banner
Jared Fialko

Misfires sink Pirates ship against Tech

Posted September 14, 2013
Updated September 15, 2013

It was there for the taking, and the Pirates knew it.  East Carolina had several chances to knock off Virginia Tech in Greenville for the first in a generation, they just couldn't drive the stake through the Hokies' heart.  In what had the potential to be a signature win for head coach Ruffin McNeill and a chance to vault into the AP or USA Today Top 25, ECU came up short in a game that was very "un-ECU-like."

Two weeks after surrendering nearly 500 yards of offense against Old Dominion, the Pirates cracked the whip on defense, containing one of the ACC's top gunslingers in Logan Thomas.  Running back Trey Edmunds was a non-factor, averaging only two yards per carry after toting the rock 21 times. 

However, the offense was equally as night-and-day as their first two efforts.  Shane Carden threw for 638 yards and seven scores against ODU and FAU, but struggled after a promising start.  In an aggressive move, ECU won the coin toss, elected to receive, and marched straight down the field, capping a five-play, 75 yard drive with a Carden-to-Bryce Williams touchdown toss.  It took only 99 seconds and looked effortless.  However, it was far from a harbinger of what the rest of the afternoon had in store. Receivers struggled against Tech's secondary to create much space downfield and as a result, Carden completed only three passes of 10 yards or longer following that opening possession. Justin Hardy had six receptions, but finished with only 31 yards receiving to his name. For a program in which "passing is not a hobby, it's a way of life," those numbers make for difficult living.  Toss in three turnovers and a safety into the mix, and that equals one cocktail no team would want to chug.

Still, East Carolina found itself with plenty of chances late in the ballgame thanks to a less-than-memorable day from Virginia Tech's Cody Journell.  Kickers never get much love to begin with, but Hopkins won't exactly be strutting around the student center in Blacksburg come Monday.  Journell shanks an extra point, two field goal tries, and a third that was negated by a running into the kicker penalty. By that point, Frank Beamer had seen enough to hedge his bets on converting a fourth-and-1 then attempt a 27-yarder.  If you listened closely, you could practically hear the Peyton Manning impressions from a state away:

Following the contest, the Pirates all seemed to think their good special teams fortunes were serendipitous.  No one had any doubt that they could knock off an ACC team in their house, time just ran out.  They may have had a few more minutes in the fourth quarter to make that happen, if not for possibly the only shortcoming on an otherwise stellar defensive day. Thomas extended two late game drives, taking costly ticks off the clock with four third down and one fourth down conversion.  As Teddy KBG might say, "those kids have alligator blood."

Disappointing in a sense that ECU wasn't just playing to "hang around" with an ACC team, but encouraging for coach McNeill that despite down some stalwarts due to injury, the defense passed an early season exam with flying colors. The Pirates will not face a quarterback the quality of Logan Thomas in their entire conference slate, with the possible exception of Marshall's Rakeem Cato, who is part of a juggernaut Thundering Herd offense that will live and die by the shootout.  Hardy, Carden and company will get back on track and if the defense can steadily apply pressure like they did on Saturday afternoon, there's no reason to believe that ECU shouldn't be able to contend for a league crown in its final year in the C-USA.

Currently listening to: Twenty One Pilots - "Holding on to You"

13 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • wolfbitesyourheels Sep 15, 2013

    That should read ban the ARRGH. The edit button is not working.

    Boy am I out of posting shape :-)

  • wolfbitesyourheels Sep 15, 2013

    The Hokie defense has looked very good. Foster made some really good adjustments early in this game. Maybe the Pirates missed some opportunities but sometimes you have to give your opponent credit for forcing those mistakes. Congrats to The Hokies.

    I have two sons that have graduated from ECU. I enjoyed watching this game. ECU has made tremendous improvements in recruiting and in their defensive play on the field.

    I still don't understand Conference USA's decision to band "THE ARRGH"!!!

  • StunGunn Sep 15, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Totally agree, johnny. Banter is fun, but to be mean spirited just for the sake of being mean doesn't add anything to these boards. I'd much rather see exchanges like yours where you can have an honest, adult conversation with another fan, even if that fan is on an opposing team.

  • johnnyaudit Sep 15, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Not everyone on a message board has to be nasty. Just those with smart comments. Fans of different teams can have respect for each other.

  • hsiflee Sep 15, 2013

    View quoted thread

    ...when is the wedding?

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 15, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Yes. Bud Foster has been the glue for this program for many years. Our fans follow the Hokies.

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 15, 2013

    ^^^ ECU's defense has improved leaps and bounds this season. Great recruiting and coaching.

  • tcoutouzis Sep 15, 2013

    VT's Defense is no doubt one of the Top 10 or 15 in the nation. They are going to win a lot of games for VT this year. This will be the best defense we will see all year. It was good that our offense got hampered by them, so that we can see where adjustments need to be made.

    I think people are missing the marked improvement of our defense this year. We were giving up an average of 500 yards or more a game against mediocre to good offenses. Last year, below average QB's looked like Heisman candidates on our defense. Rick Smith has done a heck of job only giving up 311 total yards to VT. Also, Didn't the VT running back Edmunds have over 200 yards rushing against Alabama? We held him to 42 yards. Rick Smith has done a heck of a job turning our pitiful defense around.

  • johnnyaudit Sep 15, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Was there and rarely saw any receiver open, especially in the second half. VaTech secondary did a great job in man to man and really made it easy for them to run selective blitzes. Hats off to Bud Foster who kept Alabama's offense to 205 yards and 2 offensive TD's.

  • ultimatefan6995 Sep 15, 2013

    Uh, I don't know what game someone saw but ECU wideouts were open often throughout the game. The QB & OC were too busy forcing the ball to Hardy, and Fr.Grayson, and it killed the game. Offense has too much talent across the board to struggle like it did yesterday when the game was there for the taking. Def showed up. Did a great job. Don't know who (coaching wise) was in the skybox watching but adjustments for Pirates weren't made (VaTech made & was expected) and that was to eat VaTech up with plays in the middle of field as VaTech did to ECU w/80 & 82. ECU staff lost the game. Instead of pumping up 2-3 players(No offense Hardy/Carden)coaches need to realize this is a "TEAM" sport. Guys played their hearts out.

More...

 

 

  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: RailHawks at Jacksonville

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Syracuse

    Tonight at 6:50 on Buzz Sports Radio

  • NBA: Golden State at Houston

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Syracuse

    Tomorrow at 6:20 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MLB: Detroit at LA Angels

    Sunday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
3:30pm Today
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Tonight
SYR
DUR
 
Final
CWS 3
BAL 2
Final
CWS 3
BAL 6
Final
BOS 5
TEX 1
Final
DET 2
ANA 12
Final
NYY 4
OAK 5
Final
CLE 5
SEA 3
Final
PIT 11
SDP 5
Final
ATL 0
SFG 7
4:05pm Today
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Tonight
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
8:00pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
 
12:00pm Today
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Today
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Today
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Today
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Today
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Today
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Today
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:00pm Today
OREGON
IOWA
 
2:30pm Today
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Today
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Today
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
3:30pm Today
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
4:00pm Today
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Tonight
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Tonight
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Tonight
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Tonight
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Tonight
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Tonight
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Tonight
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Tonight
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Tonight
SACREDHART
TCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Tonight
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Tonight
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Tonight
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
7:05pm Tonight
SYR
DUR