Another Moral Victory
by Kevin Monroe

After Saturday’s 30-20 Pirate loss to the Golden Knights of Central Florida, there were plenty of positives to build on.  You are kidding yourself if you don’t think we should accept moral victories.  This program is in a rebuilding stage with only six wins in its last 30 ball games. Whenever the Pirates take the field, there is a moral victory to be won. East Carolina started the season with several issues that needed to be addressed, and each game played has been another opportunity to get better. 

Defending the pass was a problem that plagued the Pirates all last year, but leading into the UCF game, the DB's have been their strongest position group.  The emergence of the secondary with three interceptions in the Duke game, even though it was a real victory, was Moral Victory #1.  Saturday’s performance was not a good one for the DB’s, giving up several big plays throughout the game.  That being said, the collection of corners and safeties, as a whole, has been very refreshing for the Pirate defense.   Defending the run has been the major problem this season so far, but the performance versus West Virginia a few weeks ago was a glimpse at what could happen when the front seven perform well (Moral Victory # 2).
The most disappointing thing about this season has been the fact that the Pirates haven’t been able to run the ball consistently. On Saturday they managed to rush for 272 yards and 6.6 yards per carry. The combination of Brandon Fractious and Dominique Lindsay was more than impressive (Moral Victory # 3).
The return to greatness at East Carolina is not going to happen overnight: let’s face it, we are not Miami, and we can’t just reload.  We rebuild.  During that time, there will be big wins, disappointing losses and moral victories.  Saturday’s abilities to run and throw the football were moral victories, and if anyone says otherwise, they are in denial. With three games remaining, there is still an opportunity for postseason play. The most important requirement is to improve each week. Finishing strong will certainly give the Pirates a head start on the 2006 season, which could be the one we have been waiting for.

Kevin Monroe