GREENVILLE, N.C. -- East Carolina's offense had to take some cues from the defense before it finally kicked into gear.
"The defense played excellent," said Pirates' quarterback David Garrard, who threw for 268 yards in a 27-9 win over Duke Saturday. "That really pumped us up. When the defense stopped them like they did, we got really motivated to score."
East Carolina (2-0) held Duke to just 32 yards rushing, forcing the Blue Devils to the air. But Duke's luck with the passing game was no better.
Duke's Spencer Romaine threw for 231 yards, but was picked off three times and didn't throw a touchdown pass.
"The East Carolina defense hurt us a great deal today," Duke coach Carl Franks said. "We will not win if we can't put the ball into the end zone. Pass protection was a problem for us and we didn't do much running which we must do better because you cannot drop back and throw every down."
But Garrard and the East Carolina offense struggled early as well.
Duke (0-1) took a 3-0 lead on Sims Lenhardt's first of three field goals. But East Carolina countered with Garrard's first touchdown pass, a 4-yarder to Lamont Chappell for a 7-3 lead.
Two more field goals by Lenhardt put Duke back ahead 9-7, but East Carolina took the lead for good at 10-7 in the closing of the first half on Kevin Miller's first field goal for 38 yards.
East Carolina, hampered by eight total penalties for 87 yards, was slow again on offense after halftime, but finally scored again on Wilson's 6-yard touchdown run to make it 17-7.
"Sometimes a team comes out kinds of slow, then we have an explosion play like we did today and that really got us going," Garrard said.
Miller added another 38-yard field goal and Garrard hit Rashon Burns on a 36-yard pass to close out the scoring.
Garrard finished the game 22-of-34 and ran for another 41, as East Carolina rolled up 461 yards on offense.
Wilson led East Carolina with 16 carries for 77 yards.