LaVell Edwards Stadium | Provo, UT | Attendance: 60,186 • TV: ESPNU

BYU 45, ECU 38 | Inside Game Day | Photo Gallery... | Post-game Audio...

>>>  AAC SCOREBOARD  >>> ..... Thursday: Houston 49, SMU 28 ..... ..... Saturday: Temple 49, Tulane 10 ..... Notre Dame 41, Navy 24 ..... USF 45, Syracuse 24 ..... UConn 40, UCF 13 ..... Tulsa 34, UL-Monroe 24 ..... BYU 45, ECU 38 ..... .....

Inside Game Day
Saturday, October 10, 2015

By Al Myatt

QBs rule in the Rockies

BYU's Tanner Mangum, ECU's Blake Kemp trade heroics in shootout

The Pirate and East Carolina cheerleaders knock out pushups after a score during Saturday's game of big swings in momentum between ECU and Brigham Young at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, UT. (Al Myatt's photo gallery...)


Some important telephones were at the ready along the sideline during Saturday's ECU-BYU game. (Al Myatt's photo gallery...)


Post-game Audio

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with reporters after the Pirates' close loss at BYU (recorded by Al Myatt; file photo): Select audio clip...


Kevin's Keys to the Game

East Carolina and Brigham Young come into today's game in Provo with 3-2 records. After tough road losses to Florida and Navy, ECU has settled in and started playing better defensively and scoring more points offensively. The losses don’t look nearly as bad now because both the Gators and Midshipmen are 5-0. ... More from Kevin Monroe...



Pirates face high-altitude challenge

Al MyattEast Carolina and Brigham Young are 1,883 air miles apart but the two football programs share some common ground. Former East Carolina athletic director Terry Holland scheduled Saturday's game at BYU when the Pirates and Cougars were both prospective members of the Big East Conference. ... More from Al Myatt...



Pirates on pace to overachieve

It's hard to believe, but Saturday’s game at BYU marks the midway point in East Carolina’s 2015 football season. Considering the difficult front-loaded schedule, significant graduation losses and the season-ending injury to Kurt Benkert a week before the opening game, the Pirates can feel good about their current 3-2 record. ... More from Brett Friedlander...



Superman to the Rescue

All James Summers needed was a red cape. Superman came to the rescue again this week for East Carolina. Summers came off the bench to lead the Pirates to 42 unanswered points in a resounding 49-23 win over Southern Methodist ... More from Brian Bailey...

Audio: Ruff Weekly Presser

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill met with reporters on Monday in his weekly press conference. (Audio courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250; archive photo): Select audio clip...

Audio: The Brian Bailey Show

The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was ECU outside receivers coach Garrett Riley (right): Replay show...


Greg Vacek's Monday Infographic



Another shaky East Carolina start had Southern Methodist capitalizing on a tipped pass and two Blake Kemp picks to put the Pirates in a hole on Saturday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. ... Details and data from Greg Vacek...



Ford Stadium | Att: 17,136 | TV: ESPNN

ECU 49, SMU 23 | Photos... | Post-game Audio...

Summers triggers ECU frenzy

DALLAS — It felt like summer time at Southern Methodist's Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Saturday with sunny skies and the temperature an un-October-like 80 degrees.

It felt like Summers' time, too. That would be James Summers, the East Carolina quarterback who has been on the fast track. ... More from Al Myatt...

View Al Myatt's gallery of game day photos...

Ruff post-game audio

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with reporters after the Pirates defeated Southern Methodist (recorded by Al Myatt): Select audio clip...
>>>  AAC SCOREBOARD  >>> ..... Thursday: Cincinnati 34, Miami (FL) 23 ..... ..... Friday: Memphis 24, USF 17 ..... Temple 37, Charlotte 3 ..... BYU 30, UConn 13 ..... ..... Saturday: Tulane 45, UCF 31 ..... Houston 38, Tulsa 24 ..... Navy 33, Air Force 11 ..... ECU 49, SMU 23 ..... .....

By Al Myatt
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PROVO, UT — Several peaks of the Rocky Mountains stand vigil over LaVell Edwards Stadium. A parade of great quarterbacks have performed for Brigham Young beneath their rugged presence.

