USC 48, ECU 10: The Good, Bad, & UGLY

Carden gets a shot: Will a QB switch change the Pirates’ course?

I received an email from a good friend and former standout ECU football player today (no names), but his comments really focused me on my thoughts for this post. I’ll give my good, bad and ugly for the USC loss but first I wanted to share some thoughts on the state of the team in general, IMO, based on what I watched Saturday and on many exchanges I have had right after the game through today with former players and others close to the program.

I think for must of us, it is safe to say that the loss to South Carolina is a major disappointment, not so much in that we lost the game, but rather, how we lost. The Gamecocks are most likely a legitimate contender for the SEC meaning that they are a contender for the national title. They are indeed, as my Bonesville colleague Denny O’Brien discussed in his recent offering, way ahead of us on an athlete scale. They have the big guns and it was obvious.

However, that we played so poorly on our own merit is the thing that is most disappointing. Yes, the kids played hard for the whole game. But, our team seemed to be surprised by many of the things going on on the field. We seemed ill-prepared for a passing attack. We seem ill-prepared for a quarterback switch.

Via a discussion I had with said former football player, he brought my attention to the Appy game again. So, I re-rewatched it. In re-watching it again, from the perspective my friend pointed out, it is clear that Appy was much better prepared to play against the spread we run than we were. They always had defensive coverage players right where they needed to be…every play. AND, they tackled in space with precision.

Contrast that with our defense that should be well versed in the spread, thereby making covering it so much easier. App had no problem completing passes because we constantly were not in position. Guys were wide open. And, we missed tackles.

Now we can say that part of that in the SC game was their overall talent versus ours, but does that hold true vs ASU? Not likely. So, my thoughts turn to preparation. Now, one of the reasons that USC was able to cover with 6 in the box against us was more because we were running the ball at all. Pretty easy to load up on the short routes and let all-America ends have at it. I don’t see us not running because they had 6 in the box. I think we threw all the time because we were down before we could even sit in our seats and we started going air crazy.

Am I dropping expectations for the season? Not yet. I do think this team can recover. SC was BY FAR the best team on the schedule this year so we should be in the remaining games, but we better be fundamentally prepared better AND have a plan B if things do go well. I have never really felt good about our current staff when it comes to working off the script…adjustments are not seemingly the strong suit.

Conference games start this week…and there is none bigger or more important that USM. Better get it fixed or this team could come apart.

Well…let’s take a look at the Good, Bad, and Ugly from the SC game.

Let’s start with the good, IMO, and there was some of it.

The Good Stuff:

Proving he is elite: Each time out the reliable Mr. Hardy excels.

1. The Receiving Corps: You can pin the loss on pretty much every group on the field, but – save a true freshman fumble – you cannot really fault the receivers. Man…they were open all over the field and from the outset, too. Good Lord watch the tape…these guys are good and can catch. But, the ball has to go to the right guy and has to be within his reach. It was good to see Danny Webster and Dayon Arrington back in the mix. And Justin Hardy…man he is just amazing. He needs to stay healthy. Also, I think Vintavious Cooper is going to be special given his hands and toughness at RB.

2. The Offensive Line: They did well given the caliber of players they were facing. Save Adhem Elsawi who had the unenviable task of trying to contain Clowney (I know, Adhem got whipped a few times), the unit as a whole really did provide plenty of throwing lanes and time for the QBs. Not sure if they did well in the run blocking because we didn’t run much.

3. Punting: Trent Tignor was kicking the hell out of that football again. Nice to see another big legged punter out there. A 46.4 yard per kick average is awesome. Coverage unit did allow that 28 yard return, but otherwise, was not really tested in this game.

4. Very few penalties: Once again, very few penalties for the Pirates (1 for 5 yards).

5. Shane Carden: Despite a first pass interception, Carden got his chance and looked pretty good. SC had its big dogs in the game still and he seemed to do a couple things pretty well: 1) work the pocket and 2) FIND THE OPEN receiver. He showed that he can make the passes needed. Perhaps he will be the catalyst for a change going forward.

The Bad Stuff:

1.  Pressure improved, but we did not finish: Our defensive front started to get very good pressure on SC and even produced 3 sacks…BUT…they also allowed the quarterback to get away on 4 other occasions and each time, the QB torched us. Those could have been game changers early on. We can create pressure, but it is not helpful if we do not finish.

