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(Saturday, November 2)
Final Score: East Carolina 34, FIU 13
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Shane Carden threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns as the East Carolina Pirates posted a 34-13 win over the FIU Panthers in a Conference USA tilt at FIU Stadium.
Carden completed 23-of-35 passes as the Pirates (6-2, 4-1 C-USA) posted their second straight win and the fourth in the last five outings. Justin Hardy caught five passes for 136 yards and a TD, adding a 35-yard pass on his one attempt of the night.
With the victory the Pirates became bowl eligible for the seventh time in the last eight years.
The Panthers (1-7, 1-3), losers of three in a row, were paced by E.J. Hilliard who connected on 21-of-33 pass attempts for 194 yards, but he was intercepted once and sacked nine times, three of those takedowns being logged by Montese Overton.
The Pirates scored on their first possession, needing just five plays to move 70 yards as Carden hooked up with Hardy on a 44-yard TD pass play.
FIU was able to cut into the lead at the 6:10 mark of the opening frame thanks to a 52-yard field goal by Austin Taylor.
ECU then tallied back-to-back touchdowns to extend to a 21-3 advantage as Carden threw touchdowns of 26 and two yards to DaQuan Barnes and Vintavious Cooper, respectively.
The Panthers chewed up more than nine minutes on the clock on their ensuing possession, running 17 plays in order to generate 75 yards and get into the end zone thanks to a one-yard run by Silas Spearman.
The only points of the third were the result of a 31-yard Taylor field goal as the Panthers again put together a lengthy drive that this time used up more than six minutes and took 10 plays.
In the fourth quarter the Pirates left no doubt as Hardy tossed a 35-yard TD pass to Isaiah Jones and Cooper made his way into the end zone on a two-yard run, en route to the lopsided decision.
East Carolina ran just 55 plays, 21 fewer than the hosts, yet produced 373 yards of total offense while the Panthers were credited with only 267 yards.
ECU has won seven straight and 21 of the last 25 games against opponents from the East Division of Conference USA.
11/02 22:27:06 ET
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