• 36°

College Football: It was a wild season for ECU

By Aaron Beard
Associated Press
Skip Holtz has brought East Carolina back to national relevance. Now the Pirates have to figure out how to stay there.
The Pirates (9-5) finished a wild season with a 25-19 loss to Kentucky in the Liberty Bowl, capping a year that saw them face just about every scenario imaginable. They started the year with wins against Virginia Tech and West Virginia to climb in to the rankings and the national headlines. They suffered through a midseason losing streak that dropped them back into anonymity before putting together a late-season push that included the first conference championship in 32 years.
Along the way, there was also the period of uncertainty when Holtz began talking with Syracuse about the school’s coaching vacancy in early December.
There was plenty to celebrate, namely the winningest season in nine years, even though their bowl ended with the Pirates losing on a fumble return for a touchdown in the final minutes.
“As I told them in the locker room, they don’t have anything to be embarrassed about,” Holtz said after the game in Memphis. “To represent Conference USA and to be here and have the season that they’ve had … I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’ve never hung their heads. They’ve never quit.”
Holtz’s staff has recruited well enough over his four seasons to build depth throughout the roster. There should be plenty of talent coming back with 11 seniors on the two-deep depth chart for the Liberty Bowl. However, three of those seniors were starters at critical positions: quarterback Patrick Pinkney, tight end Davon Drew and linebacker Pierre Bell.
The Pirates will again have the opportunity to grab headlines with a tough nonconference schedule in 2009 that includes home games with Appalachian State and Virginia Tech, and trips to North Carolina and West Virginia.
“I know this team is going in a positive direction next year,” Drew said. “The senior class … have made this season a stepping stone for the program. I am excited to see what this team can do next year.”

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget

Columnists

Genia Woods: Let’s talk about good news in Salisbury

Local

City attorney will gather more information for Salisbury nondiscrimination ordinance

Education

North Hills planning to hold May fundraiser in person

East Spencer

Developers aim to transform former Dunbar School site into multi-purpose community development

Education

Knox student organizing event to get community cycling

Education

Decision on Essie Mae charter appeal expected Thursday

Nation/World

House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition

Nation/World

Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol

Nation/World

States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge

News

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper receives COVID-19 vaccine

News

North Carolina health officials urge schools to reopen

Crime

In letter, PETA criticizes Salisbury Police for K-9 video

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident