Bits and Bytes: WVU - ECU

It's a prime tailgating environment: A late afternoon start, beautiful weather and Mountaineer football. We offer up these last pieces of information for discussion and digestion before WVU and ECU take the field. Game Scorecard
Sat 9/12/09 3:30 PM

Morgantown, WV

Mountaineer Field
Record: 1-0
Last Game
Liberty W 33-10
Radio: MSN
Record: 1-0
Last Game
Appy St W 29-24
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2009 Schedule

Series: WVU 17-3
First Meeting: 1970
Last Meeting: 2008
Press Release
Season Stats
2009 Schedule

Click for Morgantown, West Virginia Forecast


We promise, no cheesy Pirate jokes. Those were played out, oh, about 15 years ago. As penance for our past sins in that area, we offer this challenging trivia question. Other than Pirates, what two nicknames have been used by East Carolina football teams?


As noted previously on this site, East Carolina will look to control the pace of the game offensively by running the ball as it did in 2007, with enough passing mixed in to keep West Virginia off balance. The key to the latter, however, will be quarterback Patrick Pinkney's accuracy. In ECU's wins over Virginia Tech and WVU in 2008, the sixth-year senior was blisteringly effective. He completed 82.6% of his passes (19-23) against the Hokies, and followed that up with a 78.6% showing (22-28) against the Mountaineers. Those two games are first and fourth all time, respectively, in ECU's single game pass completion percentage records. If Pinkney is in the 60-65% range on Saturday, West Virginia will be hard-pressed to come away with a win.


We've seen a lot of observations from fans concerning this week's game, and one of the prevailing themes is that WVU should beat ECU because it has done so in the past. Another view is that since many are predicting a close game, it means that West Virginia's program has fallen off a cliff in terms of achievement. Neither perception, of course, is correct.

One fact that seems to escape fans of any team is that other programs can improve. Virginia Tech wasn't always strong – in fact, the school was ready to dump Frank Beamer after six years of bad to middling results – but it stayed the course and built itself into a perennial ten-win team (although it had to jump to the weaker ACC to do it). Still, the point is clear – other programs should be judged by where they are now, not what the were ten or twenty years ago.

For years, Maryland was West Virginia's measuring stick. Beat the Terrapins, and a successful season was in the offing. Well, like it or not, ECU is that team this year. There's no doubt that the Pirates are much better than the Terrapins in 2009, so why the problems with the comparisons for this game? The facts are simple: Both teams have high aspirations for 2009, and the team that wins it is going to have a very good win under its belt.


As we learned three weeks ago, West Virginia has a 27-year-old on its roster in the form of Bryan Logsdon, who joined the Navy out of high school and finally landed a spot on the Mountaineer squad as a walk-on this fall. Not to be outdone, East Carolina boasts its own elder statesman in defensive lineman Kwaku Danso, a 27-year-old international student from Ghana. Danso, who is ECU's only foreign-born player, earned an academic scholarship in 2004, but did not play football until 2007. He has yet to take a snap in a game, but his second team status suggests he is close to seeing the first game action of his career.


Lou Holtz' continuing homerism toward Notre Dame has passed pathetic and moved to downright embarrassing. How can ESPN, with pretty much unlimited resources, settle for someone that can't string two sentences together and has to rely on vaudeville schticks like "Dr. Lou" and "Pep Talk" to fill airtime? (Aside to ESPN: Whoever wrote that "Dr. Lou" song should be barred from ever writing music again.)

And just to show this isn't a hater rant on all things ESPN, or on teams we don't like, we don't have a problem with Mark May. Although he certainly says a lot of things we don't agree with, he's relatively inoffensive, and at least tries to inject some real football into the carny sideshow of ESPN's weeknight games. It reads here that host Rece Davis has to be cringing every time he is forced to take the air with Holtz, who last made a meaningful point in 1995.


ECU teams in the mid-1970s were ground-based to the extreme. In 1975, the Pirates recorded their all-time high single-game rushing total with 642 yards (that's not a typo) against Virginia. And one year earlier, the Pirates had not one, not two, but three games in which it failed to pass for a single yard. On Sept. 14, the Pirates didn't pass for a yard against Bowling Green. Two weeks later, the Pirates duplicated that "feat" against Southern Illinois. Less than a month later, ECU completed the trio of goose eggs with no yards through the air against Appalachian State.

Have to wonder: Has any other Division ! team failed to pass for a yard in three different games in the same season since, say, 1950?


ECU has been known as both the Teachers and the Buccaneers prior to settling on the Pirates.

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