Scores

Final

East Carolina 55

(3-1, 1-0 American)

North Carolina 31

(1-3, 0-1 ACC)

Coverage: GamePlan

12:30 PM ET, September 28, 2013

Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC

1 2 3 4 T
ECU 14 14 14 1355
UNC 0 10 14 731

Top Performers

Passing: S. Carden (ECU) - 376 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: V. Cooper (ECU) - 35 CAR, 186 YDS

Receiving: L. Ray (ECU) - 5 REC, 84 YDS, 2 TD

East Carolina rolls past North Carolina 55-31

Associated Press
East Carolina Pirates at North Carolina Tar Heels Highlight
Bryn Renner sacked by Montese Overton for a loss of 15 yards to the NCaro 35.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Shane Carden threw three touchdown passes and ran for three scores to help East Carolina beat North Carolina 55-31 on Saturday, earning its first win in Chapel Hill in nearly four decades.

Vintavious Cooper ran for a career-high 186 yards for the Pirates (3-1), who had lost to the Tar Heels in each of the past four seasons -- all by at 14 points or more. Cooper added eight catches for 70 yards, powering the Pirates in a surprisingly one-sided win against an instate rival.

East Carolina had beaten North Carolina (1-3) on the road only once before. That came in 1975, before four Pirates assistant coaches were even born.

The Pirates scored the game's first 14 points, led 35-10 early in the third quarter and never let the Tar Heels get closer than 14. ECU finished with 603 total yards, the second-highest total ever allowed by UNC at home.

For the Tar Heels, it was another head-scratching afternoon on offense. North Carolina, which managed just 62 yards in the second half of last week's loss at Georgia Tech, picked right up where it left off by failing to reach the end zone until its fifth drive.

By then Carden and Cooper had the Pirates rolling.

Carden connected with Justin Hardy for a 6-yard touchdown on the game-opening drive, then found Lance Ray for a 7-yard score on ECU's third possession to make it 14-0. He followed that by scoring on a keeper to push the lead to 21-3 with 10:05 left in the second, the first of his three 1-yard rushing scores.

He added a fourth-and-1 deep ball to Ray for a 48-yard touchdown with 3:33 left, allowing the purple- and gold-clad Pirates fans crammed into a corner section of Kenan Stadium to savor this one just a bit more. Carden came back out once more to take a knee, then walked to the sideline to hug offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley followed by fourth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill.

It was a strong bounce-back performance from Carden, who threw three interceptions and was sacked seven times by Virginia Tech's rugged defense in a 15-10 home loss two weeks ago. He threw for 376 yards, leading a no-huddle offense that ran 101 plays -- the most ever run against North Carolina.

As for Cooper, he didn't reach the end zone but was the driving force behind the Pirates' offensive success nonetheless. He cracked the 100-yard rushing mark on his first carry after halftime and finished with career-highs in yards rushing, carries (35), catches and yards receiving.

It marked East Carolina's third win ever against North Carolina and the first since beating the Tar Heels 34-31 on a last-second field goal at home in 2007. Last year, the Tar Heels shut down Carden and the Pirates offense in a 27-6 win here.

This time, it was ECU's defense frustrating UNC quarterback Bryn Renner. The senior threw for 366 yards with three touchdowns, though the first didn't come until after Chris Hairston's 3-yard run made it 35-10 with 11:38 in the third.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ECU
UNC
1st Downs3626
Total Yards603465
Passing376398
Rushing22767
Penalties3-349-94
3rd Down Conversions8-169-17
4th Down Conversions3-41-2
Turnovers11
Possession36:0923:51

Passing Leaders

East CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Carden32/473768.031
North CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Renner28/463668.031

Rushing Leaders

East CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Cooper351865.3028
Carden8222.837
North CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Blue20683.4012
Francis4102.5010

Receiving Leaders

East CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Ray58416.8248
Cooper8708.8014
North CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Davis511122.2156
Thorpe67011.7132

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERECUUNC
TD11:28Justin Hardy 6 Yd Pass From Shane Carden (Warren Harvey Kick) 70
TD03:06Lance Ray 7 Yd Pass From Shane Carden (Warren Harvey Kick) 140
SECOND QUARTERECUUNC
FG14:17Thomas Moore 21 Yd 143
TD10:05Shane Carden 1 Yd Run (Warren Harvey Kick) 213
TD06:33T.J. Thorpe 32 Yd Pass From Quinshad Davis (Thomas Moore Kick) 2110
TD01:48Shane Carden 1 Yd Run (Warren Harvey Kick) 2810
THIRD QUARTERECUUNC
TD11:38Chris Hairston 3 Yd Run (Warren Harvey Kick) 3510
TD09:36Bug Howard 3 Yd Pass From Bryn Renner (Thomas Moore Kick) 3517
TD06:16Shane Carden 1 Yd Run (Warren Harvey Kick) 4217
TD04:41Nic Platt 23 Yd Pass From Bryn Renner (Thomas Moore Kick) 4224
FOURTH QUARTERECUUNC
FG14:55Warren Harvey 32 Yd 4524
TD13:52Quinshad Davis 56 Yd Pass From Bryn Renner (Thomas Moore Kick) 4531
FG08:53Warren Harvey 29 Yd 4831
TD03:33Lance Ray 48 Yd Pass From Shane Carden (Warren Harvey Kick) 5531