Quarterback Sam Hunt
Oct. 27, 2007
GREENVILLE, N.C. ---- The UAB football team ran into another potent offense Saturday as East Carolina stretched a 20-6 halftime lead with a 21-point third quarter en route to a 41-6 Conference USA victory over the Blazers. UAB could not get its passing game untracked for most of the game, throwing for only 128 yards in the contest.
"East Carolina did a nice job today," said UAB head coach Neil Callaway. "They had a good gameplan and executed it well. Obviously, we're disappointed in where we're at right now. My biggest concern is to make sure that we play at the highest level we can play at all times. I'll have to look at the film tomorrow to see if we're doing that.
"To be honest, at times I think we are and at times, I think we're not doing that. There's obviously some things we've got to do to get this thing going in the right direction."
The Pirates (5-4, 4-1 C-USA) came into the game with the league's best turnover margin. Free safety Van Eskridge picked off UAB quarterback Sam Hunt on the third play of the game at the Blazers' 35.
Four plays later, freshman running back Jonathan Williams started the onslaught with a 35-yard run to put the Pirates up to stay at 7-0.
UAB (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) trailed by 14 points at halftime, but held the Piratesthree-and-out on the first possession after intermission. The Blazers then drove from their own 15-yard-line to the ECU 25 where their drive stalled.
Swayze Waters, the nation's leading field goal kicker who had two earlier in the game from beyond 40 yards, this time pushed his 48-yard attempt just to the right of the uprights and the Blazers came up empty on the 8-play, 56-yard drive.
Led by Chris Johnson (15 carries, 79 yards) and Williams (5-63), ECU rolled up 194 rushing yards through three quarters (216 overall) as it led 20-6 at the half and 41-6 after three quarters.
Pinkney (6-of-7, 159 yards), who alternated with starter Rob Kass, found wide receiver Jamar Bryant with a 52-yard strike behind the UAB defense midway through the third quarter that put the Pirates up 34-6.
Then, with 36 seconds left in the quarter, ECU QB Patrick Pinkney threaded another pass to wide receiver Steven Rogers in the left corner of the end zone for a 7-yard score. That capped off an 8-play, 70-yard drive.
The Blazers' starters never got any deeper than the ECU 25 yard line, and they only went that far twice. The first time, midway through the first quarter, ended with a 42-yard field goal by Waters that cut ECU's lead to 7-3.
The second trip to the ECU 25, early in the third quarter, stalled when Hunt (12-of-29, 94 yards, 2 interceptions) was sacked by defensive lineman C.J. Wilson. Waters' miss from 47 yards in the third quarter snapped his 11-for-11 streak this season of field goals of 40 yards or more.
Brandon Thornton, seeing his most action in several weeks, rushed for 67 yards on 12 carries for the Blazers to lead the ground game. UAB finished with 168 rushing.
The Blazers are back home next Saturday at Legion Field to play host to C-USA rival Southern Mississippi (6:00 p.m. CDT, CSS TV).