E Carolina's passing attack down but not out

After their top receiver broke his foot QB Patrick Pinkney's primary target became former backup QB, now turned tight end, Davon Drew.

When East Carolina's top receiver, Dwayne Harris, broke his foot during a 21-3 loss to Southern Mississippi, many followers believed that the Pirates' passing game would suffer tremendously. Earlier in the year, another starting wide receiver, Jamar Bryant, was suspended from the team.

But QB Patrick Pinkney quickly learned to spread the wealth around, and the Pirates still use the pass as a weapon. Pinkney's primary target became former backup QB, now turned tight end, Davon Drew. In the game following Harris' injury, an away game against UAB, Pinkney connected with Drew seven times for 95 yards and a touchdown as East Carolina engineered a 4th Quarter comeback against the Blazers 17-13.

In the following game, a 53-21 rout over UTEP, Pinkney's primary target was Darryl Freeney, who made 5 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. Then, it was back to Drew for the Conference USA Title game against Tulsa, another Pirates win.

And there is one all-important game left. "We've prepared for a different team every week all season, and for games of different magnitude, so we've done it before," Drew said. "Kentucky is a great team. Any team out of the SEC is a great team."

The Pirates' 2008 season is impressive considering they rank 83rd in the nation in total offense with 336.0 yards per game and 78th in points at 23.8 per game. Quarterback Patrick Pinkney threw for 2,379 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games good for 62.7 percent of his passes. He threw for at least 200 yards seven times.


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