Cards shred maligned ECU defense
By CHRIS DUNCAN
AP Sports Writer
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LOUISVILLE Eric Shelton
transferred to Louisville from Florida State just so he could have games
The junior ran for 129
yards and tied a Louisville record with five touchdowns on the ground
Saturday to lead the No. 22 Cardinals to a 59-7 win over East Carolina.
``I haven't done that in a
long time,'' said Shelton. ``I was not expecting it, but five touchdowns
Shelton was a highly
touted prep prospect out of Bryan Station High School in Lexington. He
chose the Seminoles, but quickly soured with his limited role and looked
for a place where he could be the star runner. He chose Louisville, one
of the schools that had recruited him.
``When I came here three
years ago, my goal was to give them a running game,'' Shelton said.
Shelton now has 18
touchdowns on the ground as a Cardinal, already ninth on the school
list. He had three touchdowns in a 34-0 win over North Carolina last
week and on Saturday he topped 100 yards for the fifth time in 14 games
``Eric is running the ball
really well right now,'' said Louisville coach Bobby Petrino. ``He's
gotten a lot of touches in the last two games and he's made the most of
Louisville (4-0, 2-0
Conference USA) piled up 549 yards overall on the nation's second-worst
defense and reached 40 points for the seventh time in 17 games under
Petrino, who's in his second season.
The Cardinals, third in
the nation in scoring defense, forced five turnovers and converted three
into touchdowns in their last tuneup before an Oct. 14 date with
Petrino was already
thinking about the Hurricanes after Saturday's victory, asking reporters
if they knew the outcome of Miami's game with Georgia Tech.
``We're excited about
playing them,'' Petrino said. ``I came here to coach in games like this
and our players came here to play in games like this.''
James Pinkney went
13-of-23 for 126 yards with two interceptions for the Pirates (0-4,
0-1), who have lost nine straight games and 17 of their last 18.
``As long as you keep
trying, you're not a failure. That's the only thing you can say,'' said
second-year East Carolina coach John Thompson. ``You can put numbers and
records on it, but that doesn't talk about your soul or what kind of a
man you are.''
Shelton asserted himself
against the country's most porous rushing defense midway through the
first quarter. On the second play of Louisville's second possession,
Shelton found a hole up the middle and outran East Carolina's secondary
for a 67-yard touchdown.
``It was a simple zone
play,'' Shelton said. ``I broke one or two tackles and then I just took
The Cardinals were on the
move again early in the second quarter, but Michael Bush fumbled at the
Pirates' 38. Three minutes later, Pinkney threw a 20-yard touchdown pass
to tight end Sean Harmon.
Other than Shelton's long
run, the Cardinals' offense sputtered early.
``I don't think we were
sluggish. They just kind of slowed us down,'' said Bush. ``We just had
to get our bearings.''
Petrino replaced senior
quarterback Stefan LeFors with freshman Brian Brohm, a move he's made in
the first half of every game this season. This time, Brohm was a
catalyst. He went 3-for-3 on a nine-play scoring drive, which Shelton
finished with a 1-yard TD run.
Montrell Jones returned an
East Carolina punt 54 yards to set up Shelton's third TD run, a
3-yarder, midway through the second quarter.
Pinkney fumbled on the
second play of the second half, and Shelton ended a three-play
Louisville drive with another 1-yard touchdown run. Shelton tied the
single-game school record for rushing touchdowns on a 39-yard sweep
midway through the third quarter.
The Cardinals have
outscored opponents 70-7 in the third quarter this season.
02/23/2007 10:53 AM
Copyright 2004 The
Associated Press. Bonesville.net contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may
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