ECU Out Of C-USA Title Race After Losing To Rice 62-38

The ECU Pirates had no answer for the Rice Owls offense giving up 410 yards on the ground. With the loss and UCF beating Tulane 62-14, The Knights have eliminated the Pirates in the race for the East Division championship.

Rice outscored East Carolina 14-3 in the third quarter Saturday, breaking open a close game on the way to handing the Pirates a 62-38 Conference USA loss at Rice Stadium.

Junior Dominique Davis completed 21 passes on his way to 308 yards while accounting for four touchdowns, three through the air. His nation-leading 34 touchdown passes are an ECU single-season record and the seventh most in a year by a Conference USA quarterback. Additionally, his 42 touchdowns responsible for leave him six short of entering the C-USA single-season top-five list.

Senior inside receiver Dwayne Harris, the East Carolina career leader in receptions (250) and receiving yards (2,876), made seven catches for 119 yards. He also tallied 184 all-purpose yards, giving him 1,222 in this season's seven C-USA games (174.6 APY/G). He also surpassed Ketric Sanford (Houston/5,817/1996-99) for seventh on the league's career all-purpose yardage list as Harris now has 5,942.

Another Pirate receiver, junior Lance Lewis, hauled in seven balls to bring his total to 70 this season, the fifth most in a year in ECU history. Lewis also totaled a career high with a team-best 126 receiving yards in the game.

After ECU (6-5, 5-2) punted on its first possession, Rice (3-8, 2-5) took the ball at its own 26 and went the distance, using 12 plays in 5:16 to assume a 7-0 advantage after Jere Eddington cashed in with a two-yard touchdown run. The Pirates answered right back, tying the contest under a minute later when Davis hooked up with Lewis for 47 yards as the receiver beat the Owl defender one-on-one. Lewis now owns the ECU single-season record for touchdown receptions with 11.

With the first quarter winding down, Rice quarterback Taylor completed a four-yard touchdown pass to Vance McDonald following a 44-yard run by Sam McGuffie to put the home team back in front by seven.

The Owls forced East Carolina to punt on the ensuing drive, taking the ball back at their own 36. Rice would run six plays, driving down to the Pirate one-yard line before the first quarter clock ran out.

Eddington opened the second period with his first touchdown run of the day, finding the endzone and putting the Owls up by 14. Rice then extended its advantage to 27-7 after Travis Bradshaw picked off Davis and Eddington ripped off an 88-yard run right up the middle on the Owls' third play after the turnover. However, Josh Smith blocked the extra point - the first stuff of his career.

ECU cut the deficit to just six at halftime, out-scoring Rice 21-7 the rest of the way. Matt Milner provided a key defensive play with under two minutes remaining, forcing a fumble and taking the ball 50 yards down to the Owl 19. Three plays later, Jonathan Williams scored from two yards out to leave the score at 34-28 heading into the break.

Rice scored on its opening possession of the third quarter to establish some breathing room as Sam McGuffie ran 17-yards to the endzone to make it 41-28 at the 11:24 mark.

Michael Barbour converted a 31-yard field goal after the ensuing 12-play drive that took 4:12 off the clock but the Owls responded with McGuffie's second touchdown of the day with 7:12 left in the period, a 66-yard toss from McHargue down the right sideline that would cap off the third-quarter scoring at 48-31.

After Rice stretched its lead even further with two touchdowns in the first 6:11 of the final quarter, Davis finished a seven-play drive with a one-yard run that sliced the Owl lead to 62-38 at the 6:40 mark. That would be the final score of the contest as Rice kept the ball and ran out the clock.

East Carolina plays its final regular season game Friday, Nov. 26, hosting SMU at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The Pirates will honor their seniors before the contest, which is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and will be nationally televised on CBS College Sports.

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  • by Anonymous on Nov 26, 2010 at 08:08 PM
    "Posted by: Mr. Booky Location: Back RM on Nov 24, 2010 at 12:24 PM $100 says that ECU will lose by 4 TD's Friday, any takers on this? " Pay up MF'er.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 26, 2010 at 08:07 PM
    "Posted by: Frank Sinatra Location: Heaven on Nov 22, 2010 at 04:23 PM If you cannot beat a food group what kind of team are you really? " Ask NC State.
  • by Stats man on Nov 24, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    I think that they will only lose by 3 TD's Mr. bookie. The final will be something like, SMU 55 EZU 34
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Nov 24, 2010 at 11:49 AM
    Don't get me wrong Deadfish. The defense is horrible and I'll be the first to admit that. Ruffin needs to fire that defensive coordinator and take more control of the defense, while letting Lincoln control the offense. If we had a combination of Lincoln's offense and Greg Hudson's defense regardless of who is the head coach (unless if it's John Thompson) then the pirates would be lights out and only would have probably lost two games up to this point(Va Tech and Navy). As far as the move to the Big East, that would make ECU get better recruits than ECU would otherwise would get, most likely meaning more victories. Also ECU would not have to travel so far to the west so much. The only thing with Central Florida is that they are way deeper in the shadows of Florida, Florida State, South Florida, and Miami. ECU would also be able to recruit better players for basketball even though the basketball program has a long ways to go. The baseball team would dominate the Big East.
  • by Mr. Booky Location: Back RM on Nov 24, 2010 at 09:24 AM
    $100 says that ECU will lose by 4 TD's Friday, any takers on this?
  • by deadfish on Nov 24, 2010 at 06:56 AM
    Sam: I understand and appreciate the fact that ECU wants to improve its conference affiliation but the numbers speak for themselves. Their D went from SEC caliber to dead last...120. Yes, I realize they lost key starters but that does not excuse them from missing tackles, staying in their lanes, and playing fundamentally sound ball. How can the Pirates expect to win ball games when the D gives up more points than than your O can score? Why would ECU want to move to the Big Easy, when it is only a matter of time before they loose their AQ status? If ECU wants to move to another conference at least strive for something better where you will gain more than a football only membership. Moreover, UCF stands a better chance of being invited to the Big Easy simply b/c of their Orlando market, nothing against your school.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Nov 24, 2010 at 06:12 AM
    Deadhead, if ECU and UCF both does not end up in the Big East, then the Big East will lose their AQ status. That whole conference can't even get a Top 25 team. Those conferences desperately need these 2 schools if they want to retain that AQ status.
  • by Dave Location: Hades on Nov 23, 2010 at 06:34 PM
    The only "defense" that Ruffin is on is whenever somebody eats the last piece of pie.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 23, 2010 at 04:07 PM
    This Ruffin fellow is a poor coach. He needs to resign before TH fires him.
  • by There-It-Is on Nov 23, 2010 at 02:25 PM
    Ranking dead last in college football defenses in the country, ECU Coach, Ruffin McNeil, has announced a solution: “A lot of times it comes down to, ‘I've got to whoop that guy in front of me and get off blocks, this simple but eloquent technique is referred in coaching circles as the "Whoop, There-It-Is.

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