Great Expectations
by Kevin Monroe

After three fairly impressive showings the Pirates finally have a disappointing one.  The week 1 Duke game gave East Carolina fans a reason for hope, a reason to feel good about a team that we have felt bad about for 2 ½ years.  From there, the Pirates got down 31-6 to Wake Forest on the road and mounted a comeback that was encouraging to all who saw it, even though they came up short.  The Wake game showed us that this year’s team could move the ball on offense and they possessed the fortitude to fight when they got behind.  Game 3 versus West Virginia was East Carolina’s first test in a hostile environment, and they played there best game yet defensively, but never seemed to get it going on offense.

The result of those first three games was Great Expectations from the Pirate nation for this team. Even though in the pre-season, a look at the upcoming schedule led most to believe the Pirates would most likely be 1-3 after week four.  I just don’t think we expected them to play so well in the first three.  Realistically East Carolina could have been 3-0 going into Saturday’s game, had a few things gone their way in the two losses.  Looking back on it now, I wonder if the expectations we have on this team are as realistic as they were on August 1st  before the season started. 

This past Saturday’s game versus Southern Mississippi was a definite setback.  The Pirates were ineffective on offense, defense and special teams.  On top of that, ECU managed to fumble the ball four times and throw one interception.  The first half’s defensive effort was pretty good considering the amount of time they were on the field and the bad field position they were handed, but the second half was not impressive at all.

These next two weeks of football should prove to be a tad easier than the past two, and hopefully East Carolina can win them both and regain that confidence they had after the Duke game.  The rebuilding process is not one that happens overnight and I feel great about this team after four weeks.  I don’t think they are a bowl team this season, I hope they manage to win 4 or 5 ball games, but I am very confident this program is headed in the right direction.  It’s hard to lose, and I know everyone wants this team to be winners right now, but those expectations were probably more than this program can handle right now.

Kevin Monroe