Pinkney powers ECU offense

Published 8:13 pm Sunday, August 31, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE — If there was any doubt as to who should be East Carolina’s starting quarterback, Patrick Pinkney put it to rest on Saturday afternoon.
After winning an offseason battle with quarterback Rob Kass for the starting position in 2008, Pinkney turned in a record-setting performance in Charlotte Saturday, completing 19-of-23 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown to lead ECU to a stunning 27-22 victory over No. 15 Virginia Tech.
By completing 82.6 percent of his passes, Pinkney set a new school record for completion percentage, breaking the old mark set by James Pinkney (81 percent) versus Duke in 2005.
Two of Pinkney’s incompletions were caught by ECU receivers who couldn’t get their feet down in bounds, and another was dropped. If not for that, Pinkney would have obliterated the mark.
Pinkney’s coaches and teammates were impressed with the way Pinkney performed in the second half with the game lying in the balance.
On the opening drive of the second half, Pinkney engineered a nine-play 61 yard scoring drive that helped ECU pull to within 14-13. During the drive, the senior signal caller completed a 26-yard pass to tight end Davon Drew that put the Pirates deep in Virginia Tech territory. Two plays later, he found Jamar Bryant in the corner of the end zone for a 12-yard scoring strike.
Then with ECU trailing 22-13 with 7:41 remaining, he led the Pirates down the field on a 73-yard scoring drive. During the fourth quarter drive, Pinkney completed 2-of-3 passes for 31 yards, before running in for a three-yard touchdown with 3:36 left on the clock.
While Pinkney may not be known on a national level just yet, he’s certainly caught the eye of Tech coach Frank Beamer.
Pinkney was glad to get the record, but he was more pleased with the win.
Pinkney may not be ready to give himself a pat on the back just yet, but his teammates weren’t shy about it.