GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- DeAngelo Williams rushed for 225 yards
and four touchdowns, and Steven Gostkowski made a tie-breaking
field goal with six seconds left to give Memphis a 38-35 win over
East Carolina on Saturday.
The Tigers (7-3, 4-3 Conference USA) led 28-7 midway through the
third quarter, but East Carolina (2-8, 2-6) came back to tie the
score at 28 with nine minutes to play.
Memphis quarterback Danny Wimprine completed a 45-yard pass to
Maurice Avery, setting up Williams' 30-yard touchdown run down the
left sideline at the 6:11 mark.
East Carolina responded three minutes later with a 60-yard
touchdown pass from James Pinkney to Will Bland, tying the score
again at 35-35. But the Tigers drove back down the field, and
Wimprine hit Avery again on a slant to put Memphis in range for
Gostkowski's game-winning 35-yard kick.
Wimprine completed 21 of 37 passes for 200 yards and one
touchdown. Pinkney was 27 of 49 for 336 yards and two touchdowns,
but he also threw four interceptions.
The Tigers capitalized on a pair of interceptions by Pinkney to
build a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Dustin Lopez got the first
pick at the 50-yard line and returned it to the Pirate 15, setting
up a four-yard Williams touchdown run three plays later.
On ECU's next possession, Pinkney was intercepted near midfield
by Scott Vogel, who brought it back 28 yards to set up another
short field for Memphis. Then Wimprine found Tavares Gideon for a
10-yard score put the Tigers up 14-0.
Williams added another touchdown run, this time from six yards
out, to extend the lead to 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
Memphis scored again on its first drive of the second half.
Williams, who leads C-USA with 1,535 rushing yards this season,
went 48 yards on a run up the middle to give the Tigers a 28-7
East Carolina got within three points, 28-25, when Travis
Williams returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown with 12:53 left
in the game and the Pirates added a two-point conversion.
It was the final home game for ECU coach John Thompson, who
announced Wednesday that he will resign after the season. The loss
dropped his career record to 3-19 in two seasons at East Carolina.