HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Chris Johnson rushed for three
touchdowns to lead East Carolina to a 34-29 win over Marshall on
East Carolina (4-6, 3-4 Conference USA) broke a three-game
losing streak under first-year coach Skip Holtz.
Marshall (4-6, 3-4) is guaranteed its first losing season since
1983 and won't go to a bowl game for only the second time since
rejoining Division I-A in 1997.
James Pinckney directed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown
drives to secure East Carolina's second road win of the season. He
found Kevin Roach on a 27-yard pass to set up Dominique Lindsay's
19-yard TD run to put East Carolina ahead 24-23.
The Pirates went 85 yards on their next drive, with Pinckney
throwing passes of 19 yards to Roach and 20 yards to Johnson, who
scored from 2 yards out with 7:55 left.
Marshall's Chubb Small fumbled the ensuing kickoff out of bounds
at the 2-yard line. East Carolina's Kasey Ross then intercepted
Jimmy Skinner near midfield with 5:35 left, leading to a Pirates
field goal for a 34-23 lead.
Skinner threw an 8-yard TD pass to Hiram Moore with 49 seconds
Marshall squandered a career-high effort from Ahmad Bradshaw for
the second straight game. Bradshaw finished with 187 yards on 29
carries and scored twice.
Skinner, starting in place of the injured Bernie Morris, moved
Marshall effectively in the first half but let two scoring chances
slip away after halftime.
Chris Royal returned a punt 42 yards to the East Carolina 18
early in the third quarter, but Marshall settled for a field goal.<