GREENVILLE, N.C. - Shane Carden connected with Justin Hardy down the middle for a 67-yard touchdown 15 seconds into the first quarter and ECU never looked back in a 41 victory over Memphis.
Shane Carden hit big Justin Jones to the left for 39-yard touchdown later in the first quarter. Warren Harvey connected on a 37-yard field goal late in the second to give the Pirates a 17-0 lead at intermission.
The defensive effort of linebackers Daniel Drake and Gabe Woullard, who both had ten tackles along with Jeremy Grove's nine tackles and eight from nose tackle Terrell Stanley pretty much shut Memphis down.
East Carolina(4-3/3-1 C-USA) was fortunate because they had four fumbles in the first half and five overall. The Pirates lost two of those, but Memphis was unable to ever really capitalize or turn the early momentum that ECU was able to generate in the first quarter.
Carden was 18 for 21 through the air in the first half alone, good for 245 yards while limiting Memphis quarterback Jacob Karam to 63 yards on 9 of 12 passing in the first half. Carden ended up with 308 yards on 25 of 33 passing with five touchdowns.
With 8:25 left in the third, Warren Harvey connected on a 40 yard field goal to extend East Carolina's lead to 20-0.
Hardy caught his second touchdown of the game late in the third quarter when Carden found him in the west endzone. Harvey's PAT was good for a 27-0 lead. Then Jones caught his second TD pass of the day from 14 yards out with for a 35-0 cushion.
Carden found Jones again in the ECU endzone from four yards out for his third touchdown on the contest.
Justin Hardy did most of his damage in the first half where he had five catches for 126 yards and ended up with 137 yards on six catches for the game.
Memphis(1-5/1-1 C-USA) finally got on the scoreboard with just under nine minutes to play. Jai Steib scored from three yards out for the Tigers' only touchdown of the day.
Steib had 38 yards on the ground while Carl Harris ran for 37 to lead the Memphis running attack. Cannon Smith led Memphis with nine stops defensively while Akeem Davis tallied eight in a losing cause.
The Pirates rolled up 369 yards in total offense while holding Memphis to 281 despite having the football for seven less minutes of possession time.
Catch PI First Photos and Chanellos Pizza PI Postgame here on PirateIllustrated.com.