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UAB vs ECU — Blazers buried, 63-14
Jonathan Perry threw for 210 yards for the Blazers (2-8, 1-5) and rushed for a touchdown in the fourth. It wasn’t enough to come back to East Carolina’s Shane Carden, who threw five touchdowns to lead the Pirates to a 63-14 victory on Saturday.
Carden was 20 of 30 for 296 yards. The running game for the Pirates (8-2, 6-1) was even more impressive as Breon Allen and Vintavious Cooper rushed for over 100 yards each.
The Pirates scored five touchdowns in the first half for a 35-7 halftime lead. They converted 8 of 10 possessions into touchdowns overall, punting only once but turning the ball over twice on a pair of Carden interceptions.
The Pirates rolled up a season-high 625 yards of total offense, 278 of it on the ground, their highest rushing total for the season, to rout the Blazers 63-14 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Since a triple-overtime loss at Tulane, the Pirates have run off four-straight C-USA victories to improve to 6-1 in the league. The winner of the game against Marshall will be the East champion.
“We always talk about controlling our own destiny, and last year we didn’t have the privilege of doing that,” junior quarterback Shane Carden said. “After the Tulane game, it might have fired up some people in the locker room a little bit. It was like, `Man we can’t let all the hard work we’ve done this offseason and the spring and camp and the whole season get away from us.’
The seniors played a big role in the victory, with seven of the Pirates’ nine scores coming from players in their last regular-season game at Dowdy-Ficklen – including a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Kyle Tudor.
Tudor grabbed a pass that was tipped by ECU defensive back Chip Thompson. Tudor took off and picked up a cadre of blockers – including a final block inside the 5-yard line from Adonis Armstrong that got him into the end zone.
The Pirate defense more than did its part, limiting UAB’s ground-oriented attack to 144 yards rushing and forcing quarterback Jonathan Perry into a 16-for-34 day with a pair of interceptions. The Pirates also recovered a fumble.
After failing to score on its first two possessions – a punt and Carden’s first interception of the game – the Pirates reeled off touchdowns on four-straight possessions.
The first three came in rapid-fire fashion, with consecutive scoring drives of less than two minutes.
The Pirates went 66 yards in just five plays for their first TD, with Wiggins catching a 5-yard pass as ECU took a 7-0 lead with 4:05 left in the first quarter.
After a three-and-out by the Blazers, the Pirates overcame an offensive pass interference penalty to go 67 in four plays. Wiggins picked up the last 55 when he caught a short pass to the left and streaked down the sideline for a touchdown and a 14-0 ECU lead with 1:00 left in the quarter.
UAB plays their last of two home games Saturday 10/21 at 6:30 p.m. against Rice.
Game results courtesy of UABsports.com and ECUpirate.com