ISSUE NO. 2
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ACCESS DENIED Field cornerback Derek Blacknall breaks up a pass to Virginia Tech flanker Marcus Davis in the first quarter, preventing a touchdown. photo by jay clark
game 2 - ECU vs. virginia Tech - 2011
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Flight RISK ECU defensive back Rahkeem Morgan trips up Hokie tailback David Wilson on a 34-yard kickoff return. photo by jay clark
game 2 - ECU vs. virginia tech - 2011
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fs #11 damon magazu purple! defensive player of the game Damon Magazu has a knack for finding the ball in the end zone. His only career interception entering Saturdayâ€™s game sealed the overtime victory against N.C. State in 2010. The sophomore from Charlotte grabbed his second career interception early in the second quarter halting the Hokie drive in the back of the end zone with a dazzling one-handed grab and fancy footwork to stay inbounds. Magazu also added seven tackles in the contest.
game2 - ECU vs. virginia tech - 2011
jive turkeys virginia tech Hokies squeak by pirates 17–10
photo by doug smith
STORY BY STEPHEN McNULTY
Just a week after the Pirates took the field against the 12th ranked team in the nation, ECU squared off against the 11th overall Virginia Tech Hokies. And again the Pirates would find themselves with a second-half lead, only to fall short in the end. Virginia Tech rushed for 241 yards and ECU struggled offensively in the 17–10 loss that dropped the Pirates to 0–2 to start the season. Not many could have predicted that this game would go the way it did. The Pirates averaged nearly 37 points per game in 2010 and scored exactly that last week against South Carolina. Virginia Tech scored 66 points last week and racked up over 500 total yards on offense. But Saturday’s match up was more of a game of missed opportunities. ECU was forced to punt in their first drive, but good coverage pinned the Ben Ryan kick inside the two-yard line. The defense forced Virginia Tech to a three-and-out, and a bad punt for the Hokies put the Pirates at Virginia Tech’s 38-yard line. In typical Pirate fashion, ECU moved down the field quickly and sophomore Michael Dobson scored from two yards out to put the Pirates up 7–0. Virginia Tech responded with an 11-play drive that moved them inside the red zone. After a pair of false starts and a well-defended play by Emanuel Davis in the end zone, Virginia Tech was forced to attempt the field goal from 30 yards out. But in sophomore kicker Cody Journell’s second collegiate field goal attempt, he pushed it wide right. east carolina university
The Hokies again found themselves inside Pirate territory on their next drive, and ECU would again hold Virginia Tech scoreless. In the second quarter, Damon Magazu read quarterback Logan Thomas perfectly and made a spectacular one-handed grab while still managing to keep his feet in bounds in the back of the end zone. The Pirates’ offense returned to the field and moved back into Hokie territory. Following an ECU timeout, quarterback Dominique Davis couldn’t escape pressure on 3rd and 9 and took a bad sack that moved the Pirates back to the 36-yard line. Determined to extend the lead, Ruffin McNeil sent senior kicker Michael Barbour out for the 53-yard try. Barbour had enough leg on it but the kick bounced off the upright and landed short. Following the game, Davis took much of the blame for the offenses poor performance. “I take all the blame,” he says. “I didn’t play as well as a leader today and it showed. They went out there and executed their plays and we didn’t.” But all blame does not belong on the typically stellar quarterback. Despite the defense’s great play against the Hokies’ pass, the Pirates could not slow the run. Eleven straight rushes and one incomplete pass brought Virginia Tech down to the Pirates 22-yard line on a 13play drive that took over seven minutes off the clock. This time, Journell was able to split the uprights from 39-yards out and cut East Carolina’s lead to 7–3 going into the half. PURPLE! 7
game2 - ECU vs. virginia tech - 2011
photo by jay clark
Defensive back Leonard “Scoota” Paulk is just in time to keep a long punt by Ben Ryan from going out of bounds, downing the ball on the Virginia Tech two-yard line.
