EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- Rob Kass plunged into the end zone on a quarterback sneak during the first overtime to give East Carolina a wild 45-42 win over Texas-El Paso on Saturday night.
Kass sent the game to OT with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Juwon Crowell as time ran out to tie the contest at 39-39.
UTEP's Trevor Vittatoe completed 38-of-55 passes for 409 yards and three touchdowns and just one interception. Marcus Thomas ran for 103 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown dash with just 34 seconds left in the game to give the Miners what appeared to be a winning 39-32 margin.
East Carolina's Dwayne Harris almost broke the game open single-handedly in the third quarter. First the East Carolina wide receiver took a handoff on a reverse and dashed 57 yards for a touchdown, giving the Pirates (4-3-1, 3-1 Conference USA) a 25-22 lead. Then Harris took a handoff on a double reverse and hit a wide open Jamar Bryant on an 80-yard touchdown pass, giving the Pirates a 32-22 lead 7:53 left in the third quarter.
The first half was a story of dueling field goals.
UTEP (4-3, 2-1) got a touchdown in the final minute of the first half on a nine-yard strike from Vittatoe to Joe West but Martinez' extra point try was blocked and East Carolina's Travis Williams returned it 90 yards for the two points and the Pirates led 18-16.
But Jose Martinez booted a 42-yard field goal, one that pinged off the top of the upright, on the final play of the half to give UTEP a 19-18 lead in a bizarre finish to the first 30 minutes.