GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina junior Justin Hardy has been named Conference Offensive Player-of-the-Week after catching 10 passes for 126 yards (all in the first half) in the Pirates’ 55-14 win over Southern Miss. The award is the first-ever for Hardy and marks the third time this season an ECU player has taken home the weekly honor following Shane Carden’s selections on Sept. 2 and Sept. 30.
Hardy recorded his third double-digit and third 100-yard receiving game the season. His 10-catch, 126-yard effort, which followed a 17-reception, 230-yard performance in a losing cause last week at Tulane, also marked the seventh double-digit and eighth 100-yard receiving contests of his career. Six of Hardy's catches were for 10-plus yards and seven of the 10 grabs resulted in ECU first downs.
The Vanceboro, N.C. native caught his 21st career TD pass in the first quarter to match Larry Shannon (1994-97) for second on ECU's all-time career scoring reception list, and is now just one away from matching the school standard (22 by Lance Lewis/2010-11). He has caught at least three passes in all 30 career games (had three for 28 yards in the first quarter vs. the Golden Eagles). Hardy also amassed a game-high 231 all-purpose yards (105 on 4 punt returns with a long of 66).
On the season, he has hauled down a league-best 67 catches for 765 yards, while scoring four TDs. He also ranks among the national leaders in total receptions (fourth), receptions per game (fourth/9.6 pg), total receiving yards (10th) and receiving yards per game (16th/109.3).
The Pirates (5-2, 3-1 C-USA) are off this week and will return to action on Nov. 2 when they travel to Florida International for a 6 p.m. (ET) kickoff. The game will be televised on WITN-TV.