A four-touchdown, 305-yard passing performance during East Carolina's 48-28 victory over Houston Saturday earned sophomore quarterback Shane Carden Conference USA Co-Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors according to an announcement Monday by league officials.
Carden shared the accolade with Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato, who also tallied four throwing scores and added 341 yards during the Thundering Herd's win over Memphis.
The weekly honor marked the second for Carden this season, who was also cited after contributing five touchdown passes against Memphis on Oct. 13.\
Inside linebacker Jeremy Grove (Appalachian State), outside linebacker Montese Overton (Southern Miss) and strong safety Chip Thompson (UTEP) have been recognized for their play on the defensive side of ball in 2012, while punter Trent Tignor earned special teams honors on Sept. 17 for his accomplishments against the Golden Eagles two days earlier.
Carden helped stake the Pirates to an early 28-0 lead against the Cougars, connecting with Danny Webster on six, 12 and nine-yard scoring tosses before finding Reese Wiggins on an eight-yarder with 48 seconds remaining before intermission. He passed for 215 yards on a 20-of-27 effort in the first 30 minutes while also rushing for 35 yards on just three carries (11.7 ypr).
Carden established career highs in attempts (43) and completions (31) for a 72.1 percentage, while his 50-yard toss to Derrick Harris in the second quarter marked the fourth time in the last five games he has completed a pass of 50 yards or more.
He found eight different receivers on two or more occasions Saturday to help ECU rack up 550 yards of total offense – the Pirates’ second-highest total of the year. As ECU's starting quarterback this season, Carden has converted 31-of-34 redzone opportunities and has directly accounted for 20-of-28 offensive TDs.
Joining Carden and Cato as Conference USA honorees this week are UCF senior linebacker Troy Davis as defensive player-of-the-week and Tulane junior kicker Cairo Santos as the special teams' selection.
Carden and the Pirates (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) will take a week off before returning to action Nov. 17 when they travel to New Orleans to face Tulane in their final road game of the 2012 regular season.