GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Dwayne Harris scored two touchdowns, including a 3-yard catch midway through the fourth quarter, to help East Carolina defeat Central Florida 19-14 on Saturday.
Harris was a threat all over the field for the Pirates (2-2, 1-0 Conference USA), who defeated the Knights for the fourth consecutive season. The wide receiver made 10 catches for 121 yards and rushed the ball three times on direct snaps for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Brett Hodges, who threw one touchdown pass and four interceptions, was 21-for-34 for 266 yards for Central Florida (2-2, 0-2). The Knights went scoreless for more than 53 minutes after taking a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Patrick Pinkney was 27-for-40 for 293 yards and an interception for the Pirates, who amassed a season-high 408 yards of total offense.
Both teams entered the game among the nation's worst in total offense, with UCF ranking No. 116 and ECU ranking No. 113 out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. But the Knights and Pirates punted just once each in the first half, moving the ball at will until they stopped themselves with turnovers.
East Carolina running back Jonathan Williams lost a fumble inside UCF's 15-yard line that led to the game's first touchdown, a 19-yard run by the Knights' Brynn Harvey midway through the first quarter.
UCF had plenty of other opportunities to score, but couldn't convert until Hodges found Kamar Aiken in the end zone with 1:06 remaining to cut East Carolina's lead to 19-14. The Knights recovered the onside kick, but Van Eskridge intercepted Hodges' first pass of the ensuing possession to seal the game for the Pirates.
Trailing 10-7 late in the first half, UCF missed an opportunity when Hodges threw an interception on third-and-goal from the East Carolina 4. Flushed from the pocket by linebacker Nick Johnson, Hodges threw a short pass over the middle that was picked off by defensive tackle Jay Ross.
UCF also had a field goal blocked in the second quarter, and kicker Nick Cattoi came up short on a 45-yard attempt early in the fourth.
The Pirates also weren't perfect in the red zone, coming up with a total of 12 points on five trips inside the UCF 20. But Harris' 25-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter allowed them to bypass that troublesome territory and take a 10-7 halftime lead they never relinquished.