Injured Pirate QB jets to
By Al Myatt
East Carolina sophomore
quarterback James Pinkney made the trip to Houston on Friday with the
football team after sustaining a leg injury in an
automobile accident on Wednesday night in Greenville.
Two other ECU players involved
in a one-car wreck, offensive linemen Trey Magee and starting center Hunter
Wood, did not travel because they were too banged up, according to a source
with the team.
Magee was driving and was
charged with having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle although he
passed a roadside breathalyzer test, according to an Associated Press
Pinkney completed 26 of 35
passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-28
win over Army at
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium last Saturday and was named Conference USA offensive
player of the week.
Wood has graded out at 78.5
percent on 397 plays for the Pirates this season. Charlie Dempsey moved to
center when a hand injury sidelined Wood earlier this year. Hagen Mason
competed with Wood in spring practice for the center job but has since
started at both guard positions and most recently has started at right
tackle for the Pirates.
Magee has graded out at 82
percent this season on 19 snaps.
Houston's defense used a more
aggressive game plan in a 24-3 win over Tulane last week and ECU offensive
coordinator Noah Brindise expects to see a blitz package from the Cougars
because the Pirates have struggled with pass protection in C-USA losses to
Cincinnati, Louisville and Southern Miss.
Pinkney's status for the
Houston game has been characterized as a game day decision by Pirates coach
John Thompson. Senior Desmond Robinson, Pinkney's back-up, has played in two
games this season, completing seven of 12 passes for 56 yards with one
interception and no touchdowns.
Robinson started the first
nine games for ECU in a 1-11 season in 2003. He completed 133 of 201 for
1,262 yards with three TDs and 11 interceptions.
Robinson was 8 for 14 for 53
ECU's 27-13 loss to Houston in
Greenville last year, a nationally-televised Tuesday night game on Sept. 30.
Robinson was pulled against the Cougars in game five of 2003 after throwing
his second interception in the first half. He was replaced by 2002 starter
Paul Troth, who has since transferred to Liberty. Troth struggled, going two
for 13 for 42 yards with an interception and no TDs.
Quarterback play was a major
difference as the Cougars narrowed ECU's lead in the series to 4-2.
As a true freshman in 2003,
Houston quarterback Kevin Kolb completed 20 of 29 passes against ECU for 277
yards with two TDs and no picks.
The Pirates flew out of
Greenville on Friday afternoon, refueled in Kinston and arrived in Houston
around 8 p.m., EST.
The forecast is calling for
sunny skies and a temperature in the mid-70s for today's 5 p.m. kickoff on
John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium. The temperature is expected to fall
back into the upper 60s during the course of the game, which will be shown
on WITN-7 television.
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02/23/2007 11:30:00 AM