Pirates prepare for WolfpackPublished 6:22pm Monday, November 18, 2013
GREENVILLE — The Pirates will look to take down their second ACC opponent of the year this Saturday when they face off against N.C. State on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. inside Carter-Finley Stadium.
East Carolina (8-2), winners of four straight, was a 6 1/2 –point favorite as of Monday over a Wolfpack (3-7) team that lost its sixth straight game over the weekend.
The Pirates, who drubbed Alabama-Birmingham 63-14 on Saturday, are coming off one of their best all-around outings of the season, but ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill said there is still plenty of room for improvement.
“I think we’ve gotten better each week,” McNeill said on Monday. “I think there a lot of things we can improve on, on all three sides of the ball.”
Saturday’s victory allowed East Carolina to match its win total from a year ago and earn a vote in the latest AP Top 25 Poll.
Despite the success, N.C. State play-by-play announcer Gary Hahn was quoted earlier in the year saying that this game would be ECU’s “Super Bowl,” but McNeill disagreed with that notion.
“I don’t view it that way,” McNeill said. “I view it as two teams that at trying to get better. I’m not sure why (Hahn) would say that. … To me, well done is better than well said.”
The teams have split their last two meetings, with the home team winning each in overtime. ECU got the better of N.C. State the last time out as Damon Magazu’s interception in the end zone cemented a 33-27 victory on Oct. 16, 2010.
The Wolpack won the previous meeting thanks to a 10-yard touchdown run by Andre Brown that lifted N.C. State to a 30-24 victory over the then-ranked No. 15 Pirates on Sept. 20, 2008.
Overall, the Wolfpack holds a 16-11 lifetime record over the Pirates.
Disrespecting the logo is a no-go
When N.C. State unveiled its “new” midfield logo on Nov. 2 it drew ire from East Carolina fans who felt it was a rip off of the one that straddles the 50-yard line at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
ECU’s design features a pirate inside the outline of the state of North Carolina. N.C. State also use the state’s design at midfield, but instead has wolf’s head inside it.
While it might be a tempting thought, McNeill said on Monday that none of his players will disrespect the Wolfpack’s logo.
“It’s called P.I.P for us: Pirates in Public. We want to make sure we show class,” McNeill said. “To a champion, and a team that wants to be a champion, all things are important. Comprehensive excellence is not just on a field or a court, for us, it’s how you carry yourself. … I will tolerate no disrespect of this game from anyone. That is non-negotiable.”
Once again the Pirates were able to come out of a weekend with no new names on the injury list, and in turn may be able to cross one off as linebacker Maurice Falls (leg) was upgraded to questionable for Saturday’s game.