Are the Pirates Back?
by Kevin Monroe

I hate to say I told you so, but I did.  I predicted that after the first six games the Pirates would be 3-3.  I’m certainly not Nostradamus, but I did know this would be a rebuilding year in a much easier conference.  Let’s face it - with the loss of Louisville, Cincinnati, and South Florida, then the addition of SMU, Rice and Tulsa, the conference certainly didn’t upgrade the conference's BCS standing.  I know there were some other teams involved in the mix, but you get my point.

The 2005 season was our first look at what Skip Holtz and his heavyweight staff had in store for us.  Well, after six weeks my grade is a B+.  I am very excited about the direction this program is heading and my score would be an A if I felt better about ECU’s run offense or defense.  All season long this team has struggled to run the ball, but have shown glimpses of run ability.  The run defense has also been lackluster with the exception of the West Virginia game, where the entire defense was stellar. 

Every other facet has improved by leaps and bounds.  The kicking game behind the strong leg of the “General” Robert Lee has been awesome, only missing one field goal through 6 games.  The punting game has been steady but Ryan Daugherty has yet to reach his full potential.  The passing game has been the catalyst to East Carolina’s 3 victories behind the strong arm of James Pinkney and the brilliance of star receiver Aundrae Allison. 

The most impressive thing about the 2005 squad however is the resurgence of the defensive backs.  For the last few years the DB’s have been one of the worst position groups on the team, but this season has been a different story. The defensive backs swarm to the football and have been the most impressive group through the first half of the season. 

The Pirates have taken their lumps this season and they will probably lose again, but they continue to impress ECU fans with their resilience and their will to compete in every game.  It seems as though the days when the Pirates were everybody’s homecoming game may be about over.  Welcome back Pirates!

Kevin Monroe