ECU’s Johnson on record pace
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Get the ball in his hands and Chris Johnson can make something special happen.
The starting senior tailback for East Carolina is coming off a solid game where he helped to lead the Pirates to a 34-31 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels. He hauled in five passes for 136 yards and a pair of scores while also rushing for 18 yards and another score.
Johnson got the Pirates on the board when he took a screen from Patrick Pinkney and sprinted 78 yards for a touchdown, the 10th longest scoring play in ECU history, in the first quarter. The speedy senior added a 24-yard scoring reception and a 4-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter.
Johnson added 104 kickoff return yards on four tries, including a 44-yarder.
In two games this season, Johnson has 311 all-purpose yards. He now has 4,344 yards in his career. That puts him just 120 yards shy of becoming the school’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards.
Anthony Collins, who played from 1977 to 1980, currently holds the mark with 4,463 yards.
The 5-11, 195-pound Johnson has 136 receiving yards, 128 kickoff return yards and 47 rushing yards this season.
Johnson entered the season with 1,706 return yards (482 in 2006, 459 in 2005, 765 in 2004); 1,559 rushing yards (314 in 2006, 684 in 2005, 561 in 2004) and 768 receiving yards (176 in 2006, 356 in 2005, 236 in 2004).
Holtz knows that Johnson wishes he had more rushing yards, but a young offensive line hasn’t allowed that to happen.
Still, Holtz has found other ways to get the ball in Johnson’s hands.
Johnson, who has 24 touchdowns in his career, will get a chance to set the record when the Pirates (1-1) play host to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (1-1) Saturday at 6 p.m.