HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Shane Carden threw for 171 yards and a TD and East Carolina capitalized on three third-quarter turnovers to beat Southern Mississippi 24-14 Saturday in the Conference USA opener for both teams.
The Pirates (2-1, 1-0 C-USA) trailed 7-3 at halftime, but forced Southern Mississippi's (0-2, 0-1) freshman quarterback Anthony Alford into an interception and two fumbles on the first three Golden Eagle drives of the second half. That led to three third-quarter touchdowns.
After an interception early in the second half, East Carolina's defense held on fourth-and-1 at its 16-yard line. Carden took over and led the Pirate offense 84 yards in four plays for a 10-7 lead.
A fumble by Alford on the very next drive led to an 8-yard TD run by Carden. Another fumble on the next possession was scooped up by Montese Overton and returned 16 yards for East Carolina's last score.
|USM||Anthony Alford 1 yd run (Corey Acosta kick)|
|ECU||Warren Harvey 54 yd FG|
|ECU||Justin Hardy 55 yd pass from Shane Carden (Warren Harvey kick)|
|ECU||Shane Carden 8 yd run (Warren Harvey kick)|
|ECU||Montese Overton 16 yd fumble return (Warren Harvey kick)|
|USM||Markese Triplett 8 yd pass from Chris Campbell (Corey Acosta kick)|
|Third Down Efficiency||4-15||5-16|
|Fourth Down Efficiency||0-0||1-3|
|Kick Return Yds||0||21|
|Punt Return Yds||2||0|
|Time of Poss.||30:7||29:53|
|ECU: Vintavious Cooper 13-51, Michael Dobson 6-8, Reggie Bullock 3-4, Shane Carden 8-2, Team 3--8|
|USM: Desmond Johnson 13-76, Anthony Alford 20-13, Kendrick Hardy 3-11, Jeremy Hester 3-3, Tracy Lampley 2-0, Chris Campbell 2--12|
|ECU: Shane Carden 13-27-171-0|
|USM: Chris Campbell 11-21-145-0, Anthony Alford 6-14-88-1|
|ECU: Justin Hardy 5-92, Andrew Bodenheimer 3-45, Derrick Harris 2-16, Lance Ray 2-12, Danny Webster 1-6|
|USM: Markese Triplett 4-66, Tracy Lampley 2-52, Chris Briggs 2-22, D.J. Thompson 2-11, Jeremy Hester 2-9, Quentin Pierce 1-24, Francisco Llanos 1-16, Justin Sims 1-16, Dominique Sullivan 1-9, Desmond Johnson 1-8|
|East Carolina||2nd Conference USA East||6-2||9-3|
|Southern Mississippi||5th Conference USA East||1-7||1-11|