Scores

Final

Memphis 27

(0-2, 0-1 American)

East Carolina 49

(2-0, 2-0 C-USA)

12:00 PM ET, September 11, 2010

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, GREENVILLE, NC

1 2 3 4 T
MEM 3 7 7 1027
ECU 28 7 7 749

Top Performers

Passing: R. Williams (MIA) - 293 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: J. Williams (ECU) - 17 CAR, 109 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Harris (ECU) - 6 REC, 54 YDS, 1 TD

East Carolina 49, Memphis 27

Associated Press

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Dominique Davis threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores to help East Carolina beat Memphis 49-27 on Saturday.

Derek Blacknall returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown in a dominating first quarter for the Pirates (2-0, 2-0 Conference USA), who are off to a fast start under new coach Ruffin McNeill. East Carolina has won its first two games for only the second time this decade and travels to No. 13 Virginia Tech next weekend.

Jon Williams ran for 109 yards and scored for the Pirates, who scored 51 points in their opener and have already as many 40-point games this season as they did during last year's run to a second straight league title.

The Tigers (0-2, 0-1) never came close to making this a game, committing three turnovers that led to touchdowns as they fell behind 28-3 in the opening period.

Memphis had a terrible start to Larry Porter's coaching tenure last week, giving up 569 total yards and committing eight penalties in the 49-7 loss at Mississippi State. The best thing they could claim from this game is they didn't let the final margin look a whole lot worse.

As for McNeill, the former East Carolina defensive back didn't have much to complain about early. The only problem was the way the Pirates slowed down after building that big lead.

Davis turned in another solid performance while directing the no-huddle spread offense McNeill and offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley brought with them from Texas Tech. After throwing for 383 yards and the last-play touchdown to beat Tulsa, Davis connected with Giavanni Ruffin and Dwayne Harris for first-quarter scores and completed 13 of his first 14 passes.

But perhaps more importantly, a defense with only two returning starters showed improvement after giving up 49 points last week. First it recovered a botched snap deep in Memphis territory to set up Davis' first TD pass, then Blacknall grabbed a badly overthrown pass from Cannon Smith over the middle and raced to the end zone for a 14-0 lead just 5 1/2 minutes in.

East Carolina also recovered a fumble on a handoff between Smith and Jerrell Rhodes to set up Williams' 2-yard run for the 28-3 lead.

Even when things went well for Memphis, it didn't last. Backup quarterback Ryan Williams replaced Cannon for the second quarter and threw a 32-yard touchdown pass, only to see Paulo Henriques kick the ball out of bounds and give the Pirates the ball at the 35. Then came a late-hit penalty, followed by Jon Williams dragging several Memphis tacklers about 5 yards on a carry for a first down before Davis scored on a 1-yard keeper to make it 35-10 with 11 minutes left in the half.

Memphis never got within two possessions the rest of the game.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MEM
ECU
1st Downs2027
Total Yards413425
Passing312252
Rushing101173
Penalties9-667-41
3rd Down Conversions6-148-14
4th Down Conversions0-11-1
Turnovers30
Possession31:1028:50

Passing Leaders

MemphisC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Williams18/2529311.730
East CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Davis27/382446.430

Rushing Leaders

MemphisCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rhodes17593.5012
Ray10343.408
East CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Williams171096.4131
Ruffin4235.808

Receiving Leaders

MemphisRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson45012.5017
Rucker5499.8116
East CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Harris6549.0118
Williams6508.3016

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMEMECU
TD10:59Giavanni Ruffin 11 Yd Pass From Dominique Davis (Michael Barbour Kick) 07
TD09:37Derek Blacknall 46 Yd Interception Return (Michael Barbour Kick) 014
FG06:20Paulo Henriques 38 Yd 314
TD03:04Dwayne Harris 5 Yd Pass From Dominique Davis (Michael Barbour Kick) 321
TD00:23Jonathan Williams 2 Yd Run (Michael Barbour Kick) 328
SECOND QUARTERMEMECU
TD13:40Gregory Ray 32 Yd Pass From Ryan Williams (Paulo Henriques Kick) 1028
TD11:13Dominique Davis 1 Yd Run (Michael Barbour Kick) 1035
THIRD QUARTERMEMECU
TD04:19Marcus Rucker 13 Yd Pass From Ryan Williams (Paulo Henriques Kick) 1735
TD01:05Dominique Davis 8 Yd Run (Michael Barbour Kick) 1742
FOURTH QUARTERMEMECU
TD13:15Jerrell Rhodes 35 Yd Pass From Ryan Williams (Paulo Henriques Kick) 2442
TD06:03Michael Bowman 5 Yd Pass From Dominique Davis (Michael Barbour Kick) 2449
FG01:01Paulo Henriques 42 Yd 2749