Tigers Top East Carolina, 41-24
Nov 1, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Danny Wimprine threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns Saturday as Memphis defeated East Carolina 41-24.
The victory gives Memphis (6-3, 3-2 Conference USA) its first six-win season since 1994, when Chuck Stobart ended his coaching tenure with a third consecutive 6-5 season. It also makes Memphis eligible for a bowl game for the first time since the early 1970s.
DeAngelo Williams rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers, who won their third straight. Williams has eight 100-yard games on the year and 1,173 yards rushing, both school season records.
East Carolina (1-8, 1-4) stayed close through the first half, but struggled in the third period as Memphis pulled away.
It was tied 17-17 at the half after the Pirates put together their best opening quarter of the season.
Memphis took the opening kickoff and drove to the Pirates 12 before settling for a 30-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
East Carolina, which had not scored a touchdown in an opening period this season, took a 7-3 lead when Damarcus Fox took the ensuing kickoff back 94 yards. The Pirates would add another touchdown in the quarter on Marvin Townes' 15-yard run.
The Tigers' two first half touchdowns came on a 4-yard run by Williams and a 29-yard touchdown pass from Wimprine to Maurice Avery.
Memphis turned up the defensive pressure in the third period, causing two Pirate fumbles and holding East Carolina to 17 total yards in the period. The Tigers would end the day with seven sacks, tying a school record.
Offensively, Wimprine connected on third-quarter touchdown passes of 32 and
27 yards to Darron White. His fourth touchdown pass was his second to Avery,
covering 51 yards. It was Wimprine's longest completion of the day and gave the
Tigers a 41-17 lead with 4:39 left.
The Pirates scored a late touchdown on a 9-yard pass from reserve quarterback James Pickney to Terrance Copper.