Scores

Final

North Carolina 31

(1-1, 0-1 away)

East Carolina 34

(1-1, 1-0 home)

6:00 PM ET, September 8, 2007

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC

1 2 3 4 T
UNC 10 7 14 031
ECU 7 10 14 334

Top Performers

Passing: P. Pinkney (ECU) - 406 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: C. Johnson (ECU) - 8 CAR, 18 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (ECU) - 5 REC, 136 YDS, 2 TD

East Carolina 34, North Carolina 31

Associated Press

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Patrick Pinkney threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns in his first start and Ben Hartman shook off three missed field goals to kick the winner on the final play in East Carolina's 34-31 win over North Carolina on Saturday night.

Chris Johnson added two touchdown catches and a rushing score for the Pirates (1-1), who managed to hold on for a thrilling victory in their home opener against their instate rival. It was only East Carolina's second victory in 11 tries -- the last coming 32 years ago -- against the Tar Heels (1-1).

Pinkney, a former third-stringer, completed 31 of 41 passes and finished with the second-best passing game in school history. Hartman missed field goal attempts of 30, 32 and 37 yards before nailing the 39-yarder on the final play, sending the purple-clad Pirates spilling onto the field in a celebration that turned into a playful mob at midfield.

Brandon Tate scored three touchdowns for North Carolina, which suffered its first loss under new coach Butch Davis. Redshirt freshman T.J. Yates threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns for the Tar Heels, who had plenty of chances themselves to pull this one out. That included a bobbled snap by Ryan Baucom on a 52-yard field goal attempt for the lead in the final minute, setting up East Carolina's final drive.

The teams went back and forth almost the entire way. Tate's 58-yard punt return for a score on the final play of the third quarter sent the game into the final period tied at 31. Then came two costly mistakes by Hartman, who hit the left upright on a 32-yard try on the Pirates' first possession of the fourth and missed a 37-yarder for the lead with about 3 minutes to play.

But Pinkney -- who seemed to gain confidence with every throw after a slow start -- gave Hartman one more chance. After the Tar Heels' botched field goal attempt, the junior connected on two clutch passes to put the ball at North Carolina's 21-yard line. Then, after Pinkney took a knee in the center of the field and called timeout with 2 seconds left, Hartman made the kick that erased a night's worth of frustration.

It was a worthy way to follow up a gutsy effort in a 17-7 loss at Virginia Tech last week in which Pinkney came off the bench and turned in a steady performance that earned him the starting job against the Tar Heels.

Pinkney's mobility allowed him to find time against oncoming rushers, and he got some early confidence with a 78-yard screen pass to Johnson for a score on the Pirates' first possession. Then, after finding Davon Drew for a 15-yard touchdown late in the first half, he connected with Johnson for a 24-yard score in the third quarter.

Johnson finished with five catches for 136 yards, and had a 4-yard TD run late in the third quarter for a 31-23 lead.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
UNC
ECU
1st Downs2021
Total Yards423470
Passing344406
Rushing7964
Penalties7-6910-60
3rd Down Conversions5-147-16
4th Down Conversions0-10-0
Turnovers20
Possession23:5236:08

Passing Leaders

North CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Yates20/3234410.831
East CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Pinkney31/414069.930

Rushing Leaders

North CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
White9434.8021
Rich7304.3011
East CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Pinkney10222.209
Lindsay11191.707

Receiving Leaders

North CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Tate310234.0251
Nicks67712.8137
East CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson513627.2278
Bryant69315.5050

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUNCECU
FG13:54Connor Barth 39 Yd 30
TD12:16Chris Johnson 78 Yd Pass From Patrick Pinkney (Ben Hartman Kick) 37
TD09:36Hakeem Nicks 37 Yd Pass From T.J. Yates (Connor Barth Kick) 107
SECOND QUARTERUNCECU
TD12:46Brandon Tate 39 Yd Pass From T.J. Yates (Connor Barth Kick) 177
TD01:26Davon Drew 15 Yd Pass From Patrick Pinkney (Ben Hartman Kick) 1714
FG00:02Ben Hartman 33 Yd 1717
THIRD QUARTERUNCECU
TD09:42Chris Johnson 24 Yd Pass From Patrick Pinkney (Ben Hartman Kick) 1724
TD07:56Brandon Tate 51 Yd Pass From T.J. Yates (Pat Failed) 2324
TD05:06Chris Johnson 4 Yd Run (Ben Hartman Kick) 2331
TD00:00Brandon Tate 58 Yd Punt Return (Connor Barth Pass To Anthony Elzy For Two-Point Conversion) 3131
FOURTH QUARTERUNCECU
FG00:00Ben Hartman 39 Yd 3134