East Carolina junior punter Trent Tignor and redshirt freshman outside linebacker Montese Overton have earned Conference USA Player-of-the-Week honors after helping the Pirates to a 24-14 league road victory at Southern Miss Saturday. The honor marks the second and third for an ECU player in 2012 as inside linebacker Jeremy Grove was cited Sept. 3 for his play against Appalachian State in the season opener.
Overton keyed a Pirate defense in his first collegiate start with team-bests in tackles (10), solo stops (4) and TFLs (2.5), while also adding a pivotal 16-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He posted four first-half tackles before adding six in the second stanza to help limit the Golden Eagles to -4 rushing yards in the final 30 minutes of play. Overton picked up inside linebacker Kyle Tudor’s strip of USM quarterback Anthony Alford at the 16-yard line and sprinted into the endzone to cap ECU’s 21-point third quarter scoring effort.
As C-USA's special teams choice, Tignor played a key role in a field position battle during the victory, especially in a scoreless first half for the Pirates that produced a school-record-tying seven punts. In all, he punted 10 times for 422 yards – an average of 42.2 yards per attempt. Tignor dropped a pair of punts inside the three-yard line and planted another at the 14 to thwart possible USM scoring opportunities. He also successfully held for kicker Warren Harvey’s career-long 54-yard field goal and all three ECU PATs.
Joining Overton and Tignor as Conference USA honorees was offensive player-of-the-week Nick Lamaison, who guided UTEP to a 41-28 win over New Mexico State by throwing for 300 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.
The Pirates (2-1) return to action Saturday at 3:30 p.m., when they travel to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina (1-2). The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Anish Shroff and Dan Hawkins calling the action from Kenan Stadium.