East Carolina scored three touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of the game to blow open a tight contest and win the 2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, 37-20, over Ohio in St. Petersburg on Monday.
It was ECU’s first bowl win since 2007 and gave the Pirates (10-3) just their second 10-win season in school history. Ohio finished up the season 7-6.
For a while, it looked like the Bobcats might pull off the mild upset. They led the Pirates, 20-17, early in the fourth quarter following Josiah Yazdani’s 28-yard field goal, then got the ball back on a perfectly-executed onsides kick.
But Yazdani missed a 45-yard field goal attempt — his first miss of the season after 14-straight makes — and then ECU asserted itself.
That meant giving the ball to Vintavious Cooper, who rushed for 74 of his career-high 198 yards in the final quarter, including touchdown runs of 22 and 31 to put the game out of reach.
Shane Carden threw for 273 yards and also rushed for 40 yards for the Pirates, who piled up 568 yards of offense (including 281 on the ground).
Tyler Tettleton threw for 228 yards and a touchdown for the Bobcats but he threw three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter that killed any chance for an Ohio comeback.
The bowl win caps the best season for ECU since 1991, when the Pirates finished 11-1.