What is up with the ECU Pirates?

Mike GreenspireContributor ISeptember 7, 2008

After the Aug. 30 upset of 17th ranked Virginia Tech, I looked at how the East Carolina Pirates won that game and came up with the answer "by the skin of their chin".

Well, naturally, with that kind of reaction to a 27-22 victory, I picked the West Virginia Mountaineers to defeat East Carolina yesterday, Sept. 6.

When the Pirates won, I was officially on the bandwagon. This team held Pat White and the WVU offense to only three points! How does that happen? Plus, it was great, because being from Pittsburgh, how often do I get to hear "Pirates win!" anymore? Not very often. It was quite refreshing.

The guy who really impressed me these past two weeks is Patrick Pinkney, the ECU quarterback. His play has been terrific, and his play alone is what is keeping them above the rest of Conference-USA. Pinkney has one of the best weapons in all of C-USA to utilize in RB Jonathan Williams. The ECU running back is an ideal balanced offensive weapon, and he could be another big NFL draftee from this school when he's done at the collegiate level.

The Mountaineers never got anything going, and Pat White for the first time in his career, looked confused. I've never been able to say that as long as I've been watching him play at the highest level. He couldn't read the defense, and was often sacked, hurried, blitzed, or had to take off with the ball because nobody wearing white was open.

When he did run the ball, he went down quickly, and that's what was amazing about the Pirates defense; they never let him get an opening. It seemed like there weren't eleven, but 22 guys on ECU's defense. They were everywhere, crowding the lanes, double-covering, sacking! White finished 11 of 18 for only 72 yards passing, while rushing 20 times and getting 97 yards.

This week (Saturday, 9/13), the Pirates take on the unranked Tulane Green Wave, who lost to 13 Alabama 20-6 on Saturday. Here is their upcoming schedule:

9/13- @ Tulane
9/20- @ North Carolina State
9/27- vs. Houston
10/11- @ Virginia

If the team I've seen pull of two upsets in two weeks is the REAL East Carolina, then these four games look like four more wins. Imagine that, a 6-0 C-USA team, looking for more! Wow, I LOVE College Football!

Skip Holtz has got an incredible thing going on down there in Greenville, and if the Pirates continue on their current run, they might be as big as the other Carolina teams, the Tar Heels or the Gamecocks, or maybe EVEN BIGGER?

-Mike Greenspire