College football: Signature victory has eluded ECU

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2009

By Joedy McCreary
Associated Press
GREENVILLE ó East Carolina is running out of chances to knock off the big boys on its schedule.In recent years, the Pirates made headlines by upsetting West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia Tech ó and that stretch of games in 2007 and ’08 wound up making Skip Holtz’s team a target this year.
The Mountaineers and Tar Heels already exacted their revenge two months ago, so this week Holtz is hoping for a strong showing against the 22nd-ranked Hokies to avoid an 0-3 finish against teams from the six major BCS conferences.”The last couple of years, as this game has gone on, I think it is starting to turn into more of a rivalry game for both teams,” Holtz said Monday. “I’ve always said in a rivalry game, both teams have to have a chance to win, and that hadn’t been the case until last year.”
Calling Virginia Tech a pattern for his program, Holtz predicted that Greenville will “come alive a little bit” for the Pirates’ first Thursday night home game since 2001 and their first visit from the Hokies since Michael Vick came to town in 2000.
“They’re kind of the blueprint for where we would like to go, how we would like to build this program,” Holtz said. “Twenty years ago, we were on very level playing fields (and) there was a great rivalry between the two schools. You look where (Frank) Beamer has taken that program and the things he’s done with it, that’s where we want to go.”