The East Carolina Pirates picked up their first bowl win since 2007 knocking off the Ohio Bobcats in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl from St. Petersburg, Fla. behind quarterback Shane Carden and running back Vintavious Cooper to win 37-20.
East Carolina finishes with their second win in program history at 10-3 while the loss dropped Ohio down to 7-6.
Carden and the Pirates got out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a beautiful fade pass from Carden to Cam Worthy and a two-yard run from Breon Allen.
However, the 14-point lead for Ruffin McNeil’s club quickly dissolved after two quick strikes from the Ohio offense tied the game at 14 with 9:54 remaining in the first half.
Senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton found Daz’mond Patterson for a 17-yard touchdown pass then backup quarterback Derrious Vick threw his first touchdown of the season on an 80-yard throw.
ECU managed to kick a 41-yard field goal just before half to give the Pirates a 17-14 lead at halftime, but Ohio came right back and ties it again at 17 where the score would remain entering the fourth quarter. The second field goal on the afternoon for Ohio kicker Josiah Yazdani put Ohio on top as ECU’s 14-point lead was all but a memory at this point.
However, this simply served as a wake-up call for the Pirates who reverted to their form in the first quarter and scored two touchdowns in a span of 2:16 to go up 31-20, including Carden being on the receiving end of a score.
The Pirates added a 22-yard score from Cooper with 1:55 remaining to give him a career-high 198 yards on 25 carries and two scores and establish a new record for rushing yards in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.
In the losing effort, Ohio quarterback finished his Ohio career with one touchdown and three interceptions in a disappointing end to a solid career under Frank Solich.
East Carolina leaves Conference USA on a high note as they begin play in the AAC next year.