ECU Hosts Memphis In Homecoming Game

UABSPORTS.COM Junior running back/tight end Zico Pasut
Junior running back/tight end Zico Pasut

Oct. 11, 2012

East Carolina Game 7: Memphis
Date Saturday, October 13
Time 4:30 p.m. (ET)
Location Greenville, N.C. (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
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Live Game Coverage Radio: WNCT 107.9FM and ECU All-Access Listen Live
Television: CSS/WITN l Note: CSS is available through Comcast, Charter and other cable providers and is not currently available through Dish Network or DirecTV. Locally for Suddenlink Communications and CenturyLink customers the game will be shown live on WITN-TV (NBC)
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - It's Homecoming on the East Carolina University campus as the Pirates host Memphis in a Conference USA clash at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 13, beginning at 4:30 p.m. ECU will try to regain some momentum after a 40-20 league setback at UCF last Thursday, Oct. 4, when it opens second half play - a portion of the schedule that features home games in four of the last six contests. The Pirates will also attempt to move to 3-1 in league action for the fifth time in the last six years and post their seventh-straight Homecoming win when they battle the Tigers on Bagwell Field.

East Carolina Records and Streaks

  • Eleven bowl appearances since 1990; seven since 2000 (five of the last six years) ...
  • Has won four-straight games (and 32 of 37) when scoring 30 or more points ...
  • Has lost 14-straight games when scoring 20 or more less points ...
  • Has won 12 of 13 games when forcing three or more turnovers ...
  • Has won 17 of the last 18 games when converting third downs at 50% or higher ...
  • Has won 16 of the last 24 (and 20 of 29) Conference USA games ...
  • Has won 14 of the last 16 (and 19 of 23) C-USA home games ...
  • Has won 14 of the last 18 (and 20 of the last 26) C-USA Division games ...
  • Has won 11 of its last 12 C-USA East Division home games ...

The Last Meeting
East Carolina35
October 15, 2011
Memphis, Tenn.
Pirates Knock Off Memphis, 35-17
Dominique Davis threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns as East Carolina defeated conference foe Memphis 35-17 Saturday night.

The Pirates Against the Tigers
East Carolina leads Memphis 14-6 in the all-time series which dates back to 1990 ... The Pirates, who have won the last six consecutive contests, hold a 7-2 edge in games played in Greenville while winning seven of 11 (7-4) battles in Memphis ... The series dates started in 1990 when the Pirates defeated the Tigers by a 24-17 score ... The programs have met every year since then except 1999 and 2002 ... This will be the final Conference USA game of the series with Memphis joining the Big East Conference in the fall of 2013.

Ruffin McNeill Against Memphis
Despite his long coaching career, Ruffin McNeill has only faced Memphis three times prior to Saturday's matchup - all while a member of ECU's coaching staff (assistant/1992, head coach/2010, 2011).

Justin Fuente Against East Carolina
Saturday's meeting will be Justin Fuente's first-ever against East Carolina as a collegiate coach ... He joined the TCU staff (2007) five years after the Horned Frogs left Conference USA (2002).

Last Meeting In Greenville - East Carolina 49 - Memphis 27
East Carolina converted three first-quarter turnovers into 21 points on the way to a 28-3 lead before turning in a 49-27 Conference USA victory over Memphis ... The Pirates benefitted from a fumble recovery and interception, the latter of which was returned 46 yards for a touchdown by safety Derek Blacknall, on the Tigers' first two possessions and scored the next three times they had the ball to claim a 35-10 halftime edge ... ECU quarterback Dominique Davis accounted for five of the six offensive TDs, hitting paydirt on a pair of runs and connecting with Giavanni Ruffin, Dwayne Harris and Michael Bowman on three scoring strikes ... Running back Jonathan Williams posted his second career 100-yard rushing performance, racking up 109 yards on 17 carries - an average of 6.4 yards per attempt - and adding a short touchdown plunge ... The Pirate defense also played a key role by applying plenty of pressure in the Memphis backfield with eight tackles for lost yardage, which included four sacks ... Although Davis found nine receivers during the afternoon for his 28-of- 39, 256-yard passing performance, ECU offered a balanced overall attack that featured 36 rushes and 41 passes that collectively netted 425 yards of total offense.

