The East Carolina Pirates have made it a goal to potentially reach the Peach Bowl or another Selection Committee bowl game this season. The Pirates were -28 favorites to beat the Connecticut Huskies but the game ended up being much harder than what anyone could have expected as the Pirates only won 31-21 during their home game in Greenville.
The Pirates did have a strong start in the beginning of the game as Shane Carden had touchdown passes to Justin Hardy and Bryce Williams within the first ten minutes of the game. The Huskies came to a tie early in the third quarter thanks to two touchdowns from Chandler Whitmer. The first was a touchdown run and the second was a pass to Noel Thomas. Much of what happened in between the touchdowns entailed the games going back and forth with Carden and Whitmer exchanging interceptions.
The game was tied as 21-each at the start of the fourth quarter. The teams exchanged punts for the most part but the Pirates came late in the quarter with a 31-yard field goal from Warren Harvey and a nine-yard touchdown run from Breon Allen. The Huskies were pushed back to their nine-yard line with less than ninety seconds to go and could not get any further.
The Pirates still have a shot at a Selection Committee bowl as they have a commanding lead in the AAC. They are 6-1 overall and have won all three of their conference games. Carden had 445 passing yards while also going 38-64 in passing attempts. Justin Hardy had 186 receiving yards and Cam Worthy had 138 yards for the day.
Meanwhile, Connecticut is at the bottom of the AAC with a 1-6 record and an 0-4 conference record. Although they made the game much closer than expected, they still have yet to get a win against an FBS team this year; their only win came against Stony Brook. Whitmer had 303 yards with Deshon Foxx having a total of 120 receiving yards for the game.