I don't think this will stem the tide of Kentucky e-mailers, but congratulations to the Wildcats on their bowl win over ECU.
I was wrong in The Podcast. I don't have a problem admitting that.
MEMPHIS — Once more, they needed that late-game magic.
Once more, they needed for somebody to complete a key pass, kick a field goal, or run a kick back.
But this time East Carolina’s Pirates — who had won five games in the final minutes — couldn’t locate that hero. So after leading 16-3 at halftime, they lost 25-19 to resilient Kentucky in the 50th Liberty Bowl Friday night.
The beginning couldn’t have been much better for the Pirates, and the ending couldn’t have been more bitter.
Staff video by Jason Arthurs, J.P. Giglio and Caulton Tudor
Sidney Lowe can't afford to lose to ECU again. It's that simple.
If the third-year Wolfpack coach expects to build a winner at his alma mater, he must beat the programs he's expected to beat.
Lowe couldn't do that last season, losing to New Orleans at home and then at ECU. The Pirates beat State, 75-69 in Greenville last December, their first win over State in 18 games and first win over any ACC team in 58 tries.
This ECU (8-1) team is better than last season's, which finished 11-19. The Pirates own solid wins over VCU and Winthrop, a pair of annual NCAA Tournament contenders, and UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Greensboro, a pair of programs typically ahead of the Pirates in the UNC system.
East Carolina coach Skip Holtz has withdrawn his name from consideration as Syracuse's head coach and declined further discussions regarding the topic.
"While it is always flattering for others to have interest in your abilities," Holtz said in a statement issued by the school, "I simply am too focused on our preparations for the bowl game and many other of our short and long-term goals to fairly evaluate what I feel is a promising situation at Syracuse."
Staff video Travis Long, Caulton Tudor, J.P. Giglio
• The Podcast archive
Is Skip Holtz ditching ECU for Syracuse? Will the Tar Heels and Wolfpack win their bowl games? Caulton Tudor and J.P. Giglio have the answers. ... more
Updated 5:20 p.m.
ECU football coach Skip Holtz, in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon, called reports that he has agreed to become the next coach at Syracuse “inaccurate.”
Holtz, who does not have an agent, said he had not spoken with anyone at Syracuse about the job but did not rule the possibility of meeting with Orange athletics director Daryl Gross on Monday in New York. ESPN, on its ticker, reported Sunday that Holtz’ father, Lou, said there would be a meeting between his son and Orange officials.
"I have not met with them at this point, from a formal standpoint," Skip Holtz said Sunday. "The reports are inaccurate."