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East Carolina wins Conference USA title

Dec 6, 2008 - 10:59 PM TULSA, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- East Carolina began the season as the top team in Conference USA and ended it that way.

Ben Hartman kicked a 36-yard field goal with 1:43 remaining as East Carolina defeated Tulsa, 27-24, Saturday in the Conference USA championship game.

The Pirates (9-4), took advantage of seven turnovers, won their first league title since the 1976 Southern Conference championship and earned an automatic berth to the Liberty Bowl.

"It is somewhat ironic that our low point was here at Tulsa four years ago when we got beat and dropped to a 3-6 record," East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said. "It is a real tribute to these players about the way they fought to get back to this point."

Tulsa's David Johnson, the top-rated passer in the Football Bowl Subdivision, threw a career-high five interceptions.

"We just threw the ball poorly today," said Tulsa coach Todd Graham, whose team reportedly is headed to the GMAC Bowl. "It was poor today. We didn't do a very good job with our plan. They sat back on us and we made some bad decisions."

After beginning the season with victories over ranked opponents Virginia Tech and West Virginia, East Carolina climbed into the top 25 and was mentioned as a possible candidate for team for a BCS berth.

However, following a 3-0 start, East Carolina endured a three-game losing streak, falling to North Carolina State, Houston and Virginia. The Pirates regrouped to win five of their last six regular-season games.

"We had a very difficult early road and had a lull there in the middle where we lost three games in a row, but once we got back into back into the conference, this football team and these seniors really drew a line in the sand," Holtz added.

Tulsa (10-3), which started 8-0 before losing to Arkansas, fell in the Conference USA championship game for the second straight year.

The Golden Hurricane had tied the contest, 24-24, on Johnson's 8-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Collums with just under nine minutes remaining.

Norman Whitley rushed for 104 yards for East Carolina - most of it on a 69-yard TD run that gave the Pirates a 24-17 with 11:40 remaining in the third quarter.








  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    EAST CAROLINA 14 3 7 3 27
    TULSA 10 7 0 7 24 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: EAST CAROLINA - TD, KEVIN GIDREY 13 YD PASS FROM
    PATRICK PINKNEY (BEN HARTMAN
    KICK), 4:58. EAST CAROLINA 7-0
    EAST CAROLINA - TD, TRAVIS SIMMONS 72 YD
    INTERCEPTION

    Dec 6 3:35 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    FG EAST CAROLINA
    BEN HARTMAN 36 YD
    EAST CAROLINA 27
    TULSA 24 1:43 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    East Carolina 27, Tulsa 24  4th - 1:43Dec 6 3:33 PM
  • 104
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 99 roots (Close Finish)

    East Carolina 24, Tulsa 24  4th - 1:50Dec 6 3:28 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD TULSA
    JACOB COLLUMS 4 YD PASS FROM DAVID JOHNSON
    (JAROD TRACY KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 24
    TULSA 24 8:50 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    East Carolina 24, Tulsa 24  4th - 8:50Dec 6 3:16 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    EAST CAROLINA 14 3 7 24
    TULSA 10 7 0 17 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: EAST CAROLINA - TD, KEVIN GIDREY 13 YD PASS FROM
    PATRICK PINKNEY (BEN HARTMAN
    KICK), 4:58. EAST CAROLINA 7-0
    EAST CAROLINA - TD, TRAVIS SIMMONS 72 YD
    INTE

    Dec 6 2:58 PM


  • CORRECTION
    CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD EAST CAROLINA
    NORMAN WHITLEY 69 YD RUN
    (BEN HARTMAN KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 24
    TULSA 17 10:40 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    East Carolina 24, Tulsa 17  3rd - 10:40Dec 6 2:17 PM


  • CORRECTION
    CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD EAST CAROLINA
    NORMAN WHITLEY 69 YD RUN
    (BEN HARTMAN KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 17
    TULSA 17 4:46 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    East Carolina 17, Tulsa 17  3rd - 4:46Dec 6 2:16 PM


  • CORRECTION
    CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD EAST CAROLINA
    NORMAN WHITLEY 69 YD RUN
    (BEN HARTMAN KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 24
    TULSA 17 4:46 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    East Carolina 24, Tulsa 17  3rd - 4:46Dec 6 2:15 PM


  • CORRECTION
    CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    EAST CAROLINA 14 3 17
    TULSA 10 7 17 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: EAST CAROLINA - TD, KEVIN GIDREY 13 YD PASS FROM
    PATRICK PINKNEY (BEN HARTMAN
    KICK), 4:58. EAST CAROLINA 7-0
    EAST CAROLINA - TD, TRAVIS SIMMONS 72 Y

    East Carolina 17, Tulsa 17  HalfDec 6 2:14 PM


  • CORRECTION
    CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD EAST CAROLINA
    NORMAN WHITLEY 69 YD RUN
    (BEN HARTMAN KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 24
    TULSA 17 4:46 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    East Carolina 24, Tulsa 17  2nd - 4:46Dec 6 2:14 PM


  • CORRECTION
    CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF EAST CAROLINA 17
    TULSA 17 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    East Carolina 17, Tulsa 17  HalfDec 6 2:13 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD EAST CAROLINA
    NORMAN WHITLEY 69 YD RUN
    (BEN HARTMAN KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 24
    TULSA 17 11:40 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    East Carolina 24, Tulsa 17  2nd - 11:40Dec 6 2:12 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    FG EAST CAROLINA
    BEN HARTMAN 32 YD
    EAST CAROLINA 17
    TULSA 17 4:46 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    East Carolina 17, Tulsa 17  2nd - 4:46Dec 6 1:25 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD TULSA
    A.J. WHITMORE 4 YD RUN
    (TARRION ADAMS KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 14
    TULSA 17 10:40 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    East Carolina 14, Tulsa 17  2nd - 10:40Dec 6 1:09 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    EAST CAROLINA 14 14
    TULSA 10 10 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: EAST CAROLINA - TD, KEVIN GIDREY 13 YD PASS FROM
    PATRICK PINKNEY (BEN HARTMAN
    KICK), 4:58. EAST CAROLINA 7-0
    EAST CAROLINA - TD, TRAVIS SIMMONS 72 YD
    INTE

    Dec 6 12:57 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    FG TULSA
    JAROD TRACY 37 YD
    EAST CAROLINA 14
    TULSA 10 0:11 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    East Carolina 14, Tulsa 10  1st - 0:11Dec 6 12:51 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD TULSA
    TARRION ADAMS 1 YD RUN
    (JAROD TRACY KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 14
    TULSA 7 2:28 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    East Carolina 14, Tulsa 7  1st - 2:28Dec 6 12:42 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD EAST CAROLINA
    TRAVIS SIMMONS 72 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (BEN HARTMAN KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 14
    TULSA 0 6:59 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    East Carolina 14, Tulsa 0  1st - 6:59Dec 6 12:29 PM


  • CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    NCAAF CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD EAST CAROLINA
    KEVIN GIDREY 13 YD PASS FROM PATRICK PINKNEY
    (BEN HARTMAN KICK)
    EAST CAROLINA 7
    TULSA 0 10:02 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    East Carolina 7, Tulsa 0  1st - 10:02Dec 6 12:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    East Carolina vs. TulsaDec 6 10:44 AM