2. Tackling: Related to the inability to finish the sack, our tackling looked sloppy. Missed tackles, out of position, not wrapping up.

3. Field Goal Kicking: I was very happy that Warren Harvey finally connected on a field goal. Hopefully it will be the ignition in a string of makes now. BUT, 1-4 is not acceptable for the Pirates…need to split the posts.

4. Rio Johnson: Decision-making and accuracy were not very good for Rio this game. He missed several passes – like he did against ASU – and despite having time to pass, seemed unable to find the best open receiver on a given play. The INTs were killers. Hopefully he can watch the USM game from the sideline and it will help him take another step forward in his development.

5. Special Teams: I understand letting Lance Ray take a couple of shots at a return given his talent, but after a couple, maybe taking the ball on the 25-yard line wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The UGLY:

1. Turnovers: Wow…I didn’t think it would be possible for us to turn the ball over 5 times in a game again…but we did. You can’t beat many teams when you do that. The INTs were all bad ones, too. Locking on to one guy, throwing into double-coverage when you have another guy wide open, and also just plan missing your guy. Frustrating.

2. Pass coverage: Is it just me, or does it look like our linebackers have no pass coverage responsiblities? They are nowhere to be found. You can almost see no Pirates in the frame on some of the completions SC had. Further, our corners don’t seem to be able to stay with their guys….like they are looking into the backfield and forgetting the receivers. I wonder if it is scheme related. ASU seemed to be very good at this…but we need help here.

3. Play calling on offense: Yes, we ended up running at a 2-1 clip passes to runs, but not at the start of the game…in fact in the first half, we passed the ball 26 times and rushed three times. So, I am not sure how we concluded that we couldn’t run the ball…we didn’t try.

4. The Defense gave up 500+ yards of total offense, marking two straight games allowing 400 yards ore more a game, with a heavy majority of it to the passing yards allowed. This is a worrisome development for a defense that we all thought was going to improve from last year.

Now the Pirates are at a crossroads for the season. We are 1-1 with a critical road game in CUSA up next with USM. USM consistently plays well against the Pirates and will be starting a new QB (will this invoke the back-up QB curse for the Pirates). It is a road game, too.

Will this team get their back up and show that they are better than that mess in Columbia? Will Shane Carden prove to be the playmaker many feel he is?
Can the defense look like a top 50 unit again?

A ton is riding on this one. Conference USA, bowl game implications, winning season, coaching hot seat, fan interest…team really needs to get this thing going and show that they can be a contender for CUSA East.

What say you, friends?

Go Pirates, Go!

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42 Comments

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42 responses to “USC 48, ECU 10: The Good, Bad, & UGLY

  1. Was told by someone that the staff expected Connor Shaw to play and spent a ton of time working on defending the run and read option. Obviously he didn’t play and SC worked the middle of the field all day long with the passing game. It was man coverage with the corners, who can’t be expected to stay with speedy SEC receivers IMO, with the safeties near the line of scrimmage and linebackers keyed on the run. That left the middle of the field open and Spurrier and the young QB exploited it.

    The thing that disturbed me the most was the lack of adjustments made after SC hit the big plays early.

    Offensively, I don’t care how big you are down, you can’t afford to only run the ball three times in one half. That’s inexcusable IMO and telling the defense what you’re going to do every play. Need a much better balance, even if this is the air raid.

    • Hi Stepen…thanks for dropping in. BTW…i am still following up on your email to me. Will get an answer ASAP.

      The lack of adjustments have been so bad in the whole time they have been here. It has to improve. Agree on tough task for our defenders to play man with that speed…but to me, it seems more than out classed…it seems like our coverage players (LBs and CBs mostly) appear completely confused on the basics. Turning a guy loose and then NOT LOOKING FOR the next guy in your zone.

      Agree also on the running game sentiment.

      Going to be another one of those seasons, it appears. Sigh….

    • Hi Stepen…thanks for dropping in. BTW…i am still following up on your email to me. Will get an answer ASAP.

      The lack of adjustments have been so bad in the whole time they have been here. It has to improve. Agree on tough task for our defenders to play man with that speed…but to me, it seems more than out classed…it seems like our coverage players (LBs and CBs mostly) appear completely confused on the basics. Turning a guy loose and then NOT LOOKING FOR the next guy in your zone.

      Agree also on the running game sentiment.

      Going to be another one of those seasons, it appears. Sigh….

