Now, following an opening day loss to Wake Forest (19-21) and to Syracuse (30-44), ECU's two wins, over Tulane (51-24) and William & Mary (38-23) respectively seem lost in all the disappointment emanating from Pirate fans. To them, the resulting 2-2 record seems like a losing one and is prompting many to abandon the ship before it sets sail to Chapel Hill.
By contrast, the Heels will confidently swagger into Saturday's home game despite a losing record of 2-3. Following an inauspicious 0-3 start the Heels shellacked then 4th ranked Florida State 41-9 followed by a 17-9 win over NC State in Raleigh this past Saturday. Their three losses, against 4th ranked Oklahoma, 5th ranked Texas, and surprising 25th ranked Maryland certainly aren't anything to be ashamed of. Collectively, that group has yet to lose a game.
Even in defeat, ECU's team is showing signs of emerging from a seeming emotional malaise. Down 20-3 at one point Saturday, the pirates fought back and took the lead on two separate occasions. Pirate coach Steve Logan definitely thinks his team is coming together and described the setback in the Carrier Dome as a "Tough game, tough game. But I'm really proud of our players."
On the surface, it would appear that UNC is primed to lay a hurtin' on the Pirates, but if the history of the ECU-UNC series is any indication, an old sports cliche' applies - in games like this you can throw out the record books.