Recap: East Carolina vs. Southern Miss
Greenville, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Paced by Shane Carden's four touchdowns, the East Carolina Pirates made easy work of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, 55-14, in a Conference USA matchup at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Carden was 30-of-37 through the air for 308 yards with three passing touchdowns and one rushing score for the Pirates (5-2, 3-1 C-USA). Vintavious Cooper had 54 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 attempts, while Justin Hardy led all pass-catchers with 10 receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown.
For Southern Miss (0-6, 0-2), Nick Mullens had 97 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 9-of-17 passing. He replaced an ineffective Allan Bridgford, who was just 2-of-11 for 15 yards. Tyre Bracken was the team's top rusher with 44 yards on seven carries.
ECU came out strong by scoring on the opening possession, capping off a 12- play, 73-yard drive with one-yard touchdown pass from Carden to Hardy. Carden would throw another first-quarter touchdown, this time an 11-yard strike to Isaiah Jones.
Cooper had a 21-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, which was shortly followed up by a one-yard scoring rush by Carden. Warren Harvey connected on a 27-yard field goal with 1:48 before the half to give the Pirates a 31-0 lead heading into intermission.
ECU continued its dominance early in the second half, as Carden hooked up with Bryce Williams for a five-yard touchdown.
The Pirates added two more rushing scores in the third quarter, a one-yard run by Breon Allen and a four-yard scamper by Chris Hairston. Harvey added an 18- yard field goal at the end of the frame to make it 55-0.
The Golden Eagles finally scored with 11:38 left in the game, as Mullens connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Ricard. They added another garbage-time score when Mullens hit Bruce Johnson on an eight-yard touchdown pass.
The Golden Eagles' struggles were not all that surprising, as they came into this tilt ranked 120th in scoring offense. ECU outgained Southern Miss on the afternoon, 476 total yards to 233.Game Notes