Slow Starts Killing Pirates
by Josh Spence

In each of the Pirates' 3 victories this season, they have carried a lead into halftime.  In the Pirates' 5 losses, they have not lead at the half, and in the first half have been outscored by a combined margin of 105 -29.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that slow starts are killing this team. 

In the second half of the 5 Pirate losses, they have outscored the very same opponents 67-49.  In fact, the only game lost by the Pirates this year in which they did not outscore their opponent in the second half was against Southern Miss.  Why the slow start?  Good question.  What do you do about starting slow?  Another good question.  Recently some have joked that ECU should scrimmage for 30 minutes before the start of all their games to prepare themselves for the first half. 

All joking aside, this has become a serious issue for the Pirates.  In their 3 wins this year, the Pirates proved that they could score early, but why not consistently?  So what’s the good news?  Well, this isn’t all bad.  For one, ECU has proven not only to fans but to themselves that they can rebound within a given game.  A very important trait of winning teams that has not been present in the recent past.  Also, the Pirates can take pride in the fact that they are adjusting well at halftime.  Credit the coaching staff for that one. 

Let us all remember that we are still in a rebuilding phase.  However, the losses are especially painful when you feel like the chance to win was there, and not taken.  It is clear that this program is headed in the right direction, but if Holtz and the Pirates want to keep it that way, they better figure out how to compete in the first half.

Josh Spence