    • Hi Stepen…thanks for dropping in. BTW…i am still following up on your email to me. Will get an answer ASAP.

      The lack of adjustments have been so bad in the whole time they have been here. It has to improve. Agree on tough task for our defenders to play man with that speed…but to me, it seems more than out classed…it seems like our coverage players (LBs and CBs mostly) appear completely confused on the basics. Turning a guy loose and then NOT LOOKING FOR the next guy in your zone.

      Agree also on the running game sentiment.

      Going to be another one of those seasons, it appears. Sigh….

  2. PortCityPirate

    Reads like you watched the EXACT same game as me…

  3. I agree with most of your points however I think there are some bigger reasons for the way things are. I have followed our team since the early 80’s and like to compare ourselves to to another INDY at the time and thats Virginia Tech. We played one another on a yearly basis and more than held our own going 4-4 against the Hokies. The Hokies were finally invited to join a the Big East while we struggled to find a home. The Hokies took advantage of the additional revenue that a BCS type league brings. They were able to hold on to their coach and many top assistants.. The quality of player that have been able to recruit has also gone up when compared to ourselves. Since Tech moved to the BE and later the ACC their record against us is 9-1 and the gap seems to grow wider each and every season. Just think of the number of coaches that have come and gone since that time. Like it or not we have had 3 guys that wanted to be here Ed Emory, Steve Logan and now Ruff. I think Ruffs best asset might be his ability to recruit but how many kids want to go to a program where the best you can ever hope for is the liberty bowl. If we run Ruff off you are starting over once again and in 4 years if the guy is lucky enough to build something he will likely be off to greenier pastures at a BCS program. Our failure IMO comes from the fact that our AD could not get us into a BCS conference. While I admire TH greatly his number one job was to get us to a BCS league where we would see a revenue stream 5 to 10 times greater than what it is, In addition greater acces to TV and bowl games which allows you to recruit. Sending out memos telling us how wonderful it will be to play ODU or Charlotte is not what you want to hear having left programs like this in our Southern Conference days 30 plus years ago. Bottom line you are either in or you are out and at this point we are clearly out Our inability to gain access to a BCS league has done more to set this program back than anything I can think of. Think of how good you are going to feel watching some announcer on a major TV network singing the praises of programs like Temple, Memphis, SMU, and UCF, teams we have more than had our way with on the field and in the seats. The idea these folks will be passing us by is a total failure of this athletic administration. The gaps between our program and others will only continue to widen to the point that Nick Saban could not turn this around.

  4. Blackbeard's Ghost

    After 2 games I continue to scratch my head wondering why this team just “can’t get right”. It’s almost as if we can focus on only one thing at a time for a game and not the other parts.

    I think this weekend will speak volumes against USM as to what we can “expect” from this team the rest of the year. I am worried because I just don’t know what to expect from this team anymore. My fingers are crossed that Carden can be something special out there.

  5. Ralph Wright

    I can’t say too much. I was as fooled as the staff. I really thought we would see a lot more option offense.
    I really do believe though that this staff will evaluate the film and teach the DB’s where they are deficient. I know we have had strong DB play before so I’m confident they can do it.
    I think Shane Carden is a night and day difference from Rio and we will be much more productive this week. I suspect we are going to witness his breakout game this weekend.
    Having Williams at NG should make an immediate impact.
    I’m actually still very positive for this teams future. The Liberty Bowl is very doable for these guys once they get it together.
    Starts this week.

    • I agree on Carden, Ralph. I think he will be a good QB here. Worried about this team’s psyche…hope they can recover.

      Your point on Terry Williams is a big one…good to see him coming back. Hopefully our defense can get itself straight.

      Cheers Ralph!

    • I agree on Carden, Ralph. I think he will be a good QB here. Worried about this team’s psyche…hope they can recover.

      Your point on Terry Williams is a big one…good to see him coming back. Hopefully our defense can get itself straight.

      Cheers Ralph!

    • I agree on Carden, Ralph. I think he will be a good QB here. Worried about this team’s psyche…hope they can recover.

      Your point on Terry Williams is a big one…good to see him coming back. Hopefully our defense can get itself straight.

      Cheers Ralph!

    • I agree on Carden, Ralph. I think he will be a good QB here. Worried about this team’s psyche…hope they can recover.

      Your point on Terry Williams is a big one…good to see him coming back. Hopefully our defense can get itself straight.

