East Carolina defeats UAB

Published 11:45 am Sunday, November 23, 2008

By By The Associated Press
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Brandon Simmons scored on a 2-yard run with 2:20 remaining in the game to lift East Carolina to a 17-13 victory over Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday night.
Simmons’ touchdown capped a nine-play, 55-yard drive that was aided by a face mask penalty that gave East Carolina (7-4, 5-2 Conference USA)a first down at UAB’s 11. Two plays later, Simmons scored to cap the drive, which was led by backup quarterback Rob Kass.
UAB (3-8, 2-5) moved to the East Carolina 40, but Pierre Bell intercepted Joe Webb at the 31 to preserve the victory after the ball skipped off the hands of Zach Lankford.
The win clinched the C-USA East Division title for the Pirates and a spot in the conference championship game.
East Carolina’s Patrick Pinkney was 19 of 25 for 222 yards with two interceptions, and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Davon Drew that tied the score at 7 with 2:03 remaining in the first quarter. The score capped a 69-yard drive that included a 23-yard pass to Drew.
Drew finished with seven catches for 95 yards, and Webb threw for 116 yards and ran for 75 yards and a 3-yard touchdown. East Carolina was held to 56 yards rushing on 39 attempts.
UAB’s Swayze Waters tied the score at 10 with a 23-yard field goal with 8:42 remaining in the third quarter, and then gave the Blazers the lead with a 27-yard field goal with 14:12 left in the fourth quarter. That set the stage for Simmons’ game-winning score.
The Pirates’ defense helped the offense overcome five turnovers.
The Blazers was shooting for their first two-game winning streak under second-year coach Neil Callaway.
The Blazers took care of the ball, committing only one turnover, but they struggled to move the ball after opening the game with a 60-yard touchdown drive capped by Webb’s 3-yard run.
UAB’s Webb rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries.
On its first play from scrimmage, East Carolina completed a pass that covered more than 20 yards. But Drew fumbled after a hit by UAB’s Keon Harris, and the Blazers’ Kevin Sanders recovered.
That gave UAB excellent field position at its own 49, but the Blazers had to punt.
East Carolina 7 0 3 7 — 17
UAB 7 0 3 3 — 13
First Quarter
UAB—Webb 3 run (Waters kick), 11:50.
ECU—Drew 10 pass from Pinkney (Hartman kick), 2:03.
Third Quarter
ECU—FG Hartman 47, 11:58.
UAB—FG Waters 23, 8:42.
Fourth Quarter
UAB—FG Waters 27, 14:12.
ECU—B.Simmons 2 run (Hartman kick), 2:20.
First downs 15 13
Rushes-yards 39-56 35-142
Passing 222 116
Comp-Att-Int 19-27-2 11-25-1
Return Yards 45 (-3)
Punts-Avg. 3-45.3 8-42.8
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 0-0
Penalties-Yards 4-36 7-69
Time of Possession 32:31 27:29
RUSHING—East Carolina, Rogers 10-54, B.Simmons 4-18, Whitley 11-17, J.Simmons 1-0, Team 3-(minus 4), Kass 2-(minus 5), Freeney 1-(minus 10), Pinkney 7-(minus 14). UAB, Webb 15-75, Slaughter 11-41, Brooks 7-25, Forrest 1-3, Team 1-(minus 2).
PASSING—East Carolina, Pinkney 19-25-2-222, Kass 0-2-0-0. UAB, Webb 11-25-1-116.
RECEIVING—East Carolina, Drew 7-95, Freeney 4-36, Womack 3-53, Willis 1-24, Taylor 1-6, Gidrey 1-4, B.Simmons 1-3, Rogers 1-1. UAB, Ferrell 3-39, Slaughter 2-11, Wright 2-5, Brooks 1-23, Anderson 1-19, Forrest 1-19, Lankford 1-0.