You Just Never Know
by Josh Spence

What a day of college football it was on Saturday.  After a long day of covering the Pirates, I headed home flipped on the TV and watched NC State with seemingly one last chance to come back against Boston College.  When Wolfpack quarterback Daniel Evans threw an interception with 3:08 remaining and the Pack trailing 15-10, I flipped the TV off and took my patiently awaiting dog for a walk.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the headline upon our return: “Evans Leads Wolfpack to Stunning Upset of Boston College.”

It happens every week.  Pollsters, prognosticators, and so called experts do their best to predict outcomes with sometimes unbelievable success.  However, as the old adage goes, that’s why they play the game and week in and week out there are so called “upsets.” Hey, it wouldn’t be entertaining if there wasn’t a surprise here and there. 

Saturday, East Carolina was a couple of mistakes away from pulling out one of the biggest upsets in school history.  You can go back now and pick out plays that potentially could have made the difference.  If Jerek Hewitt had fallen on that fumbled punt instead of trying to and pick it up and score.  If James Pinkey hadn’t fumbled in the WVU redzone, and if the Pirates could have stopped the screen pass to Darius Reynaud that went for 60 yards and a score.  If ECU had been able to flip these ifs, there might have been a different outcome. 

However, let’s focus on the positive.  ECU just had the fourth ranked team in the country on the ropes for three quarters.  It’s been a long time since ECU has had an effort like that against a team with any credentials.  See 2003 and 2004. 

Sitting back and looking at it now, it was a solid effort.  A good game plan executed by an improving football team.  On our 5th Quarter post-game call in show I think we might have given the wrong impression.  Some listeners heard us being critical, questioning calls, and pointing out mistakes.  Please understand we weren’t trying to take away from the play of the Pirates.  That show provides a forum for fans to voice their opinions, and bounce thoughts off of our sports team.  We play off of that and include our own opinions about what could have been done better.  And believe me, hind-sight is 20/20, and it’s one thing for us to sit here and talk about it, and as a wise man once said “a whole different animal” to actually get it done on the field. 

College football has become so competitive that just about every team in every game has a chance to win.  Heck, just ask Chuck Amato about Akron.  Look at Georgia’s game last weekend against Colorado.  The 9th ranked Bulldogs went into the fourth quarter trailing 13-0 at home to winless Colorado.  Had it not been for 14 4th quarter points, the Bulldogs would have been looking at a monumental slip-up. 

What about Tulsa’s overtime win at Navy.  The Golden Hurricane won on a blocked extra point after Navy scored the potential game tying touchdown on its first offensive play of overtime.  

It’s the reason we watch and it goes to show, you just never know.  

Josh Spence