IRVING, Texas – East Carolina seniors Patrick Pinkney and T.J. Lee were named Conference USA Offensive and Special Teams Players-of-the-Week the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. For Pinkney it was his second career weekly honor (Sept. 10, 2007/ North Carolina), while Lee takes home his first weekly accolade.
Pinkney guided ECU to a 27-22 win over No. 17 Virginia Tech, helping the Pirates become the first team in C-USA history to defeat back-to-back nationally-ranked opponents (No. 22 Boise State in the 2007 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl). He completed 19-of-23 passes for 211 yards with one touchdown pass. His 82.6 completion percentage set a new single-game school record. Pinkney also rushed 11 times (career-high) for 24 yards with a score. Eight of his 19 completions went for 10 or more yards, with a game-long 27 yarder going to Dwayne Harris in the second quarter.
Lee blocked a punt and returned it 27 yards for touchdown with 1:52 remaining to give ECU the victory over the Hokies in Charlotte. He became fourth Pirate since 2006 to receive an ESPN Gameday Final helmet sticker for his play against the Hokies and was one of four players nationally to be nominated for the AT&T All-America Player-of-the-Week. Lee’s blocked punt for a TD was the first by a Pirate since Nov. 16, 2002 when Antwane Yelverton accomplished the feat at UAB. The blocked punt is also a Pontiac Game Changing Performance-of-the-Week Nominee and that winner will be announced on Thursday.
C-USA Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors went to Rice’s Andrew Sendejo, who set up a pair of Owls touchdowns in a 28-point third quarter outburst to put the game away vs. SMU. He intercepted a pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown, the second of his career and both have come against SMU. Sendejo then picked up a fumble and returned it 34 yards to set up the Owls final touchdown of the game. He also had four tackles and was credited with breaking up a second pass.
The Pirates will return to action Saturday, Sept. 6 when the play host to No. 8 West Virginia inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium with kickoff slated for 4:36 pm on ESPN.