Pirates’ coach has all his angles covered

Published 7:59 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2007

By By PETER WILLIAMS, Staff Writer
GREENVILLE — Skip Holtz is getting an eyeful of his Pirates this summer, and it’s not just from his own eyes.
Four film crews are set up all around the practice field so every angle of every snap can be captured and studied later. Some cameras are crewed by people on the ground, others give a view from high in the sky with crews on either a permanent wooden tower or portable adjustable lifts.
Not every player need be concerned with each camera angle, Holtz said, but he has to be.
After practice the players and coaches can review the tape with all four views shown at once on the same screen.
But it’s that film that can help Holtz prepare for the season opener Sept. 1 at Virginia Tech.
The Pirates also have two in-state rivals, N.C. State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the home schedule this year. Both teams have new coaches, Butch Davis for UNC and O’Brien for N.C. State. That, Holtz says, will create excitement and some challenges.
On paper N.C. State and UNC didn’t look strong last year. Both teams finished 3-9. But history shows both teams are solid contenders against the Pirates.
The Pack holds a 14-10 series edge over ECU, which dates back to 1970. However the series has been a see-saw match for the past 10 years. State won a 37-24 contest in 1997 but the Pirates came back and won the 1999 game by a 23-6 score. N.C. State won the 2004 game by a 52-14 score, but the Pirates won the last meeting, 21-16 in Raleigh last year.
The Tar Heels, the Pirates’ first home game this year, has an even stronger series record against ECU.
In 10 meetings, UNC has won eight games and tied one. The only time a Pirate team beat Carolina was in 1975 when Pat Dye lead the team to a 8-3 record after losing the first two games of the year. One of those two was the 26-3 loss to N.C. State.