their 16 career meetings with the Pirates.

There is good news, ECU's pass defense has allowed just 208 yards total in two games. That's tops in the nation. But keep in mind who the Pirates have played (a Duke team that ranks near the bottom in most offensive categories, and a Wake team that only passed the ball 17 times). But it is still a positive to build on.

Sometimes we make the game of football too complicated. But it can be simple. It is a game of blocking and tackling. The team that blocks and tackles the best usually wins. The Pirates are getting better at both, but still have a long way to go. How will they react to giving up 44 points to Wake Forest? How will they respond to the spread attack of WVU? We will find out Saturday at high noon. Then we will have to see how the Pirates react to that the following week against Southern Miss.  Remember, it's 90% of life.

Brian North
bnorth@wcti12.com