It was a play that led to a moment of a lifetime, but Shane Carden struggled to recall it after No. 22 East Carolina’s 45-24 victory over Southern Methodist on Saturday. And that just adds to the long list of reasons why Carden is arguably the best quarterback to wear an East Carolina uniform.
On the Pirates’ first possession of the third quarter, the 6-2, 221-pound senior signal caller rolled to his right and flicked his wrist for a 30-yard completion to Isaiah Jones that would enable him to break former ECU standout David Garrard’s record of 9,029 passing yards.
However, Carden was too caught up in the heat of the moment to bask in his personal accomplishment. When asked about the historic play, he responded: “Which one was that?”
After a brief refresher, Carden continued.
“It’s just crazy,” he said. “I knew I was pretty close to it. I think I knew I passed it, but it’s just crazy. I saw my dad after and it was just great.”
Carden, who finished the contest completing 31 of his 41 attempts for 410 yards and four touchdowns, also stands as ECU’s all-time leader in completions (802) and scoring passes (71).
The Pirates passer deflected the praise after the game and attributed some of his success to ECU’s Air Raid system.
“I know (Garrard) ran a different offense, so it’s hard to compare yards and all that,” Carden said. “I know he was a great leader of this university And that’s something I look up to.”
After the game, senior wide receiver Justin Hardy, who is the Pirates’ all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions, said he felt Saturday would be the day that Carden made history.
“I knew he was going to break it this game,” Hardy said. “We were talking about it earlier in the week, and I just told him, ‘This is the game to do it.’ And he did it.”
The ECU quarterback was quick to throw out praise to those that helped him along the way.
“There’s a lot of people. There’s a long list, and it starts with my family and my parents (Jay and Scoti Carden), who have always pushed me,” Carden said.
“Obviously, there’s the coaches and the game plans they’ve had day-in and day-out since I’ve been here, (offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley) for bringing me along and everything he’s taught me. Then, obviously, the playmakers who have gone out and got the yards for me.”