      Cheers Ralph!

  6. Patch The Pirate

    Everyone keeps talking about the lack of the running game in the first half. But if I understand it correctly (and I am not a coach), this offense is predicated on what the defense gives you. And it is also up to the QB to check into the right play. Rio was running the offense in the first half and we only ran the ball 3 times. When Shane came in during the 2nd half, we ran the ball more. Do you think that the difference in the run game could have been the decisions made by the QB’s? Aside from the INT’s, could that have added the decision to pull Rio?

    • Thanks for dropping in PTP…you bring up a very good point. I think that might be part of the “bad decisions” critique we are seeing about Rio.

      That may explain the play-calling mix based on predetermined reads. But at some point – like Riley did with Dominique Davis – the OC has to step in and establish the run when one is lacking.

      I think you may be onto something though.

      Best to you PTP!

    • Thanks for dropping in PTP…you bring up a very good point. I think that might be part of the “bad decisions” critique we are seeing about Rio.

      That may explain the play-calling mix based on predetermined reads. But at some point – like Riley did with Dominique Davis – the OC has to step in and establish the run when one is lacking.

      I think you may be onto something though.

      Best to you PTP!

    • Thanks for dropping in PTP…you bring up a very good point. I think that might be part of the “bad decisions” critique we are seeing about Rio.

      That may explain the play-calling mix based on predetermined reads. But at some point – like Riley did with Dominique Davis – the OC has to step in and establish the run when one is lacking.

      I think you may be onto something though.

      Best to you PTP!

  7. Sean

    If I am reading a bit in between the lines, I think you are not sure this staff is up to the task ,forgive me if I am reading this wrong. I for one am not sure if they are. In my 20 plus years as an ECU fan I think I am more confused about who this team is and what are coaches are up to thanever before.The game on Saturday was IMHO the worst we have looked in since I have been a fan. I even think the SC fans were surprised. It is hard to believe at this level of football we can look so bad sometimes. Just am not sure what to think.

    • Hi Sean…thanks for taking the time to drop a note.

      You are accurate in your reading. I have a lot of concerns and I am in the camp that this year is a big one for Ruff and crew.

      Don’t get me wrong…I love Ruff and want him to succeed badly, but like you noted…this team seems to have no identity.

      Talent disparity aside, we should be at a point where we do not get blown out of the water by any team in the country. The inability to protect the football and to be so out of position is not acceptable.

      We looked bad Saturday – but I do think we are nowhere near the JT years.

      I will say, I have no insight or clues about what to expect Saturday at USM. Been awhile since I have felt this way.

      Cheers!

    • Hi Sean…thanks for taking the time to drop a note.

      You are accurate in your reading. I have a lot of concerns and I am in the camp that this year is a big one for Ruff and crew.

      Don’t get me wrong…I love Ruff and want him to succeed badly, but like you noted…this team seems to have no identity.

      Talent disparity aside, we should be at a point where we do not get blown out of the water by any team in the country. The inability to protect the football and to be so out of position is not acceptable.

      We looked bad Saturday – but I do think we are nowhere near the JT years.

      I will say, I have no insight or clues about what to expect Saturday at USM. Been awhile since I have felt this way.

      Cheers!

  8. ultraviolet

    you can say that again, Ron. 🙂 I once watched a game where Logan kept trying to run it even though we were getting stuffed. He explained later, and it made sense, that if you didn’t try it that they won’t have to look for it and you wouldn’t be able to pass. He came back late in the game passing and almost won. It was at Illinois the season after we played in the Liberty bowl I believe or vs Worst Virginia on the road.

    • As always…great to hear from you UV…love or hate Logan, he was a very good football mind and had a vision for the program and worked it.

      I think Ruff has the same passion but the jury is still out on the program vision. It is hard to get around the fact that we have had 2 losing seasons in a row and are looking awfully shaky on both sides of the ball right now.

      Let’s hope that SC is that good and we simply played our worst game of the year.

      Southern Miss, I worry, will answer all the we need to know about this football team, for better or worse.

      Here’s to better!