Welcome Back ... It's Homecoming
East Carolina has posted an all-time record of 47-10 (.825) when playing Homecoming games since 1955 and are the winners of six straight ... The Pirates have averaged just over 33 points a game in the last 10 Homecoming games ... East Carolina's longest Homecoming win streak lasted 14 games from 1971 to 1984 ... The Pirates began the "festivities" on Oct. 8, 1955 when it handed Elon a 13-0 defeat.

Against Conference-USA Opponents
Since playing its first season in Conference USA (1997), East Carolina has produced an all-time 67-48 (.583) league record ... Overall, the Pirates have won 16 of the last 24, 20 of the last 29 and 25 of the last 36 C-USA games, while in home league contests, ECU has won 14 of the last 16.

Battling Within the East Division
The Pirates are 26-11 (.703) against Conference USA East Division opponents since the league implemented divisional play in 2005 ... ECU is 14-4 at home and 12-7 on the road in games against Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB and UCF ... Before splitting a pair (win at USM, loss at UCF) to open league play in 2012, the Pirates were 3-2 in 2011 (wins over UAB, MEM and UCF, losses vs. USM and MAR), 4-1 in 2010, 5-0 in 2009, 4-1 in 2008, 3-2 in 2007, 4-1 in 2006 and 2- 3 in 2005.

Home Divisional Lid-Lifters
The Pirates have won four-straight C-USA East Division home openers, defeating UAB in 2011, Memphis in 2010, UCF in 2009 and the Tigers again in 2008 (are 5-2 overall since 2005).

Last Time Out
Quincy McDuffie's 99-yard kickoff return sparked a momentum-changing first quarter and his 64- yard touchdown reception in the third period helped UCF pull away from East Carolina in the Knights' 40-20 Conference USA win over the Pirates ... Trailing 14-0 after Shane Carden's 76-yard scoring pass to Justin Hardy at the 6:09 mark, McDuffie's return helped UCF outscore ECU 40-6 the remainder of the contest ... The Knights cashed in their next seven offensive possessions (three TDs, four field goals) and held the Pirates to a pair of Warren Harvey field goals ... UCF's defense limited ECU to just 10 rushing yards on 12 carries in the final 30 minutes - an average of 0.8 yards per attempt ... Quarterback Blake Bortles, who also led the Knights with 62 ground yards, completed nine-of-12 passes for 192 yards in the second half alone to finish with 331 yards of total offense ... ECU's defense stiffened to force three field goals in UCF's five redzone visits, but McDuffie's 64-yard catch and Bortles' one-yard TD plunge extended the Knights' slim three-point edge to a 37-20 cushion with 13:54 left ... Carden turned in a career-high 298-yard passing outing despite the loss, completing 23-of-36 throws - including an eight-of-nine, 125-yard first-quarter effort.

At Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium - 2-0 in 2012
East Carolina's all-time record at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is 164-84-1 (.661) ... The Pirates opened the facility on Sept. 21, 1963 with a 20-10 win over Brian Piccolo and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in front of 17,000 fans ... Before a 3-3 mark in 2011 and a 4-2 clip in 2010, ECU won a combined 10 of 12 home matchups in 2009 (6-1) and 2008 (4-1) ... Overall, ECU has turned in 36 winning seasons at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Analyzing the 2012 Starters By Class
The list of starters for ECU's first six games include three freshmen (CB Josh Hawkins, OLB Montese Overton, NT Terrell Stanley), eight sophomores (SS Desi Brown, QB Shane Carden, OLB Maurice Falls, ILB Jeremy Grove, IWR Justin Hardy, C Taylor Hudson, DE Chrishon Rose, NT Terry Williams), 17 juniors (CB Adonis Armstrong, RB Vintavious Cooper, OG Jordan Davis, RB Michael Dobson, OT Adhem Elsawi, OLB Derrell Johnson, QB Rio Johnson, DE John Lattimore, FS Damon Magazu, FB/IWR Zico Pasut, NT Lee Pegues, OWR Lance Ray, OG Will Simmons, SS Chip Thompson, ILB Kyle Tudor, OWR Reese Wiggins, OLB Gabriel Woullard) and six seniors (OWR Andrew Bodenheimer, RB Reggie Bullock, NT Michael Brooks, IWR Derrick Harris, CB Jacobi Jenkins, OT Robert Jones).

