Nov 15, 2011

State of the Program - for reals

So, this football season is not quite turning out like I had hoped and I am pretty worried about the state of the program. I think that Coach Ruff is an awesome guy who I am pulling for to get it going right in season 3, but we look to be trending down.

My blog as my current thoughts but I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the state of the program heading into 2012. What say you gentlemen (please give it real thought Robb)?

Oct 8, 2011

Shameless plug for all 3 of you

A new post is up for my new blog. A blog of one reader...myself. That said, it is ECU focused. Here she be: Purple Haze Insider.

Would appreciate your feedback (particularly since you guys are better at it than I). Also, sign up so I have at least 2-3 subscribers.

Go Pirates!

Sep 27, 2011

East Carolina Grad Thinks East Carolina A State

Hilarious. From The Onion:

JACKSONVILLE, FL—At a press conference Monday, Jaguars quarterback and East Carolina University alum David Garrard indicated through certain statements to reporters that "East Carolina" is one of the 50 United States. "I can say without hesitation that it is definitely my favorite of all the Carolinas," said the former ECU Pirate, who, when pressed, identified the imaginary commonwealth's capital as Greenville and its state bird as the red-necked grebe. "There's just this enormous sense of state pride over there that I felt as soon as came across the North Carolina border. And it's a progressive state, too: Did you know Obama carried East Carolina?" Garrard later told reporters that if he had to choose one state to live in, it would be between Western Kentucky and Ball State.

Sep 17, 2011

I Predict we DO NOT LOSE this weekend

Hah! Got you guys.

Bye week...uggggghhhhh.

UAB on the clock and if we do not beat this team to a pulp on both sides of the ball...Robb's prediction could come true.

Cheers all!

Sep 12, 2011

Robb's predictions

We win three games this year, at least. Who is our coach now? I don't even know. Holtz left, right? Go Pirates.

Kudos to Ron for resurrecting this blog.

Sep 11, 2011

First Loss that I actual feel OK about

Some times, the better team actually does simply shut you down. The Virginia Tech defense got into Dominique Davis' head and earned every bit of that win on Saturday. They shut us down...physically and mentally.

I hate losing - particularly a game where we had our chances despite being dominated by the Hokies defense - but have to say that I was very pleased with our defense. Say what you will about how tough it has been for us to stop the run, but I do not believe we will see better rushing teams than we have seen in the first two weeks of the season.

I believe no other opponents, including UNC, have the horses that Virginia Tech and South Carolina have on defense and our chances at getting back to the CUSA title game are pretty good. I think the bigger talent is in the West and with USM losing a conference game already, we are in a good position with two weeks to prep for UAB.

Congrats to the Hokies...they won and should have. Feel good about our team. Do not believe we will see another day like Saturday again from Davis.

Sep 4, 2011

Pirates get Rocked, but there is HOPE

After watching the Pirates fall apart again in a second-half of football on Saturday night in Charlotte to #12 USC, I have a full appreciation of the fact that the defense at ECU has worked awfully hard and is much improved. Our O, however, completely Navyed the team by turning over the ball on 4-straight offensive possessions in the 3Q handing the game to USC. Horribly embarrassing. Sans that debacle, the team was not bad and the O-line in its first game together handled one of the country's top defensive fronts incredibly well. Down two of our top four receivers, the offense still generated 4 pass TDs and a rushing TD.

The bottom line is that the Defense didn't have a chance. After an excellent first half where the D helped the O to a 24-14 lead at the half, the Defense was faced with 3 straight possessions where the Gamecocks had the ball inside our territory, 2 times inside the 20. Through in a score by USC's defense and the Pirates D is tagged with 56 points, 28 of which were not their fault.

Anyway, as we do each season, here are the 2011 predictions (sans USC).

Predictions (Gentlemen please chime in):

Week 1 - #12 South Carolina @ neutral (Charlotte): We face the most hyped team this pre-season in the Ole Ball Coach's Gamecocks. They have firepower in RB Marcus Lattimore and a defensive front full of NFL-bound talents. This will be one of the best defensive fronts we will play this year. Because we have a class coach, two of our standouts - CB Emanuel Davis and IWR Michael Bowman - are suspended for a bad behavior in summer. Unlike our coach, the Ole Scumbag is playing his 5-time offending QB Stephen Garcia because Spurrier wants to win and there is no cost too high to do so. That is also why his OC who was caught urinating in public was suspended for a single off-season day. Spurrier's behavior, if you ask me, is very indicative of a team that is likely among the group cheating. (Which makes you wonder how he got so many top players to attend a school with a century of losing under its belt).

