ECU Beats Memphis 35-17

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Dominique Davis threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns and East Carolina rallied to defeat Memphis 35-17 on Saturday night.

Davis completed 28 of 37 passes, and the Pirates (2-4, 2-1 Conference USA) snapped a two-game losing streak. He also added a 1-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

East Carolina finished with 524 yards of total offense, including 367 through the air.

For Memphis (1-6, 0-3), the woes continued as the Tigers were held to 233 yards of total offense and 56 on the ground, while dropping their fourth straight.

Davis completed a pair of 12-yard scoring passes - one each to Derrick Harris and Lance Lewis -- and a 58-yarder to Justin Hardy. Torrance Hunt added 98 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries for the Pirates.

Memphis scored its first touchdown on Martin Ifedi's 1-yard fumble return. Taylor Reed hit Tannar Rehrer on an 8-yard TD with just over 5 minutes left for Memphis' other touchdown.

The Tigers' only other score came in the first quarter on a 19-yard field goal by Paulo Henriques.

East Carolina overcame a somewhat lackluster first half when the Pirates trailed 10-7. The Pirates outscored Memphis 28-7, and collected 305 yards of offense after halftime.

"They obviously came out in the second half and took advantage of us not showing up," Memphis coach Larry Porter said. "As a result, they took a win from us. It was obvious to me that we started strong in the first quarter, sustained it in the second quarter and in the second half, we just didn't show up."

The victory was a strong rebound for the Pirates, who lost 56-3 last week to Houston. East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill was one of the Pirates that said the key was putting that performance behind them and moving on.

"It was just staying positive and being excited about playing the next game," Davis said. "That's what we did the whole week of practice. We just figured out what we needed to do to be successful. That was to be excited with everything you do. Just stay excited. If you make a mistake, we will get over it."

One of the key things East Carolina had to overcome was playing without leading rusher Reggie Bullock who was out with a left leg injury suffered in the first half against Houston.

That opened the door for Hunt, who entered the game with 65 yards on 12 carries in the Pirates' previous five games.

"In the first half, it was tough up front, and (Memphis) did a good job with line movements," McNeill said. "The holes and the creases were not there, but Torrance did a good job of staying patient and finding the seams. He has great speed and great balance."

Memphis, meanwhile, also was dealing with injury issues. The Tigers started third-string quarterback Skylar Jones, who had not taken a snap this year. Previous starters Reed and Andy Summerlin both are banged up, leading to Jones taking the reins.

Taylor, who was suffering from a sternum injury, came in only after Jones was injured early in the fourth quarter.

Memphis led 10-7 at the break despite the Tigers being held to only 103 yards of offense.

Neither team ran the ball well in the half, with Memphis recording only 8 yards on the ground, while East Carolina managed slightly better at 14 yards rushing.

Ifeldi's fumble recovery for a touchdown marked the first score for the Tigers' defense since 2007 against Arkansas State.

Once Memphis took the lead into the break, it was like a wakeup call for East Carolina, and a reminder that they had committed to have fun after suffering through the Houston loss.

"When you don't have success with young people, it's tough," McNeill said of the early season record. "I think one of the key things that provides confidence and success is having a chance to have some wins."

Previous Story:
Dominique Davis ran for a 1 yard touchdown to give ECU a 35-10 lead against Memphis in the fourth quarter.

Dominique Davis dropped a perfect pass into Lance Lewis for a 12 yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put the Pirates up 28-10.

Dominique Davis connected with Justin Hardy on a 58 yard completion for a touchdown as ECU leads 21-10 against Memphis in the second half.

Torrance Hunt scored from 9 yards out after an Emanuel Davis interception to give the Pirates their first lead of the day at 14-10.

Derrick Harris, younger brother of former ECU star Dwayne Harris, caught a touchdown pass from Dominique Davis to put the Pirates on the board against Memphis.

Memphis recovered a Dominique Davis fumble and scored a touchdown to push their lead to 10-0 against ECU in the first half.

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  • by Mr. E on Oct 18, 2011 at 09:36 AM
    You will never see a BCS team play on such a horrid telecast. This is why the other D1 schools will continue to laugh at ECU and CUSA.
  • by The broadcast Location: ENC on Oct 18, 2011 at 06:07 AM
    Those commending WITN for showing the game are probably employed by the station. It was a horrible broadcast. The worst part was knowing they could show the downs and play clock (each shown once), but did not. Human laziness was what made the broadcast bad, not something unavoidable.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 18, 2011 at 04:52 AM
    When are you people going to realize that this is D1 football, I will say it again D1 football, not pop warner...every player from memphis and even UAB were the best players from their highschool and thus are very good athletes, I have never understood why everyone hates on a team that has had a rough schedule and could easily be 3-3 right now or even 4-2 (usc and vtech not unc and houston)...then everyone would be like yahhh ECU is the best. you are called fair weather fans and we don't need those in a building program.
  • by Robert Location: Wilmington on Oct 17, 2011 at 02:35 PM
    Even though Navy is having a down year, they will beat ECU. As a ECU fan and someone who knows what a good football team looks like, it will not be pretty for the Pirates. Discipline and clean , fundamental football will prevail over this inept group.The spin doctors ( Ruff and TH ) will hope that Pirate fans will continue to drink the Kool-Aid. To give Pirate fans the perception that we will meet Houston in the championship game is a stretch with the present personnel and play calling.ECU will not have a light bulb moment this year.The switch has been turned off all year.
  • by chuck on Oct 17, 2011 at 11:58 AM
    Saw the game & Very sloppy performance by ECU in first half. Navy will destroy Pirates If ECU starts first half like they did against Memphis. Better be Prepared to play Navy game ECU .
  • by telling the truth on Oct 17, 2011 at 10:54 AM
    Witn should really stop showing these games if they can't do it professionally! Why show these ECU games anyway? I understand showing a few but almost everyone is broadcast on some chan.any way! ECU is awful ,Memphis is probably the worst FBS program in the country. Why show that mess? I am a grad of ECU and I realize just about everyone around here are heels fans whether they have ever been to Chapel Hill or not! Showing all these awful games just makes the University look bad. Think about it. There's a reason the Detroit Lions weren't on Monday night football for a decade. I am an ECU fan but as bad as they are I watched Clemson vs. Maryland for the most part. You tv folks need to realize a bad product is a bad product no one wants to see such a mess , the camera work the entire telecast was a joke. I am sure heels,wolfpack,deacon, and local high school fans had a chuckle and made quite a few jokes about how hokie this game really was in so many ways! WOW! to say ECU has slipped under Ruff and Holland being asleep at the wheel is a major understatement.
  • by How hard? Location: ENC on Oct 17, 2011 at 06:03 AM
    How hard is to ask for minimal information during a football game? You WITN lovers need to expect more from your local TV station.
  • by Pirate 4 life Location: Greenville on Oct 16, 2011 at 11:20 PM
    At the end of the day, despite what most are saying, I am appreciative that WITN chose to televise the game, and I hope they will continue to broadcast as many as possible. While I enjoy attending home games, even if they lose most of them, I cannot pay $40 - $60 per person to see a debacle. Sorry ECU athletics -you got my money as long as I can tell you're trying! Love the Pirates, love Lincoln and Ruff, but somethings gotta give!
  • by Sarah on Oct 16, 2011 at 07:01 PM
    Proud of you guys. Coach McNeil needs more wins, make him proud.
  • by Red Neck on Oct 16, 2011 at 05:27 PM
    Another ugly win over a team that is now 1 and 6. And people wonder why EZU got left out of the Big East.
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