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Despite the halftime lead, the Pirates only tallied 69 total yards in the half, including negative six yards rushing. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech committed eight first-half penalties, second most in the Frank Beamer era. The Hokies opened the second half with a heavy dose of David Wilson and Josh Oglesby. An eight-play 78-yard drive ended with three straight Oglesby rushes including the touchdown from a yard out. Virginia Tech quickly had the second half lead. On Dominique Davis’ second pass of the ensuing drive, he found the wrong-colored jersey and Pirate fans couldn’t help but wonder if the unraveling was starting again. But luckily for them, Derrel Johnson jarred the ball loose and Chris Baker fell on it giving the ball back to the Pirates after the Hokies first play. Both teams continued to struggle to find a groove offensively and another bad Virginia Tech punt gave the Pirates good field position. ECU picked up a first down on an Eddie Whitely pass interference and moved deeper into Hokie territory. From 30 yards out, Davis laid a beautiful pass down the middle to Dobson for a sure touchdown who let the ball go off his hands with under six minutes to go in the third quarter. ECU was forced to settle for the 48-yard field goal, which Barbour converted, to tie the game at 10–10. “We got to make those plays,” says freshman Justin Hardy. “They’re routine plays; we make [those] plays everyday.” Points were hard to come by in the game, which is something Dowdy-Ficklen fans hadn’t seen in a little while. Virginia Tech finished with 12 penalties for 92 yards including several offsides while ECU was not flagged once. However, the Hokies were mistake-free on their first drive of the fourth quarter. Virginia Tech used 11 rushes and Thomas completed both his pass attempts on the PURPLE! 9
it’s BOW-TIME Inside receiver Michael Bowman attempts to break away during a punt return in the second half of the game.
13 play 89-yard drive that resulted in Oglesby’s second rushing touchdown of the game. The Hokies reclaimed the lead 17–10 half way through the fourth quarter. The Pirates went three-and-out following the score, but the ECU defense stopped Virginia Tech dead in their tracks to give the Pirates one last chance to tie the game. With less than three minutes to go, Davis found Michael Bowman on 3rd and 12 for 19 yards and moved ECU into Hokie territory. But Davis was sacked and Michael Bowman dropped a first down on 2nd and 18 to force third and long. Davis couldn’t find Lance Lewis on third down, and on fourth with the game on the line, he looked again to the senior 10 PURPLE!
Bowman, who was suspended last week against USC, but failed to connect. It took just three Virginia Tech kneel-downs to make it official. The Pirates once again found themselves on the losing end of a second-half comeback to ruin the upset bid. It was a dismal outing for the Pirates offensively as they finished with just 112 yards on offense. Virginia Tech totaled 332 yards and controlled the clock with 15 more minutes of possession than the Pirates. ECU also struggled on third downs converting just 3 of 12 on the day. If there is one thing that Pirates can take away from the game, it is the play of their defense and positive expectations going into conference play. game2 - ECU vs. virginia tech - 2011
p/pk #12 Ben Ryan purple! offensive player of the game In a game with little offensive production, field position was key for the Pirates. Senior punter Ben Ryan placed a career-high tying three punts inside of the 20-yard line. Ryan’s first punt of the game was downed inside the twoyard line and helped lead to great field position on ECU’s first scoring drive. The senior also had punts of 52 and 50 while marking a career-best 45.5 yards per punt average.
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UAB photo by jay clark (2)
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“We definitely have more confidence, but were more hungry because we don’t like losing and it’s just going to make us more hungry to get a ‘W,’” says Magazu following the loss. Coach McNeill also had several positive things to say following the game. “There are going to be tough things that happen,” says McNeill. “We just have to stay the course. Today some tough things happened. I’m pleased with the progress so far.” The Pirates go into their early bye week at 0–2 and with a lot to learn from already in this young season. east carolina university
The Pirates have the week off before hosting their first Conference USA match up of the season against the University of Arizona at Birmingham Blazers. ECU has won each of the last four meetings between the two teams. In 2010, UAB finished 4–8 (3–5 C-USA) with a 54–42 loss coming at the hands of the Pirates late in the season. The Blazers led the Pirates 42–34 before ECU rolled off 20 consecutive points. Dominique Davis threw for 331 yards and five touchdowns to five different receivers in the Thursday-night win last season. Jonathan Williams led all Pirates with 115 yards receiving and added on 82 yards and a second touchdown on the ground. Despite Davis’ performance, Bryan Ellis topped ECU’s quarterback’s numbers with 418 yards and five scores of his own in the losing effort. Ellis finished the 2010 season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. In UAB’s only game in 2011, the quarterback was far less successful. Facing the 18th-ranked Florida Gators the Blazers were outplayed in a 39–0 loss. Ellis finished 15 of 28 passing for just 141 yards. UAB was just one for 10 on third down conversions and committed nine penalties for 55 yards. The Blazers begin conference play a week earlier than the Pirates when they take on Tulane next Saturday, September 24.
Left to right: Cam Baskin, Brandon Hill, and David Ferstler show their Pirate pride in the Boneyard during the game. Inset photo: Baskin and Hill display a Flag of Honor made from the names of those who lost their lives during the attacks on September 11, 2001. A moment of silence honoring the fallen victims was held before the game. photo by michael litwin 12 PURPLE! game 2 - ECU vs. virginia tech - 2011