[Post post note: South Carolina, behind 5-time offender QB Garcia turned 4 straight turnovers in the first-four ECU possessions of the 2nd half into 28 points and beat us 56-37]

Week 2 - #13 Virginia Tech @ home: We get Bowman and Davis back which is a big boost and our team has proven they can force another team to punt. The question is will the offense turn over the ball in big numbers. Expect another home sellout and a Virginia Tech team that could once again overlook the Pirates. The Hokies are breaking in a new QB and have been described as having to have "young defenders get older in a hurry."

RON's prediction: The Pirates' offense gets it together and does not turn the ball over more than 1 time while the defense gets to the Hokies new QB. Pirates get the huge upset, 38-24.

Greg: We still take this rivalry more seriously than do the Hokies. We eek out the upset. ECU 31 - 28 (only 2 of the TDs are given up by our D)

Week 3 - UAB @ home:
After two powerhouse, top-15 opponents, the Pirates open the conference slate with a division opponent. UAB will be improved, but with the ECU defense on the rise, the Blazers will not have enough to beat us, particularly in front of another sold out home stadium.

RON's prediction: Pirates offense shines in engineering first blowout of the season. Defense chips in a score as well as the Pirates start the CUSA slate perfect. Pirates move to 2-1 powered by a 56-21 victory.

Greg: We're better than them. ECU 42-17

Week 4 - UNC @ Home: Despite the fact that UNC has cheated and redefined cheating for a major college, they still have some talented players - for now - and will be up for their game with us. Another packed house will await the powder blue boys from the west. Being home won't guarantee that the officials won't screw...hard to say who is still on the UNC payroll, but our boys will be looking to exact some revenge from last season and they are likely to get that satisfaction this time around.

RON's prediction: The Pirates' offense learned from its bout with USC and will have no problems with the junior varsity Carolina. The offense does its part and this time around, the defense rises to slap around the Tar Heels young QB. Pirates win 35-10.

Greg: If God isn't a Pirate fan, why is the sky purple and gold? UNC is a disgrace to college football. They deserve a beat down at the hands of a classy, mid-major program (even though I did run into Robert Jones at the KFC on Greenville Blvd driving a new Mercedes C Class during his senior year). ECU 27 -6.

Week 5 - @Houston: This one worries me a lot. Case Keenum is back and he lit up UCLA in the opener. Being on the road gives the Cougars a slight edge in a game between two similarly fashioned teams. It comes down to the turnovers and sacks. The Pirates will need to really execute and get to Keenum ala the 2009 CUSA title game.

RON's prediction: The Cougars edge the Pirates in a shootout, 49-44 putting the Pirates at 3-2, 1-1 on the season.

Greg: I'd like to predict a victory, but Houston's O will out gun us. Plus, they're still pissed about the '09 C-USA tile game. UH 35 - 23

Week 6 - @Memphis: There is absolutely no analysis that has the Pirates losing this game. The Memphis program is in shambles and they are simply not good in any phase of game. The Pirates O and D will be too good to lose this game. With Navy ahead, our boys may overlook the Tigers, but even then, it won't matter.

RON's prediction: The Pirates' could very well overlook the Tigers, but not enough to lose, Pirates win going away, 44-14.

Greg: The Pirates hang a 50 on the Tigers in front of 637 fans. ECU 50 - 9

Week 7 - @Navy: Not only did Navy pound us in 2010, they flat out embarrassed our team. Navy. Navy will be another challenge given the triple-option and they will have guys who can run it. The Pirates D will be better positioned to play against it this time around and hopefully will be pissed off about last year's mess.

RON's prediction: This game has me worried as I don't know if our guys can adjust to this offense for a single week enough to stop it. My hope is that the Pirates offense does not implode the way it did a year ago, but after the USC game, clearly our O has that in it. Still, I think we get it right this time, and squeak past Navy in a 42-38 thriller and the Pirates go to 5-2, 2-1 on the season.

