ARTICLE OF THE DAY

Sweet Victory
by Josh Spence
9/13/05

With a week one win over Duke, the East Carolina football team has brought excitement for Pirate football to levels not reached in some time.  It’s amazing what a single win can do.  Now the team hopes to do something that hasn’t been done since 1999, start a season 2-0.  Imagine the hype that would surround this program if they could come up with their second straight win over an in-state, ACC opponent.  This town would go crazy, there would be some worried Mountaineers in Morgantown, and Skip Holtz' name would mysteriously appear on the ballot for the 2008 presidential election.

A win over Duke was a terrific way to start the season, and Skip Holtz' tenure as head football coach.  But make no mistake, the ECU coaching staff knows a win over Duke hardly makes the season and the resurgence of the Pirate football program complete.  The Pirates had a bye following their week one win, but the team did not spend their off-week double preparing for Wake Forest.  Instead, they focused internally, working on things that the Pirates could improve on within themselves.   Now that it’s game week, the Pirates will spend their time focused on the Demon Deacons, and getting that 2nd win. 
   
Winning this game is not impossible.  Although Wake Forest has beaten the Pirates in 5 out of 7 games, including the last 4 years in a row, remember last year's game.  The Pirates trailed at one point 24-3, but rallied with 14 unanswered points off of turnovers, capped off by Chris Johnson’s 86 yard TD run that cut the Deacon lead to 7.  The Pirates know they can play with this squad but can they do it on the road?
   
East Carolina will need more production from the running game if they hope to be successful.  After the day that Aundrae Allison had against Duke, Allison will no-doubt be a marked man.  That should allow the Pirates to spread the ball around more effectively, but again they will need more than 76 yards combined rushing from the tailbacks if the offense is to run at full speed.
   
The Pirates will also need to stop the run to be successful.  Wake Forest currently ranks 29th in the nation in rushing offense.  Jim Grobe’s squad will look to run early and often, and the Pirates must be ready.  In week one Wake Forest starting tailback Chris Barclay did not play due to suspension, his backup Micah Andrews carried for more than 250 yards.  However, the Demon Deacons have struggled.  Jim Grobe’s squad may have been caught looking forward in week one, as Vanderbilt came away with the stunning upset. In week two, turnovers bit the Deacons, as Nebraska’s Defense scored 3 touchdowns and held Wake Forest to only 3 points. 
   
Winning this week in Winston Salem will be no small feat for the Pirates, but oh how sweet it would be.  Here’s to a big party on Saturday night, going into Morgantown 2-0, and Skip Holtz for president!

Josh Spence
josh@pirateradio1250.com