The college football season starts this Saturday.
Hush, hush. I meant to say that, and I’m absolutely correct:
IT STARTS THIS SATURDAY, OK?
And our season STARTS with the Pirates of East Carolina.
Not so familiar with ECU? Well, its time for some ‘boning up:
Remember, these are actual colleges with actual students:
East Carolina is a public, coeducational, doctoral/research university in Greenville, North Carolina. Operating for most of its history as East Carolina Teachers College, the university has expanded to become a leader in medical research as well as boasting a strong marine science program. The school is probably larger than you realize, having an enrollment of nearly 30,000 students (roughly the same number as Carolina).
The school’s official motto is Servire, which you will recognize as the present active infinitive latin verb meaning “to serve.” In this usage, it carrys the implication that the described action is needed immediately.
Indeed it is.
Here’s a health, East Carolina, we hope you will servire us quite nicely as we try to recover from our PRESEASON beatdown at the hands of the Aggies.
The weirdest thing about them:
I guess its also notably weird that the WWE’s Vince McMahon is a graduate of ECU, but since the radiant Ms. Sandra Bullock is also an alum, lets overlook it.
ECU’s head coach is Ruffin McNeill, which might just be the most football coach name ever. He’s another Mike Leach disciple, so expect the annoying AirRaid quick pitches all around the ballpark on Saturday. In addition to a long stint at Texas Tech, McNeill also coached at Clemson for a short time, so that’s reason enough to hate the man. But interestingly, he also coached our own Shaun Elliott at Appalachian State, so I guess we can call it a wash.
Strangely enough, a guy already named “Ruffin” also sports a nickname:
My nickname Tuffie was given to me by my Dad. For one I’m a Jr. and my neighborhood & childhood friends still call me Tuffie. :-)
— Ruffin McNeill (@RuffinMcNeill) February 25, 2014
Recruiting is always a challenge for the Pirates, and they have a roster chock full of guys that the other big Tarheel state schools didn’t want. Defense is also not their forte, although they’ve made strides there as of late. Keep in mind that this is a 10 win team from last year. Won their bowl game as well. So Tuffie and his crowd are obviously doing a good job with the talent they do get.
One wrinkle to watch for this year:
Perhaps their underwhelming recruiting ranking plays into one perennial characteristic of the Pirates: they always have a chip on their shoulders. Expect some big, physical
cheapshots hits in this game, from a team that feels like it has something to prove. Our performance last week against TAMU probably just encouraged them. If they can get up by a score or two early, I’ll bet they expect us to collapse. Of course, that didn’t work when we faced them up in Charlotte a couple of years back.
But anyway. . . .
That player you are going to hate:
Pirate Wideout Isaiah Jones. All he did last week was catch ten balls for 150 yards and a touchdown. He’s tall, fast, and plays physical all the time. You’re gonna hate him.
K’Hadree Hooker, a defensive end transfer from NC State. The ECU coaching staff has high hopes for Mssr. Hooker. If we end up in the shoot-out (and lets fervently pray we DO NOT) then he might makes some noise rushing our QB.
Freshman running back Marquez Grayson. This guy came from nowhere (well he came from Lexington, NC, which is sort of the same thing) to average almost 8 yards a carry in the opener. He could be the next big thing for the Pirates.
The thing that will tell the tale:
This game feels like a contest of psyches. Do we come out angry? Or do we come out fragile? Does ECU try to punch us in the mouth right off the bat, or do they dink and dunk as is their usual tendency? Have we practiced tackling AT ALL this week?
William Carlos Williams explains further:
so much depends
I forgot to mention:
East Carolina plays at Virginia Tech next week, then gets to host the Tarheels of North Carolina the week afterward. Let’s hope the Pirates get their big signature win during one of those two weeks. Just sayin’.
OK, consider yourself all ‘bonzed up on East Carolina Teacher’s College.
Let’s get this football season started!