TU-East Carolina: Report Card
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Monday, September 06, 2010
9/06/10 at 9:26 AM
Tramel column: Heartbreak hard to swallow for TU
Tulsa's final-play strategy backfires
TU-East Carolina: How they scored
TU Notebook: Nice debut
Stolen moment: Pirates snatch victory on game's final play
The microscope was going to be on new offensive coordinator Chad Morris and he passed his first test in a hostile environment. Morris' offense racked up 579 yards (399 passing, 180 rushing). There was a bit of a shaky start with the first five plays resulting in two fumbles (one lost) and a dropped pass that could have been returned for an interception. But the team settled in the second half and ended 11-of-15 on third-down conversions. Newcomers Trey Watts, Thomas Roberson, Ja'Terian Douglas and Jameel Owens could develop into valuable weapons and their importance in this offense was immediately displayed. The offensive line was also steady and only allowed one sack while opening up passing lanes for the running backs. Kinne's only mistake was an interception on a pass intended for Damaris Johnson. Johnson finished with 299 total yards, but had a first-quarter fumble also.
The defense entered the game young and inexperienced and ended the game young, inexperienced and injury-riddled. The Golden Hurricane lost free safety Dexter McCoil to a second-half knee injury and Cory Dorris limped off the field on the game's final drive. There were growing pains, as Todd Graham mentioned at least seven critical errors when there were breakdowns in coverage. The Pirates scored four fourth-quarter touchdowns and were able to get 538 yards on Tulsa, which would have been the second-largest total behind Houston in 2009. TU was only able to force one turnover, a throwaway pass late in the first half that was picked off by McCoil. Curnelius Arnick had a team-high 7.5 tackles, and Tanner Antle added 6.5. Jamad Williams, making his defensive debut, had 3.5 tackles before sitting with an undisclosed injury.
Special teams: C
Tulsa's return specialist, Damaris Johnson, put the Hurricane in favorable field position many of the times that he touched the football on returns. His long return was a 56-yarder. But the Hurricane did have one kickoff roll out of bounds and had a 46-yard field goal attempt blocked early in the contest. Michael Such punted twice for a 37.5 average.
East Carolina's Dominique Davis, looking to throw over TU's Cody Wilson, finished with 383 yards passing. TOM GILBERT / Tulsa World