  9. rc

    Pharma….finally eventhough too late in my opinion they brought in another qback. Carden much better with long sustained drives. he did throw an interception, but a tough spot to put him in…inside the 20 yd. line…to be fair Rio had a much easier babtism with App. and first half of said game. i felt Carden did a good job and his passes were more accurate than Rio’s. Carden moves better and sees the field better…now lets give him time to settle in before we judge his performance…at least we get to compare game performances which i thought should be done before a starter was named…next we need to see Furr in the mix at running back…this is the only way to compare the players…game situations and not on a chart in practice…for one thing our defense, so far is not as good as the competitors…hopefully our whole team will improve this third game and the rest of the year…thanks for your time and information

    • I am with you RC…I think Carden looked pretty good and the No. 1s were still very much in the game for SC. I hope that he really lets it rip against USM.

      Agree on Furr. So far, Cooper – our No. 3 RB – has looked best, so maybe No. 4 will look even better.

      Hopefully the D can get it together…

      Cheers!

    • I am with you RC…I think Carden looked pretty good and the No. 1s were still very much in the game for SC. I hope that he really lets it rip against USM.

      Agree on Furr. So far, Cooper – our No. 3 RB – has looked best, so maybe No. 4 will look even better.

      Hopefully the D can get it together…

      Cheers!

    • I am with you RC…I think Carden looked pretty good and the No. 1s were still very much in the game for SC. I hope that he really lets it rip against USM.

      Agree on Furr. So far, Cooper – our No. 3 RB – has looked best, so maybe No. 4 will look even better.

      Hopefully the D can get it together…

      Cheers!

    • I am with you RC…I think Carden looked pretty good and the No. 1s were still very much in the game for SC. I hope that he really lets it rip against USM.

      Agree on Furr. So far, Cooper – our No. 3 RB – has looked best, so maybe No. 4 will look even better.

      Hopefully the D can get it together…

      Cheers!

    • I am with you RC…I think Carden looked pretty good and the No. 1s were still very much in the game for SC. I hope that he really lets it rip against USM.

      Agree on Furr. So far, Cooper – our No. 3 RB – has looked best, so maybe No. 4 will look even better.

      Hopefully the D can get it together…

      Cheers!

      • rc

        Pharma…i’m finally glad to see the conversation move to the coaching situation…winning big every year is a must for ECU at this time,we cannot afford off and on years… urgency is the word. if Ruff is so well liked move him to an ambassador for the school if this year is not 8 or 9 wins. get a proven winner in here, he willpay for his salary!

      • yep…if Boise State can do it, then so can ECU…got to find the right group of coaches/recruiters.

  10. Mike in Durham

    Ron, I can’t argue with any of your points. My no quarter (.02):
    -No deep passes to our big speedy WRs (our strength), while USC starts w/ the deep ball.
    -Our offense not only became predictable, USC packed in on our short to mid-range routes, & we chose not to stretch the field…
    -Our longest pass was on a broken play. 3 runs…no comment…
    -Our tacking was bad…our LB pass coverage was non-existent.
    -Why did we not adjust our defense once they hit the deep ball & were having passing success. Surely, we had a plan B, but it sure looked like plan A.

    All that said, it was an upper level SEC team, so I’ll cut some slack…we need to correct our mistakes, attack on offense & be creative, get much tougher giving up yards, & play like our season (or the coaches future) depends on this one game — it doesn’t, but they surely can do better too….I predict a Pirate victory.

    • Hi MiD…that last point is a big one. Our program can never NOT play like the future depends on it. That is our survival technique and frankly, it has been missing of late.

      Thanks for dropping in…always look forward to your thoughts.

  11. ToTheHilt

    Another thought provoking post RC. As i look at this team and think about teams past it reminds me of the saying that often football games are won between the ears. We get too hung up on looking at the size of players and forget the mental aspect. we have had many great wins in the past over better, i.e. more talented, teams, and the reason we won, I think, is because we won the battle between the ears. It doesn’t seem like we play like that anymore, and I think that is a huge problem. From a scholarship standpoint, with the limited number of scholarships our talent should be closer than it used to be, but the victories seem harder to get. Sometimes I wonder if we go into these games wanting it more than the other team – that used to be a trademark of ECU and we need to get it back.

    • Great to see you drop in TTH…

      You know, I read your post over on BB and was thinking, “wow…that guy really laid out a lot to think about.”

      I think you have laid out the real dilemma here. Sure, the BCS has really skewed the financial gap for a program like ours, but with the scholarship limit, there are players to have out there. Look at TCU, BSU, and Utah over the last decade. They have equally limited budgets to recruit – and of course the argument that they have access to California and Texas – but at the end of the day, they find the players.

