By Mary Cunningham
Temple ran away with a 34-10 victory over East Carolina after building a 24-3 halftime lead.
“I think it could have been a bigger score, but out of respect, we just ran out the clock and (I’m) proud of our guys and how they fought the whole game,” Temple coach Geoff Collins said.
The Owls (3-3) finished 14-of-20 on third down and ECU (1-5) was 3-of-14.
“Our big emphasis was to start fast, take care of the football and on third down we had to convert and when they were on third down we had to get off the field because (ECU has) an explosive offense,” Collins said. “I thought we did all of those things. We ran the ball well and finished the game.”
ECU put out some different looks on defense to try and produce better results. It mostly was ineffective against an Owls team that came in averaging 295.8 yards per game and totaled 523 against the Pirates.
Pirate leading tackler and senior Jordan Williams is banged up and was benched at mike linebacker in favor of freshman Aaron Ramseur, who snared an interception during the first quarter and finished tied for the team-high with 11 tackles. Usual starter Cannon Gibbs was the other starter at linebacker, but the backups there were Williams and seldom-used senior Anthony Gutierrez.
“Jordan is really beat up, and we are trying to get a lot of guys in there,” Pirate head coach Scottie Montgomery said. “There are a lot of 1-on-1 plays for them, right now, in offense versus our defense. That’s concerning, because we have to continue to go play with the same people.”
On offense, true freshman Darius Pinnix started at running back and had a strong first drive that ended with an East Carolina field goal, but the run game faded from there and Pinnix finished with seven carries for a team-best 30 yards. Usual backfield starter Tyshon Dye didn’t hit the field until late in the second quarter for a lone carry of minus-2 yards, and instead it was Hussein Howe second in the pecking order with four rushes totaling 10 yards.
Quarterback Thomas Sirk was sacked four times, leading to him having a minus-14 rushing total on nine attempts.