Greg: I've been through a lot as a Pirate fan, but last year's humiliation by the Midshipmen really sticks in my craw. Ruff is going to have our boys hungry for this hungry as Ruff is now all the time. ECU 35 - 24

Week 8 - Tulane @Home: Tulane is an improved team so getting them at home is good. Unfortunately, it also sets up a classic trap scenario for the Pirates who will be riding high with a 5-2 record and focusing on Southern Miss the next week. Tulane will be upset minded so this game will likely be closer than many might expect. The Pirates should be able to outpace them, however, but Tulane has a good shot in this one.

RON's prediction: Pirates will lock down focus on this game and the offense will fly high. The defense will have shown a half-season of improvement and show up big-time. Pirates get win number 6 in front of another sold-out DFS crowd, 49-28.

Greg: Trap game....Doh! Tulane 21 -13

Week 9 - Southern Miss @ home: So, in comes Southern Miss still smarting from that crazy game a year ago. They will be jacked up and the odds will be in their favor as the Pirates have never beat them 3 years in a row. The Fick will be packed and the team should be juiced. This is a game that comes down to who wants it more and who executes best. It will be a barn-burner as they say.

RON's prediction: The Pirates achieve the unheard of - a three-game streak against the Golden Eagles. Not sure how they are going to do it, but I believe it will happen. ECU ensures a winning season, taking out its most-respected rival, 38-28.

Greg: Sure am glad this one's at home. We'll need every 12th man in the place to secure a victory against USM. Three in row....the rivalry intensifies...... ECU 27-24

Week 10 - @ UTEP: Bad...very bad and very good that they are the other West division team we have to face. Pirates should win this one in their sleep, but note that Central Florida is the next opponent. ECU has much more talent and experience than UTEP.

RON's prediction: Pirates show great discipline and focus in not looking past the Miners. Toast them on the road in an empty stadium, 56-17 and improve to 8-2, 4-1.

Greg: Ruff turns the Tulane trap loss into lemonade by inspiring the Pirates to use the Miners as a tune-up fodder for next week. ECU 49 - 14

Week 11 - UCF @ home: Defending CUSA champs come to our house cocky and dismissive of the Pirates, as they continue to boast like 2010 was indicative of their history - which we all know sucks. The Pirates own the series and despite a drop off last season, it took an exceptional defense for the Knights to beat the Pirates at home. ECU players should have had this game circled from the beginning.

RON's prediction: Pirate pride rises in this one. UCF's baseless arrogance precedes its arrival in DFS and the ECU team breaks out a case of whoop-ass. Pirates rock the cocky Knights, 54-21. (OK, probably more like 35-28, but I so hate UCF).

Greg: Man....did we get all the best home games this season or what? I hate these guys. They represent everything that's wrong with the BCS system. Do they have fans that spend time updating a blog, once a year, making ridiculous predictions...... that no one reads? Of course not. That's why we'll beat them. ECU 38 -35

Week 12 - @Marshall: Pirates travel to Marshall whose defense will be very good. The Pirates will be on the cusp of locking down a 10-win season and a return trip to the CUSA title. Pressure will be enormous for this one. And, we all know how the Pirates tend to handle pressure...eek.

RON's prediction: The Pirates fall behind early but scratch back to pull out the CUSA East title and clinch a 10-win season, 35-31.

Greg: I have us needing this one to secure a ninth win. The game is not for double digit wins, but it's for a spot in the title game. Much respect to the Thundering Herd, what with that connection to the airplane crash and all, but we beat 'em like a red headed step child. ECU 42 - 19

C-USA Championship Game - ECU v. SMU: Pirates meet the Mustangs in a display of offensive fireworks. The team with the better D wins it.

RON's prediction: The Pirates' ride the Davis duo (Dominique and Emanuel) to put together the best game of the season and win a 3rd CUSA title 28-24.

Greg: Before the game, Terry Holland announces to 50K Pirate faithful that he just inked a deal for us to joined the SEC. Slightly embarrassing to the C-USA dignitaries, but hey, we've been waiting a long time for this. ECU 31-30

Repeat after me: "I love the East Carolina Pirates. One day they will play on broadcast TV every week. Before I die, they will win the National Championship. Arrrrrrggghhhhhhhhh!!!!

Go Pirates!!!!!!!

Sep 4, 2010

2010 Pirate predictions

This, is a great article written by fellow Pirate Booty blogger Ron Cherubini.