Full Speed Ahead
After opening the season with a combined 793 yards of total offense (390/Appalachian State, season-high 403/South Carolina) in its first two games, East Carolina generated only a combined 461 total yards in its next two contests (228/Southern Miss, 233/North Carolina) before racking up a collective 837 vs. UTEP (season-high 475) and UCF (362) ... In fact, the 217 ground yards against the Miners were a Ruffin McNeill era-best and the most recorded by the Pirates since amassing 242 against Tulsa on Nov. 15, 2009.

Keying On One For Now
Although East Carolina has surrendered 278.5 passing and 409.8 total yards per game against ASU, SC, USM, UNC, UTEP and UCF in its first six contests this season, its rush defense average of 131.3 ypg currently stands third in CUSA, 48th nationally and ranks among the program's all-time top 10 list.

Slowing The Run...Part II
After limiting Marcus Lattimore's (13-40) South Carolina rushing attack to 131 yards on Sept. 8, then surrendering just 91 yards to Southern Miss and only 129 to Giovani Bernard's (18-50) Tar Heel ground game Sept. 22, ECU has held opponents to less than 135 ground yards in six of its last eight contests dating back to the 2011 campaign (115/UCF, 104/Marshall in `11).

On The "Slow Start" Rebound
Although they snapped a four-game scoreless first quarter skid with TD against UTEP and followed with a season-high 14 points at UCF, the Pirates remain on the short end of a 49-21 ledger after the first 15 minutes of play ... ECU also scored first against UCF, ending a seven-game struggle in that category.

Playing It Clean
After the first six contests, the Pirates are the "third-fewest" penalized team in the nation so far this year with only 22 flags thrown their direction... ECU has earned three or less flags in half of its games so far - two vs. ASU, one vs. SC and three vs. UCF

A Pirate's Way of Life
The Pirates have forced a turnover in 23 of its last 26 games ... In all, East Carolina has created two or more turnovers in eight of the last 13 games, which includes three each against Appalachian State and Southern Miss, and a season-high four vs. UTEP this year ... ECU has won 12 of 17 games (12-5) when it forces two or more turnovers in the Ruffin McNeill era, but are just 2-12 in contests when it doesn't ... The Pirates currently rank 11th nationally in fumbles recovered with seven - the fifth-highest total among all FBS programs (trailing Ohio/11, Louisiana Tech/10, Boise State/9, Missouri/9 and six programs with eight).

C-USA: Looking For Three Up And One Down
The Pirates will try to move to 3-1 in Conference USA play for the fifth time in the last six seasons when they meet Memphis Saturday ... ECU was also 3- 1 in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 ... On the other hand, East Carolina has opened league play 2-2 twice in the last seven years (2005 and 2006) ... As previously mentioned, the Pirates were 3-1 a year ago after triumphs against UAB, Memphis and Tulane before dropping three of their last four to close the year (ECU was 4-0 in 2010 and also lost three of its last four).

Conference / National Individual Rankings
Inside receiver Justin Hardy ranks third in the conference in receiving yards per game (80.00), fourth in receptions per contest (6.50), tied for 11th in all-purpose yards (89.50) and tied for 14th in scoring (5.00) ... Punter Trent Tignor ranks fifth in the conference and 56th in the country in punting (41.16) ... Safety Chip Thompson is tied for fifth in the league in interceptions a game (0.33) ... Kicker Warren Harvey currently is placed tied for sixth in Conference USA in field goals per game (1.00) and 13th in scoring (5.50) ... Kick returner Lance Ray is eighth in kickoff returns with his average of 21.40 per game ... Quarterback Shane Carden is 8th in passing efficiency (118.84) and 10th in total offense (168.83) ... Running back Vintavious Cooper ranks 10th in the conference in rushing (60.33) and 19th in all-purpose yards (78.33).

Conference USA Team Rankings
The Pirates enter this week as the third stingiest rush defense in the conference (131.33 yds. per game) ... The team is third in scoring defense (26.67) plus fifth in sacks allowed (2.00), total defense (409.83) and punt returns (8.14).