Chris Johnson rushed for a career-high 301 yards and four touchdowns Saturday as East Carolina held onto the top spot in Conference USA's East Division with a 56-40 victory over Memphis.
Johnson scored on runs of 16, 44, 70 and 50 yards as he racked up his rushing stats on 20 carries. The Pirates (6-4, 5-1) finished the day with 491 yards on the ground. Johnson's rushing total was the second-highest in school history, trailing only Scott Harley, who ran for 351 yards against North Carolina State in 1996.
Johnson's touchdowns and a 45-yard first-quarter run by quarterback Patrick were evidence of the quick scoring by the Pirates.
Pinkney also threw for two touchdowns -- a 6-yard scoring pass to Jamar Bryant and 25 yards to Steven Rogers. Pinkney threw for 105 yards on the day.
Dominque Lindsay also scored on a 22-yard run as Memphis (4-5, 3-2) gave up more than 400 yards rushing for the first time since 1982 against Georgia.
East Carolina has won five of its last six and defeated five straight C-USA opponents. The Pirates have score at least 30 points in five straight conference games.
The East Carolina victory leaves the Pirates in first place in Conference USA's East Division.
Carlos Singleton caught a pair of touchdown passes from Martin Hankins for Memphis. The scoring passes of 5 and 14 yards came in the second half as the Tigers never got close enough to threaten.
Hankins finished with 416 yards passing and four touchdowns for the Tigers.
Memphis had its two-game winning streak snapped as they were unable to stop the East Carolina running game and big plays... Billy Weaver and Brian Meador will Have More on the Pirates Big Win Coming up at Eleven