He's dead-on about our Pirates, the media and the collective lack of respect our team has received going into this season. Granted, we lost a great coach and a butt-load of great players. But I'm optimistic about our chances and I think our schedule should support rebuilding throughout the season. I love that we're opening with a meaningful conference game at home. That's what we need this year to get the juices flowing....not a trip to WVU or William & Mary.

Predictions (Matt....calling you to join in):

Week 1 - Tulsa @ home: We get to open with a home day game against a western rival who we've owned of late. Our boys will come out of the purple haze in front of a sold out, 50k+ crowd on ESPN2. Tell me that won't provide some kind of boost for a newbie team trying to establish its identity. Pirate Nation will be in full force to remind them that they are the champions.
(W) ECU 51- Tulsa 49

ROBB PREDICTS: We win on a hail Mary in a shootout
Ron Predicts: Pirates win on called play named "Big Ben" and win 51-49.

Week 2 -Memphis @ home: The opening win boosts the collective confidence level of our team and they lay a beat down on the Tigers......the way God intended it.
(W) ECU 35 -Memphis 10

ROBB PREDICTS: We win by a brazillion points, setting an NCAA record for longest snake made of cups.
Ron Predicts: Pirates Defense shows up for the first 15 minutes and we win going away.

Week 3 - @ VaTech: We get one of the next two games. Not this one....not yet. Btw, this rivalry will be so much better when we're in a BCS conference.
(L) ECU 13 - VaTech 28

ROBB PREDICTS: We get destroyed by at least 40.
Ron Predicts: Pirates offense against Hokies offense...we outscore them 38-32.

Week 4 - @UNC: After a bye week to lick our wounds and reflect on a 2-0 C-USA start, we come out and win one against the arrogant, looking past us Tarheels. Half way to to claiming football supremacy in the state of North Carolina. In a couple weeks we'll earn the trophy.
(W) ECU 26 - UNC 15 (yeah, I know...weird score.... might be a safety or two in this one)

ROBB PREDICTS: Despite being investigated for cheating, UNC is still cheating and whips us good.
Ron Predicts: Road weary Pirates fall short against the cheaters, lose 41-35.

Week 5 - @Southern Miss: This one worries me. Night game, Brett Farvvvraa on the sidelines, rivalry week, they're just a bit better than us this year.
(L) ECU 17 - SoMiss 24

ROBB PREDICTS: We never beat them.

Ron Predicts: Pirates offense too much to keep up with for USM, end road trip with a 44-28 win.

Week 6 - NC State @ home: I don't care how new the players are to Ruff's system or what the match-ups are on the field. We're at home and everyone in Purple 'n Gold gets up for this one. The two time defending C-USA Champions beat this perennially mediocre ACC team like a red headed step child.
(W) ECU 35 - NC State 9

ROBB PREDICTS: We should always and forever beat them and we do.
Ron Predicts: State has owned our ass three-straight games. It ends with a much needed home game where Pirates plus the fans send State home lozers, 41-31.

Week 7 - Marshall @ home: Marshall is a tough team. They want to beat us at home and control their own destiny in the east. Alas, they don't.
(W) ECU 27 - Marshall 21

ROBB PREDICTS: We get blown out.
Ron Predicts: Pirates' home field advantage sways this one. Pirates win battle over control of pace on offense to win going away, 49-28.

Week 8 - @Central Florida: Because of the stumble against the Eagles, we need this game to control our destiny. We've been building confidence and acumen all season long. The boys bring their jocks down to Orlando and pull out a victory. This team begins to truly believe they've got the right stuff ....another block in the foundation is cemented. (Oh...and the Knights start shopping for a new coach. O'leary puts "Coached two teams to the National Championship" on his resume)
(W) ECU 30 - UCF 13

ROBB PREDICTS: We take a huge lead early but the defense sucks and we lose on a hail Mary.
Ron Predicts: Not convinced George O'Leary can beat us...even at home. Pirates too much for Knights, 44-21.

Week 9 - Navy @ home: The wishbone comes to town. And we let the foot off the accelerator. Disappointing loss, but SoMiss looses to Tulane....and we own the tie breaker with Marshall in the east.
(L) ECU 13 - Navy 20

ROBB PREDICTS: Another team we should beat and we don't.
Ron Predicts: Upset special. Navy offense keeps pace with Pirates and ends home win-streak with a 49-48 upset.

