Tulsa will go into the off-season on a positive note while ECU will go into the off-season disgruntled as the Golden Hurricane defeated the Pirates 49-24 on senior day in Greenville, NC. Tulsa was led by career days from QB Zach Smith and RB Shamari Brooks.
Tulsa was a team all year struggling to score but they had no issues on Saturday against an awful ECU defense. Zach Smith threw for a career high 5 touchdown passes, the Baylor transfer tore apart ECU as he went 21-30 for 331 yards with those 5 touchdown passes and his only blemish was one interception. The offense was firing on all-cylinders as Tulsa’s Brooks ran 202 yards on 16 carries. The Pirates literally had no answer all day.
QB Holton Ahlers struggled early and ended up putting up reasonable stats when the game was well in hand. Ahlers would finish the day 27-48 for 308 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Ahlers ran for 35 yards as well.
The Pirates only led with 1:42 remaining when Jake Verity hit a 51 yard field goal and after that it was all Golden Hurricane when Smith hit Sam Crawford for a 66 yard td pass with 1:06 remaining in the first quarter and that was all she wrote.
A real question going into the off-season will be figuring it out defensively for ECU as they gave up at least 41 points in five of their final six games and the outlier game is an abysmal UConn squad.
As for Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane have now improved by one win in each of the past three seasons. A majority of the Tulsa offense will be returning next season so watch out for the Golden Hurricane next season.
East Carolina played very competitive for a majority of the season and unfortunately their season will end on a sour note but the Pirates showed potential and they did break the streak of three consecutive seasons of three wins under first year head coach Mike Houston.