In a disappointing end to Scottie Montgomery’s first year at East Carolina, the Pirates’ finish their season in a 37-10 loss to Temple, dropping their 2016 season record to 3-9.
Similar to most of ECU’s games this season, the Pirates offense stepped onto the field with a bit of a chip on their shoulder after an impressive 37-yard kickoff return from running back Shawn Furlow.
In his second start of the season, sophomore quarterback Gardner Minshew connected with wide receiver Jimmy Williams for a 13-yard touchdown to put ECU on the scoreboard on its first drive, but the lead would not last long.
Temple’s Adonis Jennings responded by returning the ensuing kickoff 47 yards to set up a five-play touchdown drive to tie the game at seven.
The next scoring drive for either team wouldn’t come again until just over two minutes left to play in the first half, as both teams’ defenses forced the other to punt throughout the remainder of the first and second quarter.
Temple began its drive on its own 32-yard-line with 8:10 remaining in the second quarter, and rushed the ball on nine of its 12 plays for a 68-yard touchdown drive to take the lead 14-7.
Furlow continued to shine as a return man for the Pirates as he returned the his second kickoff for 45 yards to start ECU’s drive at midfield, although it wouldn’t be much help for the Pirates.
Throughout the night, Minshew stayed under constant pressure, and struggled to have much time in the pocket. As he stepped back in an attempt to connect with one of his receivers down field, a Temple defender knocked the ball from his hand and the Owls recovered it at the end of the opening half.
Within just two plays Temple scored once again, just 58 seconds after its previous touchdown. The Pirates offense continued its struggles as the Owls forced ECU to another three and out just before halftime with a score of 21-7.
A week after breaking the FBS all-time receptions record, ECU wide receiver Zay Jones pulled in his fifth to break the FBS single season receptions record, adding to his already stacked collegiate accomplishments. Jones would conclude his career pulling in seven receptions for 61 yards.
To start the second half, the ECU defense forced Temple to punt on its opening drive, but on the Pirates’ following possession Plowman missed a 41-yard field goal. As the ECU offense continued to struggle, the Owls continued to increase their lead.
On Temple’s final four possessions, it managed to score on three, with the fourth possession coming as the game clock ticked down to end the game, as well as ECU’s season.
After starting the season 2-0, the Pirates dropped nine of 10 contests to finish the season, including their last four games of the season.