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NCAA Game Summary - Texas-El Paso at East Carolina
(Friday, November 28th)
Final Score: East Carolina 53, Texas-El Paso 21
Greenville, NC (Sports Network) - Brandon Simmons ran for 111 yards and three touchdowns to lead the East Carolina Pirates to a 53-21 rout of the Texas-El Paso Miners in the Conference USA regular-season finale at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Pat Pinkney completed 17-of-23 passes for 228 yards and two TDs for the Pirates (8-4, 6-2 C-USA), who had already clinched a spot in the C-USA championship game. Darryl Freeney caught five passes for 106 yards and a score.
UTEP (5-7, 4-4) quarterback Trevor Vittatoe threw for 313 yards and two TDs, but he was also sacked four times and threw three interceptions. Kris Adams finished with nine catches for 116 yards and a score.
The Pirates put together an 11-play, 70-yard drive midway through the first quarter, with Simmons crossing the goal line on a 12-yard run.
Later in the first quarter, ECU jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Pinkney to Freeney.
Pirates kicker Ben Hartman made it 17-0 on a 22-yard field goal with 9:39 remaining in the second quarter.
Five minutes later, ECU added to its lead on a six-yard touchdown run by Simmons, which capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive.
UTEP finally got on the board with two minutes to play in the first half, as Terrell Jackson found the end zone on a 28-yard run.
But the Pirates drove right back down the field, and Simmons scored again on a seven-yard run in the final seconds of the half to send ECU into the locker room with a 30-7 lead.
The Pirates opened the second half with an 11-play, 76-yard drive, punctuated by Simmons' two-yard touchdown run.
Hartman added a 48-yard field goal at the 2:59 mark of the third quarter to make it a 40-7 game.
One minute later, Vittatoe unloaded a 50-yard touchdown pass to Adams to keep the Miners' faint hopes alive.
But ECU squashed those hopes with two lengthy scoring drives in the fourth quarter, which resulted in field goals of 38 and 33 yards by Hartman.
Vittatoe accounted for UTEP's final score with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Evan Davis with less than a minute to play.
ECU's Alex Taylor returned the ensuing kickoff 40 yards for a touchdown to put an exclamation point on the victory.
ECU converted 12-of-18 third downs for the game, as the Pirates held a 17- minute edge in time of possession.
11/28 20:44:43 ET