IRVING, Texas – After improving to 3-0 for the first time since 1999, East Carolina has swept all three Conference USA Player-of-the-Week awards. Senior quarterback Patrick Pinkney takes home offense, junior DL C.J. Wilson grabs the defensive accolade and senior LB Quentin Cotton earns the special teams nod. The Pirates are the first C-USA team to win all three awards in the same week since SMU on Oct. 10, 2005.
Pinkney earns his second offensive player-of-the-week honor in three weeks after guiding the Pirates to a come-from-behind 28-24 win at Tulane. He led ECU on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, completing 3-of-4 passes for 64 yards and rushing four times for 21 yards, finishing with a 24-yard TD pass to Jamar Bryant with 1:41 remaining. For the game, Pinkney completed 22-of-32 passes for a season-high 260 yards with two TDs. Nine of his 22 completions went for 10 or more yards, including TD strikes of 51 and 24 yards. Pinkney completed 11 consecutive passes in the second and third quarters of the game.
Wilson recorded a game-high eight tackles (seven solo) in the win at Tulane and also had three tackles for loss. He recorded a sack for second straight game and also blocked a field goal attempt (the third blocked kick of his career) in the second quarter that was scooped up by Cotton and returned 44 yards for a score. Wilson was part of a defensive unit that held Tulane to 76 yards rushing, the fewest since holding NC State to 49 ground yards on Oct. 20, 2007.
Cotton scored first collegiate touchdown in the second quarter against Tulane when he picked up a blocked field goal attempt and returned it 44 yards for the game’s first TD. It was ECU’s second blocked kick return for a score this season, following T.J. Lee’s game-winning blocked punt return against No. 17 Virginia Tech. The return for a score was ECU’s 38th non-offensive TD in the past 10 seasons. On defense, Cotton also added two tackles, one sack and an interception.
The Pirates will face their third Bowl Championship Series opponent in four games this weekend against N.C. State Saturday in Raleigh. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon and will be broadcasts nationally on ESPN.