Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Jeremy Eddington carried the ball 16 times for 143 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Rice Owls to a convincing 62-38 win over the East Carolina Pirates in a Conference USA showdown at Rice Stadium.
Taylor McHargue orchestrated the Rice (3-8, 2-5 CUSA) offense, completing 11- of-15 pass attempts for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Sam McGuffie complemented Eddington and McHargue out of the backfield, turning 15 carries into 114 yards and a touchdown, while making three catches for 83 yards and a score.
ECU (6-5, 5-2) was led by Dominique Davis who completed 21-of-39 passes for 308 yards and three scores, while also adding a rushing touchdown in the loss. Jonathan Williams served as the Pirates workhorse, carrying the ball 17 times for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Eddington kicked off the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter.
The Pirates answered on their next possession when Davis hooked up with Lance Lewis for a 47-yard touchdown strike.
The Owls wasted little time regaining the lead, as their next possession produced a four-yard touchdown pass from McHargue to Vance McDonald to make it a 14-7 game.
Eddington made it a 21-7 Owl lead, in the opening minute of the second quarter, with a one-yard touchdown plunge.
Rice went back to Eddington minutes later, and he did not disappoint, ripping off an 88-yard touchdown run. However, the point after was blocked, giving the Owls a 27-7 lead.
ECU climbed back into the contest on its next possession when Davis connected with Dwayne Harris from 46 yards out for the score.
The Owls went back to work on their ensuing possession, taking a 34-14 lead with a 30-yard touchdown pass from McHargue to Pierre Beasley.
The Pirates closed the gap in the final minutes of the second quarter, scoring two unanswered touchdowns to make it a 34-28 game at the break. The first score came on a six-yard pass from Davis to Justin Jones. Williams then gave his team the momentum, heading into the locker room with a two-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the first half.
The Owls’ offense got back to work in the second half, as McGuffie finished off their opening drive of the third quarter with a 17-yard touchdown scamper.
The Pirates continued to claw their way back into the game with a 31-yard field goal by Michael Barbour, to make it a 41-31 contest.
McGuffie wasted very little time in extending the Rice lead, scoring on a 64- yard touchdown run less than two minutes later.
Rice blew the game open early in the fourth quarter with a one-yard run from Eddington to take a 55-31 lead.
McHargue put the finishing touches on the Owls’ impressive win, with a one- yard touchdown plunge midway through the fourth quarter, to give his team a 62-31 lead.
ECU scored the final points of the game, with a one-yard run from Davis, but it was far too late for the Pirates to mount a comeback.
Rice was sensational on offense, piling up 639 yards of total offense, while punting just twice.