Dominique Lindsay recorded his third 100-yard rushing performance of the season after picking up 139 yards against Memphis.
Oct. 27, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Dominique Lindsay ran for 139 yards for the Pirates (5-3, 4-1 Conference USA), who warmed up for a game against No. 14 Virginia Tech by rolling up a season-high 497 yards of total offense.
"Last night in the hotel room (Giavani Ruffin) and I talked about what we were going to do tonight," Lindsay said of his road game roommate. "We knew that the offense was going to be leaning on the run and we talked about how we needed to take care of things out here tonight."
The Tigers also fumbled twice to set up early scores for East Carolina.
Will Hudgens completed 33 of 48 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers (2-6, 1-4), who turned the ball over four times.
Pinkney completed 14 of 27 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown, and was picked off once. His only carries were scoring runs of 23 and 3 yards, and he wasn't sacked.
Ruffin ran for 87 yards and a late third-quarter touchdown that helped the Pirates pull away and take over the lead in C-USA's East Division.
"It was great to have him back out there because he's such a warrior," East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said. "Giavani Ruffin came out really strong for us, too. That's what we envisioned when we brought him here -- a big back that could get tough yards for us."
Two fumbles on consecutive possessions put the Tigers in a big hole early. Chris Hobbs lost the handle on a first-quarter punt return and Justin Brockmeyer recovered at the 10. Two plays later Dwayne Harris dove into the end zone on an 8-yard run from a direct snap out of the wildcat formation.
On the first play of the second quarter, a fumbled lateral to running back Curtis Steele was scooped up by safety Levin Neal at the Pirates 30. Eight plays later, Pinkney dashed in from the 23 and East Carolina was up 21-3.
Hudgens found Carlos Singleton for a 14-yard touchdown pass before halftime and the Tigers opened the third quarter with a field goal, but Ruffin and Pinkney scored quick TDs late in the quarter to put the game out of reach.
"East Carolina does a really nice job of being a team that doesn't make mistakes to lose the game," Memphis Coach Tommy West said. "We couldn't be that team to beat that team."