Second Half Outburst Leads ECU Past Memphis, 35-17
Oct. 15, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis fell to East Carolina University 35-17 in football action at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Tigers quarterback Skylar Jones, making his first start for the Blue and Gray, threw for 124 yards on 10-of-18 passing and two interceptions before he was replaced by Taylor Reed in the fourth quarter after a hard hit in the endzone. Reed finished with 53 yards, completing 5-of-12 attempts. Curtis Johnson grabbed three passes for 81 yards with a long of 50 (on a pass from Jones) in his first significant playing time this year after a pre-season injury.
Pirates quarterback Dominique Davis had three passing touchdowns and threw for 307 yards on 28-of-37 passing and no interceptions. East Carolina out-gained the Tigers on the ground 157-56, featuring Torrance Hunt's 98-yard rushing performance.
The Tigers scored a touchdown on a Reed-to-Tannar Rehrer pass on 4th-and-8 with 5:12 left in the game for the final score of the game. The Tigers put the first 10 points on the board before the Pirates scored 35 straight to take a 35-10 lead. Rehrer's touchdown came after Akeem Davis recovered an ECU fumble at the Pirates 45 with 8:02 left in the game.
ECU opened the fourth period with a 12-yard Dominique Davis-to-Lance Lewis touchdown pass to put the Pirates up 28-10 after the PAT, and the Pirates put the Tigers in a 25-point deficit on a one-yard rush with 10:45 left in the fourth quarter.
Early in the third quarter, Emanuel Davis intercepted Jones at the Memphis 32 and returned it inside the Tigers 10 yard line, setting up a nine-yard Hunt touchdown run that gave the Pirates a 14-10 lead. ECU made it 21-10 on a 58-yard Dominique Davis-to-Justin Hardy pass play with 6:29 left in the third quarter on a seven-play, 89-yard drive that took only 2:22 off the clock.
East Carolina opened the second quarter with a touchdown on a 12-yard Dominique Davis-to-Derrick Harris pass to cut the Memphis lead 10-7, and Derek Blacknall later intercepted a Jones pass to put ECU on their own 11 yard line. But, the Memphis defense held ECU to take a 10-7 lead into halftime.
The Tigers scored the first points of the game with four minutes left in the first quarter on a Paulo Henriques 19-yard field goal. The field goal was set up by a 50-yard heave from Jones to Johnson that was originally ruled a touchdown, but was overturned after a review of the play. The 50-yard pass play was a career-long reception for Johnson and the second-longest offensive play for the Tigers this year.
Memphis scored again with one minute left in the first quarter, as Tigers defensive lineman Martin Ifedi grabbed a Dominique Davis fumble at the 1 yard line and ran it in the end zone for a Memphis touchdown. The play marked Ifedi's first career fumble recovery and touchdown. It also marked the first defensive touchdown for Memphis since 2007.
After a Memphis punt, ECU halfback Justin Hardy connected with Andrew Bodenheimer for a 51-yard gain into Tigers territory. The trick play set up an ECU field goal attempt from 48 yards out, but the attempt was blocked by Johnnie Farms. It was Farms' third career blocked field goal and his second this season.
The Tigers close out the month of October on the road, traveling to Tulane and UCF on Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, respectively.The Tigers and Green Wave meet Oct. 22 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.The game was selected late Friday for a televised broadcast by Fox College Sports. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. (CT) in New Orleans. The following week, the squad travels to Orlando to face UCF at 3 p.m. (CT) on Oct. 29. The Tigers' next home game is Nov. 12 against UAB. The "Battle For The Bones" contest is also Senior Day for 15 Tiger seniors because the last home game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (vs. Marshall) was moved to Thursday, Nov. 17.