Week 10 - @ UAB: They used to be the team that would consistently throw a monkey wrench on our season. Not this year, just some more road kill in the East Division.
(W) ECU 31 - UAB 3

ROBB PREDICTS: We kill them.
Ron Predicts: Big bounce back game, Pirates crush UAB, 63-17.

Week 11 - @ Rice: They out gun us on the road. We were starting to think about post conference play. Classic trap game.
(L) ECU 35 - Rice 38

ROBB PREDICTS: We should always kill nerds and we almost blow it but pull it out in the fourth quarter not on a hail Mary.
Ron Predicts: Rice not good, but at home better than bad. Pirates win in a struggle, 38-35.

Week 12 - SMU @ home: Day after thanksgiving, Greg Jones makes the trip home to see the new stadium (and show Natalie and Andrew why East Carolina is so special). His beloved Pirates reward him with a win that vaults them into the championship game.
(W) ECU 38 - SMU 28

Ron Predicts: Pirates payback Mustangs for Bullshit loss last season, win 42-32.

C-USA Championship Game - ECU v. Houston: Both teams having been eyeing each other all season long from afar. We get the inevitable re-match that both teams wanted in their heart of hearts. The clueless sports "reporters" and prognosticators Ron referenced so eloquently in this article eat crow by the shovelful as we three-peat in front of their naked steaming eyes.
(W) ECU 35 - Houston 34

ROBB PREDICTS: We won't be in the championship game.
Ron Predicts: Pirates get rematch with Tulsa and this time, win without Big Ben, Pirates defense rises and the Pirates finish them off, 48-35 to Threepeat!

Then we'll loose to some mid-grade SEC team in the Liberty bowl......some things never change.

Go Pirates!!!!!!!

ROBB PREDICTS: I don't know what record my predictions put the Pirates at but I'm sure I will be off and we will get some bowl game that I will begrudgingly watch and enjoy because we will win.

Jan 12, 2010

Skip Holtz: Mutual interest between ECU coach, South Florida

As far as I'm concerned, Skip Holtz better get the job and take it because I am done with the guy. South Florida is a better job than ECU, Skip? Really? Thanks for a whole lot of nothing. Back to the drawing board. Maybe we can hire real coach this time, someone who can make something from nothing and stay for 14 years. I hear Jim Leavitt is looking for work.

ORLANDO -- East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said Tuesday there is mutual interest between himself and South Florida to fill the vacancy created recently when Jim Leavitt was fired.

Holtz was contacted Saturday night by the school, he said, after Leavitt was fired on Friday. Leavitt was accused of grabbing a player by the throat and slapping him twice. A school investigation contended that not only was the accusation true but also that Leavitt had impeded the investigation.

Leavitt held a news conference Monday denying any wrongdoing. During Leavitt's 14 seasons, the program grew from nothing to a Top 25 program on the cusp of winning a Big East title.

The school seems to be moving along quickly with its search. Michigan assistant Calvin Magee interviewed on Monday. Holtz quickly became a hot name for the job on Tuesday at the American Football Coaches Association national convention.

"There's a lot of positives to it," Holtz said. "It's definitely an up and coming program ... I really don't know what's going to happen. I got a call [from South Florida asking], ‘Would I have interest?' That's been the contact. My phone has blown up all morning."

Holtz' name has been linked to several openings in the past two seasons. The son of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz started the 2008 season 3-0 after beating West Virginia. The Pirates have won back-to-back Conference USA titles. In his fifth year with the program since leaving Connecticut, Holtz is 38-27 and 76-49 overall.

"Obviously there is some attraction," said Holtz whose wife, Jennifer, is from Florida. "I don't know what they're thinking or where they're going to go. The rumors that I've taken it, at this point, are not true."

Dec 11, 2009

Looking forward to the Liberty Bowl

Really excited about the Liberty Bowl. We're playing a VERY good SEC team. Much better than last year's opponent. Their offense will be similar to Houston's. So, we know we can defend it, although I sure hope we can hold them to less than 500 yards in the air.

This has turned out to be a great season. We played nine teams this year that are going to bowl games (App State has reached the final four of their post season tourney). We beat five of the nine, including some very good teams in So Miss and Houston. If we find a way to beat the hogs, we'll get into the AP top 25 and perhaps some preseason talk next year.

Ron - I'm going to probably pass on another trip to Memphis this year. Matt is going though. We should all try to get together for a game next season.

It's a great time to be a Pirate. Agggggrrrrrrrrhhh!