Memphis captain for the ECU game were senior offensive lineman Jordan Devey, senior place kicker Paulo Henriques and sophomore cornerback Bobby McCain. East Carolina won the toss and elected to receive. The Tigers defended the east goal.
Memphis had led in each of the first five games this season.
Senior receiver Marcus Rucker caught a team leading seven passes for 88 yards on the day. With a 44-yard reception in the fourth quarter, Rucker now has the three-longest catches of the season for the Tigers. He had a season-high 63-yarder against Middle Tennessee and a 49-yard touchdown reception against Middle Tennessee.
Rucker moved into sole possession of ninth place in career receptions at Memphis with 107. He has 1,491 receiving yards and needs 36 more yards to move into ninth place in school history.
Tight end Jesse Milleson caught a 12-yard pass to convert for a first down and sustain a Tiger scoring drive. It was his first career reception with the Tigers.
Following Milleson’s reception, Jai Steib scored on a three-yard run to register his first rushing touchdown as a Tiger. Steib led the team on the ground with 13 rushes for 38 yards and a touchdown.
After giving up 143 yards of offense on East Carolina’s first two offensive series, Memphis’ defense held the Pirates to just 40 yards of total offense on the next four offensive series.
Memphis registered six quarterback sacks in the game. It was the most since the team registered six verses Arkansas State on Sept. 27, 2008.
Akeem Davis registered his first career quarterback sack in the first quarter of the game. Davis had blitzed on the previous series but had got to ECU quarterback Shane Carden just after he released the ball.
After an initial hit by Ricky Hunter, Kendrick Golden stripped the ball out of the hands of Vntvus Cooper. Hunter would recover the loose ball. It was the first career force and recovery, respectively, for the tandem.
Sophomore Martin Ifedi registered his third quarterback sack of the year (one and in each of the last three games), and in the process forced his first fumble of the season. The sack was Ifedi’s fourth of his career. On the play, Robert Steeples was credited with his second fumble recovery.
Ifedi was later credited with a half sack (with Lonnie Ballentine) and then another solo sack to finish with 2.5 sacks for the game and 3.0 tackles for loss.
In addition to his fumble recovery earlier in the first half, freshman defensive end Ricky Hunter also registered his first career quarterback sack during the game. Hunter’s sack in the second quarter was the third of the game for the Tigers, setting a new season high. Hunter finished with two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
Cannon Smith led the defense with a season high nine tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Junior punter Tom Hornsey went 32 punts before having a touchback. Bobby McCain had a chance to down Hornsey’s 32nd punt of the season but the ball hit and rolled into the end zone.
Hornsey also held on place kicks for the first time this season.