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.