For ECU, ending its bowl skid of four-straight losses was huge for the program on multiple fronts. The negative impacts of losing a bowl game to a team that ECU was favored to beat would've likely shown up most in recruiting.
Luckily for the Pirates, they took care of business – ultimately keeping some commits interested and solidly committed.
2014 ECU commit and Lady's Island (Beaufort, S.C.) tight end Stephen Baggett was confident ECU would get the win. He committed to the Pirates back in June and stands by his decision.
"It was no surprise to me the ECU won," said the 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end. "They proved to me a long time ago how good they are, but it does make my decision feel more secure than it already was. Even though I was already 100 percent ECU."
Baggett mentioned he enjoyed the game eating steaks with a couple of his teammates at a local sports restaurant.
2014 Florida State (Tallahassee) offensive tackle Garrett McGhin committed to ECU at the beginning of December. McGhin, who was originally committed to South Alabama, admitted he envisioned the game going a bit different.
"I think it should've been more of a blow out," said the 6-foot-6, 280-pound McGhin. "(ECU) was up by 14 and I think we let off the gas."
Nonetheless, McGhin was impressed with his future schools' performance.
"It was a great win though!," he said. "It makes me even more excited to be a Pirate. I can't wait to get up there and make this a tradition."
McGhin went on to say he enjoyed the game at home watching with his family.
For ECU to lock up its first bowl win in Ruffin McNeill's tenure and its first since 2007 is huge for the recruiting game.
While a lot of fans and members of the media may believe ECU should have ended up in a better bowl had the season turned out better, a win is a win.
The negative effects of a bowl loss may not have had detrimental impacts on the program's recruiting, but the positive effects are unmeasurable.
With the bowl game having been played in St. Petersburg, Florida the Pirates may have made their way onto the televisions of many potential future recruits in the state.