BYU Ends ECU Winning Streak

East Carolina came back to tie the game late in the fourth quarter but Tanner Mangum's late game heroics gave BYU a 45-38 victory over the Pirates

With the score tied at 38 and with less than four minutes left in the game, Birmingham Young quarterback Tanner Mangum returned to the game to lead the Cougars. Mangum left the third quarter with a hamstring injury and was called upon to jump start a stalling BYU offense. The Cougars went down the field to score with 19 seconds left in the game and that lead would hold.

BYU (4-2) was shut out in its game in Michigan last week, but had no trouble moving the ball against the Pirates defense. Going down 14-0 early, BYU scored 28 unanswered points. After Mangum injured his hamstring in the third quarter, the BYU offense was held scoreless for most of the fourth quarter. Mangum then led BYU on a game winning drive and finished the game with 332 yards and three touchdowns.

The Pirates (3-3 1-1 AAC) offense did not find the same successes on offense. Scoring on a 34-yard run on the first drive of the game, James Summers and the ECU offense was shut down until the insertion of Blake Kemp. Entering the game with two minutes left in the second quarter Kemp led ECU on a touchdown drive at the end of the half to bring the score to 28-21.

Two outstanding games were enough for Summers to get his first start at ECU. Summers capitalized early on his starting opportunity with a touchdown drive but failed to keep the Pirates offense moving after that drive. Finishing the game with on two completions with only six attempts, Summers did not have the same impact rushing that he had the previous two games. The starting quarterback had 55 yards on ten carries and was benched for the remainder of the game towards the end of the second quarter.

Kemp turned in his in his worst performance of his young career at ECU, but bounced back and threw for his third 300-yard game of the season. With already a 70 percent completion percentage coming into the game, Kemp completed 28-of-36 pass attempts and scored two touchdowns through the air.

Turnovers continued to plague Kemp and the Pirates offense, turning the ball over three times in the third quarter. ECU moved the ball well, getting into BYU territory with ease but the Pirates fumbled twice inside the BYU 40. The Pirates defense helped out by forcing two BYU turnovers, with one turnover coming off an interception in the fourth quarter.

True freshman Beau Hoge entered the game for ailing Mangum and was tasked with managing the BYU offense late in the game. Hoge struggled to get anything going, gaining only six total yards and only completing one of five passes. But Hoge’s biggest mistake came in the fourth quarter. On second and eight at the BYU 30, Hoge dropped back to pass and flushed out of the pocket. The young quarterback then threw the ball across his body and into the arms of ECU linebacker Yiannis Bowden. The Pirates offense converted a field goal attempt following the interception to tie the game at 38.

Bowden’s interception was one of many big plays and he turned in another solid performance for the ECU defense. He and Montese Overton combined for three total sacks and also three tackled for loss. Despite the success of the front seven, the ECU secondary failed to contain the lengthy BYU receivers.

Senior cornerback Josh Hawkins was targeted early and often, with BYU taking advantage of the BYU receivers towering over the 5-foot-11 cornerback. But with Corey Seargent and Roco Scarfone out because of injury, the lack of depth in the secondary proved costly for the defense. Bobby Fulp transitioned from safety to cornerback and committed a pass interference on the game winning scoring drive for BYU.

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