Super Bowl champions Jim McMahon and Steve Young as well as Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer have directed the Cougars. Virgil Carter, another vintage Cougars signal caller, carried the BYU banner before the team's entrance to the field on Saturday.

Given the setting it was appropriate that the value of effective quarterback play was underscored in a 45-38 BYU win.

Blake Kemp, who had been overshadowed by teammate James Summers in recent weeks, returned to the spotlight in the nearest locale to his native Arizona at which the Pirates will probably play this season.

Summers started and helped the Pirates to an early 14-0 lead with a 34-yard scoring run. Yiannis Bowden blocked a Cougars punt for the Pirates' second score.

Then BYU freshman Tanner Mangum, who inherited the Cougars QB mantle with a foot injury to highly-regarded Taysom Hill, began to lead BYU back.

Mangum connected on 17 of 23 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Cougars rallied for a 28-14 lead.

The Pirates turned to Kemp on their final possession of the first half and the junior left-hander responded by directing a 77-yard drive capped by his one-yard scoring toss to Trevon Brown just six seconds before the half.

Kemp kept it going in the second half although the offense had three turnovers after the break. Kemp went 28 for 36 for the game for 371 yards with two touchdowns and one pick.

The Cougars pushed their lead to 38-21 in the third quarter and gave freshman Beau Hoge, the son of NFL analyst and former Pittsburgh Steeler, Merril Hoge, the reins after Mangum came up gimpy. The Pirates were able to get some stops with Hoge trying to get his bearings.

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill credited his team's fight as the Pirates crept back in the nonconference contest.

Chris Hairston capped an 85-yard drive with a 2-yard run to get ECU within 38-28 early in the fourth quarter.

Isaiah Jones hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass to cut the gap to 38-35 with 6:02 remaining. Kemp was signaling that the Pirates only had 10 players on the field before the snap but offensive coordinator Dave Nichol directed him to run the play rather than take a penalty or call a timeout. Jones grabbed the ball and lunged into the end zone. A review verified the score.

Bowden picked off Hoge to set up a tying 34-yard field goal by Davis Plowman with 4:01 to go.

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ECU had scored 17 straight points and obviously had the momentum but the crowd of 60,186 yelled its approval as Mangum trotted out for the ensuing series.

"When you're in the middle of the game, you want to do all you can to keep playing and help your team win, even though you're hurt," Mangum said. "When it came down to the last drive, I couldn't stay on the sideline any longer."

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall was happy to see his offensive leader return. Hoge was one for five for nine yards with a pick and a sack.

"I didn't expect him to come back but I'm certainly glad he did," Mendenall said after the Cougars improved to 4-2.

Mangum completed a pair of 19-yard passes to Devon Blackmon on BYU's concluding 75-yard series. His 15-yarder to Terenn Houk got the Cougars within field goal range at the ECU 24. Then BYU went to its power ground game to run the clock. Algernon Brown scored the game winner on a 9-yard run with just 19 seconds left.

Three Kemp passes moved the Pirates from their 25 to the BYU 35 before time expired.

Kemp's final pass to Bryce Williams was followed by a lateral to Jones, a lateral to center Christian Matau and a lateral to Anthony Scott.

"We were trying to do the Stanford band play," Kemp said.

McNeill said the Pirates practice the series of laterals each week.

"We were too deep for a Hail Mary," McNeill said. "We've got some other plays in those situations, too."

Jones finished with 10 catches for 95 yards. Brown made six receptions for 84 yards. Williams had 87 yards on five catches.

Hairston rushed 15 times for 77 yards as the Pirates held a slight 518-508 lead in total yardage. ECU had more first downs, 27-26.

McNeill gave all indications that ECU will go forward into homecoming with Tulsa at noon on Saturday as a two-quarterback team.

As a former defensive coordinator, the Pirates coach knows that puts more on the opposition's plate in terms of preparation.

"We prepared for both quarterbacks," said Cougars linebacker Fred Warner. "We felt that we were prepared for both. We thought No. 10 (Kemp) would start, but we felt ready for both."

The way it's been lately for the Pirates it's not who starts but who finishes. Kemp gave way to Summers in wins over Virginia Tech and Southern Methodist.

That pattern might have been reversed with Kemp rallying ECU to a win if Mangum hadn't returned for BYU's last drive.

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10/12/2015 03:29:28 PM