MIAMI -- Shane Carden tossed three first-half touchdown passes as East Carolina pulled away for a 34-13 win over FIU on Saturday.
Carden connected with Justin Hardy for a 44-yard score on East Carolina's first drive, putting the Pirates (6-2, 4-1 Conference USA) up 7-0. Later in the half Carden threw touchdown passes on consecutive drives, hooking up with DaQuan Barnes for a 26-yard score and then Vintavious Cooper for a 2-yarder. Carden tallied 264 yards passing.
FIU (1-7, 1-3) cut the lead to 21-13 with a field goal in the third quarter, but in the fourth East Carolina scored on a 35-yard wide receiver pass from Hardy to Isaiah Jones and Cooper ran for a 2-yard touchdown for the final margin. Hardy finished with five catches for 136 yards.
East Carolina reached bowl eligibility for the seventh time in the last eight years with the victory.
J. Thomas pass,to R. Jeune for 13 yds,R. Jeune fumbled, forced by L. Carter, recovered by Geo J. DeLoach
Justin Thomas pass complete to Ricky Jeune for 13 yds Ricky Jeune fumbled, forced by Lorenzo Carter, recovered by Geo James DeLoach
Illinois' decision to keep Bill Cubit for two more seasons isn't really much of a decision at all. It's more like kicking the can down the road.
Paxton Lynch pass complete to Mose Frazier for 22 yds for a TD
Miles Butler 20 yd FG GOOD
Halftime interview with Virginia Tech HC Frank Beamer
Southern Mississippi WR Mike Thomas channels his inner Odell Beckham Jr. while making a leaping touchdown catch in the end zone.