Pirates explosive on offense
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — It appears East Carolina is clicking on all cylinders offensively.
The Pirates scored 56 points in a rout of Memphis (56-40) Saturday, the largest total since a 59-24 win over Army on Oct 5, 2002.
ECU churned out 641 yards of offense, the third-highest performance in school history. That included 491 yards on the ground, the fifth highest ever by an ECU team.
The Pirates set team records of 699 total yards of offense and 642 rushing yards against Virginia on Nov. 8, 1975.
Saturday’s game was the fifth straight in Conference USA play where ECU scored more than 30 points. The Pirates have scored 231 points (56 vs. Memphis, 52 vs. UCF, 45 vs. UTEP, 41 vs. UAB and 37 vs. Houston), an average of 46.2 points per game, in that span.
The Pirates (6-4, 5-1), who have won two straight and five consecutive C-USA games heading into Saturday’s showdown at Marshall (1-8, 1-4), are averaging 32.0 points per game this season. With two more big games against Marshall and Tulane (2-7, 1-4), whom the Pirates host on Nov. 24, ECU could threaten the school-record of 34.5 points per game that was set during the 1979 campaign.
Senior running back Chris Johnson played a huge factor in why ECU rang up so many points and rushing yards against Memphis. He finished with career-bests of 301 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Patrick Pinkney added 94 yards on the ground. Jonathan Williams and Dominique Lindsay added over 40 yards apiece.
While the ECU offense has been prolific, Holtz isn’t completely happy. Far from it, in fact.
Pinkney, a junior, and sophomore Rob Kass have alternated at quarterback for the Pirates.
Pinkney has clicked on 94-of-157 passes (59.9 percent) for 1,086 yards with 10 touchdown passes and four interceptions.
Kass has completed 80-of-147 passes (54.4 percent) for 909 yards with six touchdown passes and four interceptions.
Holtz can’t put his finger on one problem with the passing game.