10/17/09 — East Carolina beats up on hapless Rice

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East Carolina beats up on hapless Rice

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 17, 2009 11:07 PM

GREENVILLE -- East Carolina dominated time of possession and easily rolled to a 49-13 homecoming victory over Rice at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Pirate offense had little trouble moving the ball against the much-maligned Owls defense, which entered the game ranked last among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams in points allowed. ECU owned nearly a 9-minute advantage in possession time and a 173-78 edge in rushing yards.

"We really pushed this team hard this week," said Pirates head coach Skip Holtz said. "We practiced in pads a couple days and we did some extra things to get ready after a tough loss last week."

East Carolina (4-3 overall, 3-1 CUSA) opened the scoring three minutes into the first quarter when Patrick Pinkney found Dwayne Harris for a 16-yard scoring strike. Harris finished with 128 yards and two touchdowns, giving him seven TD receptions in the Pirates' last four games.

"Dwayne is a special player because he has the ability to turn any play into a big play," said Holtz. "We did a good job of getting him the ball and he was able to find the end zone."

The Pirates never trailed from that point.

Rob Kass collected his first career receiving touchdown two possessions later and East Carolina quickly built a 28-10 halftime lead. Pinkney threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns on 18 completions for the game.

Rice made the game interesting in the early moments of the third quarter when Clark Fangmeier pulled the Owls within two scores with a 24-yard field goal.

Giavanni Ruffin iced the game for the Pirates with a 7-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter that ended the Owls' hopes for a comeback. With the Pirates leading 35-13, both coaches found time for some young players.

"It was nice to see some of the young guys get out there and get their feet wet," said Holtz. "It was one of those games where every coach wants to be able to use all of his bench players and get everyone involved."

ECU will have a 10-day layoff before visiting Memphis for a crucial East Division contest.

"We are going to give the guys a day or two off and then get ready like it's a game week," said Holtz. "There isn't really a script when you have nine or ten days off, so we have to get some guys healthy and turn our focus to Memphis."