GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Chris Johnson returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown to spark a 28-point third quarter as East Carolina rallied against Central Florida and ran away to a 52-38 Conference USA victory Saturday night.
ECU (3-3, 2-1 C-USA) trailed 28-17 at halftime before the defense, offense and special teams took charge with a 28-3 run.
The defense forced five turnovers in the third quarter to take control away from the Knights (3-2, 1-1 C-USA). The Pirates converted three of the turnovers into scores. In addition to Johnson's kick return, Rob Kass hit Jamar Bryant on a 6-yard scoring pass and then hit Davon Drew on a 20-yard play.
A fourth score off a Central Florida turnover came at the start of the fourth quarter as Kass ran 6 yards up the middle to give East Carolina a 52-31 edge to complete the wild turnaround.
The 52 points are the most for East Carolina since the Pirates beat Houston in three overtimes, 54-48, on Nov. 9, 2002. They are the most in regulation since a 59-24 victory over Army on Oct. 5, 2002.
Johnson set a single-game school record for all-purpose yards. His 372 yards on kickoffs, rushing and receiving broke the mark of 356 set by Scott Harley against North Carolina State on Nov. 30, 1996.
Quarterback Kyle Israel hit 9 of 16 passes for 166 yards in the first half to help the Knights take the lead. He finished 28-for-45 for 308 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Kevin Smith, the nation's leading rusher, gained 147 yards and scored on a 1-yard run with 1:34 left in the half to give the Knights a 28-14 edge.
South Carolina has decided to give up Saturday's home game against No. 7 LSU because of devastating floods that have hit the state, moving the game to Baton Rouge.
West Virginia All-Big 12 safety Karl Joseph is out for the remainder of the season after injuring his knee during a non-contact drill in Tuesday's practice.
Rutgers has reinstated senior wide receiver Leonte Carroo a day after an assault charge against him was dropped.
Tennessee senior wide receiver Alton "Pig" Howard has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules, coach Butch Jones announced.
UCLA junior linebacker Myles Jack has withdrawn from school and will enter the NFL draft, making the decision just weeks after suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Police charged a former Michigan football player with three felonies Wednesday related to an accusation that he filmed part of a sexual encounter with a woman without her knowledge or consent.