      I, too, worry if this staff is up to the task. I do believe there is a difference in saying the right things and instilling them deep within the players. We have not had a signature win – ala our reputation – since the knockout we delivered to WVU in 2008, really. This to me is evidence that you are right…we don’t play that way.

      I do not have a problem with Ruff learning HC skills on the job, but if that is the way it is to be, perhaps we should have put together a staff with a deep rooted OC and DC? The long tooth experience has to be somewhere in the program if you have a green HC finding his way from good coordinator to overall program boss.

      I believe that we should have the program at a point where we are competitive no matter who we play. In CUSA, even with our OOC schedule, we should be an 8 win team every year with a spike to 10 or 11 in those special seasons AND we should always be a 1 or 2 in the East Division of CUSA.

      Thanks for stoking the discussion TTH…I definitely keep up with your thoughts when you post on BB.

  12. I would like follow up a bit about some of the posts. Many here seem to be having issues with our coaches and wondering if in fact they are in over their head. The problem is can you attract a coach that wants to be her for the long haul thats how you build a contender. Bill Lewis led us to our best season ever and our biggest bowl victory. Within 12 hours of that emotional win he came up with a million plus to buy out his own contract. Skip was a great guy and brought us back from a deep hole. The man loved the place but hit the road just the same leaving us with not much in the way of returning talent. Only Logan and Ruff wanted to be here for the long haul. Logan was run off and now it seems many want to Ruff gone if this season does not end with a decent bowl. Skip left Ruff with nothing in the way of defensive talent and Ruff had zero chance to recruit for his 1st season. While nobody should be happy with last weeks performance and I question many things myself I think we have to ask ourselves some things. Who can you bring in here, recruit in todays enviornment, win, and expect to stick around once they have the slighest bit of success. Only one guy has expressed that Im aware of and thats Ruff. So IMO we better hope the man has success or its back to hire, build, win, leave, and start over. Im just having a tough time seeing things change based on the way the system is set up. I know Pederson and Patterson stayed @ Boise and TCU but they are the exception not the rule. Perhaps someone can make me see it differently.

    • Hi DCP 28 thanks for stopping in and sharing some very interesting perspectives.

      I agree on the idea that it is hard for us to find that special coach and I think everyone would agree that we would love to see Ruff succeed and stay here forever – winning.

      And while I agree that the cupboard was bare when he came in, it is year 3 and we appear to be unstable as a program and ill equipped to address issues on the fly. For two seasons so far, when something was broken on this team, it was obvious, and it took the whole season to fix.

      Not to get all political, but coaching is somewhat like the presidency dilemma. How much can a current president pin on the previous guy and how long is long enough to say the current conditions belong to the current president no matter how bad it was when he got in? Tough to answer fairly sometimes.

      So, you kind of go buy what you see and say, “hey, do my eyes deceive me, or is there something going on around here?”

      I think that everyone is puling for Ruff to pull through and for this team to have a galvanizing moment this season and start an upward trend that you can rely on each week. But we seem to regress.

      I hope he finds his way because I do believe that you are correct about finding a good coach who wants to stay is unlikely.

      But, as a fanbase, the ECU faithful deserves only the best and I believe Ruff would be the first to tell everyone that.

      Here’s to hoping the boys pull it together Saturday and make all of us who are starting to have doubts or concerns all have to check ourselves.

      Thanks for dropping in DC 28…you are always welcome here!

      Cheers.

    • Hi DCP 28 thanks for stopping in and sharing some very interesting perspectives.

      I agree on the idea that it is hard for us to find that special coach and I think everyone would agree that we would love to see Ruff succeed and stay here forever – winning.

      And while I agree that the cupboard was bare when he came in, it is year 3 and we appear to be unstable as a program and ill equipped to address issues on the fly. For two seasons so far, when something was broken on this team, it was obvious, and it took the whole season to fix.

      Not to get all political, but coaching is somewhat like the presidency dilemma. How much can a current president pin on the previous guy and how long is long enough to say the current conditions belong to the current president no matter how bad it was when he got in? Tough to answer fairly sometimes.

      So, you kind of go buy what you see and say, “hey, do my eyes deceive me, or is there something going on around here?”

      I think that everyone is puling for Ruff to pull through and for this team to have a galvanizing moment this season and start an upward trend that you can rely on each week. But we seem to regress.

