ARTICLE OF THE DAY
Season on the Line
by Josh Spence
Skip Holtz had one goal
for his first season at the helm of the Pirate ship; win as many games
as this team possibly could. Whether the Pirates have done that
or not is up for debate. But here we are in November, and the Pirates
still have a shot at becoming bowl eligible. To do so the Pirates
will have to win their final three games, and following a week off the
team remains confident.
With only three games left the Pirates must now bring a “must-win”
attitude in to each game. In essence, East Carolina starts the
playoffs now. A win for the Pirates prolongs their chances of
playing in the post-season for the first time since 2001. One
loss puts the final nail in the coffin that represents the Pirates’
bowl game aspirations.
However, this game-by-game mentality is nothing new to this team.
Since day one, Skip Holtz has made a commitment to focus on one game at
a time. A blue-collar approach of taking what your opponent gives
you, learning from each game, and being the best team possible on any
given Saturday. It is this approach that gives this team a
The road to the post-season is not an easy one, nor is it
impossible. East Carolina plays 2 of its final 3 on the
road. This team has been a pleasant surprise on the road.
ECU is only 1-3 on the road this year, but has lost all 3 by a combined
margin of 18 points.
The Pirates finish the regular season with two middle-of-the-road teams
in the East division of Conference USA: Marshall and UAB.
However, this weekend the Pirates travel to take on the 4-2 Tulsa
Golden Hurricanes, who sit comfortably in 2nd place in Conference USA’s
Winning out will be no easy task for the Pirates, however several
factors are still keeping this squad confident. ECU has two weeks
to prepare for Tulsa who is coming off of a tough 3-point loss at West
division leader UTEP. Add to that the fact that the Pirates are
coming off of their best offensive production of the season, racking up
542 total yards against UCF. The Pirate offense got some much
needed help from the running game, with JUCO transfer Brandon Fractious
leading a Pirate running attack which gained 272 rushing yards.
The key for East Carolina will be to win the turnover battle. ECU
was plus 5 in turnover margin through their first 7 ball games, but 6
turnovers against UCF ruined that number. Turnovers also cost the
Pirates a chance against Southern Miss earlier this year. Other
than that contest against USM, the Pirates have had a chance to win
late in every ball game this season. A chance they hope to have once
again this Saturday at Tulsa.