Nelson shines in East Carolina's rout of Western Carolina

Published: Sep. 4, 2016 at 7:35 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, NC -- In Saturday's season opener, Philip Nelson played in a live game for the first time since the Texas Bowl in 2013. Was rust an issue? Not even close.

The Pirate starter threw for 398 yards and five touchdowns, leading ECU to a 52-7 rout of Western Carolina. Nelson also added a rushing touchdown for the first score of the game.

It was also the debut for first-year head coach Scottie Montgomery and he made sure the fans got their money's worth. The Pirates racked up 688 yards of total offense, scoring at will against the Catamount defense.

Anthony Scott totaled over 200 all-purpose yards, scoring three times and Zay Jones led the receiving corps with 180 yards and a touchdown. All this led by the stellar play of the "Blonde Bomber."

"The offense we have and the weapons as a quarterback, you have to be confident and I expect to be able to execute on every single play, but at the same time, never put the ball in danger," said Nelson. "No problems with throwing it away, but I think we expected to do this tonight and we aren't satisfied."

"What you saw was a quarterback that understands the offense and lived up to everything we thought he would be," said Montgomery. "He took care of the football and I am very proud of him."

East Carolina hosts in-state rival North Carolina State on Saturday at 12:00.