      I hope he finds his way because I do believe that you are correct about finding a good coach who wants to stay is unlikely.

      But, as a fanbase, the ECU faithful deserves only the best and I believe Ruff would be the first to tell everyone that.

      Here’s to hoping the boys pull it together Saturday and make all of us who are starting to have doubts or concerns all have to check ourselves.

      Thanks for dropping in DC 28…you are always welcome here!

      Cheers.

    • Hi DCP 28 thanks for stopping in and sharing some very interesting perspectives.

      I agree on the idea that it is hard for us to find that special coach and I think everyone would agree that we would love to see Ruff succeed and stay here forever – winning.

      And while I agree that the cupboard was bare when he came in, it is year 3 and we appear to be unstable as a program and ill equipped to address issues on the fly. For two seasons so far, when something was broken on this team, it was obvious, and it took the whole season to fix.

      Not to get all political, but coaching is somewhat like the presidency dilemma. How much can a current president pin on the previous guy and how long is long enough to say the current conditions belong to the current president no matter how bad it was when he got in? Tough to answer fairly sometimes.

      So, you kind of go buy what you see and say, “hey, do my eyes deceive me, or is there something going on around here?”

      I think that everyone is puling for Ruff to pull through and for this team to have a galvanizing moment this season and start an upward trend that you can rely on each week. But we seem to regress.

      I hope he finds his way because I do believe that you are correct about finding a good coach who wants to stay is unlikely.

      But, as a fanbase, the ECU faithful deserves only the best and I believe Ruff would be the first to tell everyone that.

      Here’s to hoping the boys pull it together Saturday and make all of us who are starting to have doubts or concerns all have to check ourselves.

      Thanks for dropping in DC 28…you are always welcome here!

      Cheers.

    • Hi DCP 28 thanks for stopping in and sharing some very interesting perspectives.

      I agree on the idea that it is hard for us to find that special coach and I think everyone would agree that we would love to see Ruff succeed and stay here forever – winning.

      And while I agree that the cupboard was bare when he came in, it is year 3 and we appear to be unstable as a program and ill equipped to address issues on the fly. For two seasons so far, when something was broken on this team, it was obvious, and it took the whole season to fix.

      Not to get all political, but coaching is somewhat like the presidency dilemma. How much can a current president pin on the previous guy and how long is long enough to say the current conditions belong to the current president no matter how bad it was when he got in? Tough to answer fairly sometimes.

      So, you kind of go buy what you see and say, “hey, do my eyes deceive me, or is there something going on around here?”

      I think that everyone is puling for Ruff to pull through and for this team to have a galvanizing moment this season and start an upward trend that you can rely on each week. But we seem to regress.

      I hope he finds his way because I do believe that you are correct about finding a good coach who wants to stay is unlikely.

      But, as a fanbase, the ECU faithful deserves only the best and I believe Ruff would be the first to tell everyone that.

      Here’s to hoping the boys pull it together Saturday and make all of us who are starting to have doubts or concerns all have to check ourselves.

      Thanks for dropping in DC 28…you are always welcome here!

      Cheers.

    • Hi DCP 28 thanks for stopping in and sharing some very interesting perspectives.

      I agree on the idea that it is hard for us to find that special coach and I think everyone would agree that we would love to see Ruff succeed and stay here forever – winning.

      And while I agree that the cupboard was bare when he came in, it is year 3 and we appear to be unstable as a program and ill equipped to address issues on the fly. For two seasons so far, when something was broken on this team, it was obvious, and it took the whole season to fix.

      Not to get all political, but coaching is somewhat like the presidency dilemma. How much can a current president pin on the previous guy and how long is long enough to say the current conditions belong to the current president no matter how bad it was when he got in? Tough to answer fairly sometimes.

      So, you kind of go buy what you see and say, “hey, do my eyes deceive me, or is there something going on around here?”

      I think that everyone is puling for Ruff to pull through and for this team to have a galvanizing moment this season and start an upward trend that you can rely on each week. But we seem to regress.

      I hope he finds his way because I do believe that you are correct about finding a good coach who wants to stay is unlikely.

      But, as a fanbase, the ECU faithful deserves only the best and I believe Ruff would be the first to tell everyone that.

      Here’s to hoping the boys pull it together Saturday and make all of us who are starting to have doubts or concerns all have to check ourselves.

      Thanks for dropping in DC 28…you are always welcome here!

      Cheers.

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