Cooper Rushes for Bowl Record 198 Yards to Lead ECU Over Ohio 37-20
Dec. 23, 2013
- ST PETERSBURG, FLA. — It was a good start and an even better finish for Vintavious Cooper, Shane Carden and East Carolina as the Pirates scored the game’s final 20 points in the fourth quarter to defeat Ohio, 37-20, in the sixth annual Beef O’Brady’s Bowl at Tropicana Field Monday afternoon.
East Carolina (10-3, 6-2 C-USA) jumped to a 14-0 first quarter lead but the Pirates found themselves trailing 20-17 early in the fourth quarter following a Josiah Yazdani 28-yard field goal that temporarily put Ohio (7-6, 4-4 MAC) in the lead for the first time.
Ohio appeared to be in position to extend the lead when the Bobcats recovered an onside kick at their own 48 following the Yazdani field goal. But the ECU defense stiffened and made its biggest stop of the game, forcing Yazdani to attempt and miss a 45-yard field goal.
Cooper, who was named ECU’s MVP, rushed for a career-best and Bowl record 198 yards on 25 carries. He turned the game back in ECU’s favor following the missed field goal. The senior back capped a 5-play 71-yard drive with a 31-yard touchdown scamper, his first of two TD runs on the day.
“In the first half the offensive line played way beyond what was expected,” said Cooper. “But for us, that’s the standard that we hold for our team. We hold ourselves to a high standard, and we understand definitely what it takes to make plays on any given Saturday or like today, any given Monday.”
Ohio went three-and-out on its next possession and the Pirates quickly added to their four-point lead. Carden, who set Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl passing records for completions and attempts (29-45, 273 yards), added to his big statistical day by catching a 14-yard touchdown pass on a flea flicker pass from wide receiver Cam Worthy with 7:29 left in the game.
ECU finished the scoring just past the two-minute mark when Cooper completed his record-setting afternoon with a 22-yard run to push the lead to 37-20.
The Pirates, who became the third straight Conference USA team to win this six-year event in St. Petersburg (Marshall in 2011 and UCF in 2012), took control of the game in the opening minutes and appeared to be on their way to a decisive victory.
ECU jumped ahead less than five minutes into the game on a 5-yard scoring toss from Carden to Worthy. The 55-yard drive was set up by the game’s first turnover, an interception by Pirates’ safety Michael Dobson.
The Pirates pushed the early lead to 14-0 when Breon Allen finished off an 11-play, 76-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 27 seconds left in the opening period.
Ohio answered quickly after ECU’s second score with a 4-play, 74-yard scoring drive that finished with a 17-yard scoring pass from Tyler Tettleton to Daz’ Patterson. The key play of the drive was a 26-yard pass off a double reverse from Tettleton to Patterson. That play gained the Bobcats an additional 15 yards when a roughing the passer penalty was tacked on and put Ohio at the 17-yard line, from where Tettleton and Patterson again hooked up for the Bobcats’ first score of the game.
ECU’s next drive stalled at the Ohio 39 and after a Pirates punt, Ohio tied the game on a Beef O’Brady’s Bowl record 80-yard touchdown pass from Derrius Vick to wide receiver Donte Foster, Ohio’s Most Valuable Player. That play helped bolster Foster’s numbers as he finished the game with six catches for a bowl-record 160 yards and the one score.
ECU regained the lead with 1:01 left in the half on a 41-yard field goal by Warren Harvey.
The Pirates had opportunities to widen their lead in the opening half but were stopped on downs twice inside the Bobcats’ 15-yard line. A 7-play, 62-yard possession was halted on fourth down at the Ohio 15 in the first quarter, and the Pirates again were stymied in the red zone at the Ohio 14 after an 11-play, 61-yard drive late in the second period.
“First, I want to thank the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl for what a great experience and the city of St. Petersburg,” said ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeill. “They treated our team first class. I have been blessed to have been to a lot of bowl games and this is one of the top venues.”
ECU – Cam Worthy 5-yard pass from Shane Carden (Warren Harvey kick), 10:45
ECU – Breon Allen 2-yard run (Warren Harvey kick), 0:27
Ohio – Daz’ Patterson 17-yard pass from Tyler Tettleton (Josiah Yazdani kick), 14:39
Ohio – Donte Foster 80-yard pass from Derrius Vick (Josiah Yazdani kick), 9:54
ECU – Warren Harvey 41-yard field goal, 1:01
Ohio – Josiah Yazdani 29-yard field goal, 6:42
Ohio – Josiah Yazdani 28-yard field goal, 13:34
ECU – Vintavious Cooper 31-yard run (Warren Harvey kick), 9:45
ECU – Shane Carden 14-yard pass from Cam Worthy (Warren Harvey kick), 7:29
ECU – Vintavious Cooper 22-yard run (kick blocked), 1:55
BEEF ‘O’ BRADY’S BOWL ST. PETERSBURG GAME NOTES
- ECU’s victory extends C-USA’s winning streak in the game to three, following up victories by Marshall (2011) and UCF (2012).
- The 80-yard touchdown reception by Ohio’s Donte’ Foster from QB Derrius Vick in the second quarter is the longest play from scrimmage and longest touchdown in the history of the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg.
- ECU’s Vintavious Cooper set the bowl single-game rushing yards record with a career-high 198 yards in today’s Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg. The previous mark was set by Southern Miss’ Desmond Johnson, who rushed for 107 yards against Louisville in 2010. Cooper also established a new bowl record with 25 rushing attempts, surpassing the 21 attempts by UCF’s Latavius Murray against Ball State in 2012.
- As a team, ECU rushed for a bowl-record 281 yards, besting the previous mark of 232 by USF against Memphis in 2008. The Pirates also gained 6.9 yards per rush, breaking the previous record of 5.3 by UCF against Ball State in 2012. ECU scored a bowl-record three rushing touchdowns, breaking the previous record of two.
- Ohio WR Donte’ Foster set the bowl single-game receiving yards record with 160 yards in today’s game. The previous mark was set by Rutgers’ Tim Brown, who had 99 yards receiving against UCF in 2009.
- ECU and Ohio combined for 1,003 total yards of offense, shattering the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg record. The previous mark was set in 2012 between Ball State and UCF, who combined for 782 yards. ECU’s 568 total yards also is the most in bowl history, breaking the mark of 496 total yards by USF in 2008.
- Shane Carden set a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg single-game record with 29 completions and 44 attempts. The previous marks belonged to Marshall’s Rakeem Cato, who completed 27 passes on 39 attempts against FIU in 2011.
- ECU WR Justin Hardy set a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg single-game record with nine receptions. FIU’s T.Y. Hilton held the previous mark with eight receptions (for 88 yards) against Marshall in 2011.
- Michael Dobson set a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg single-game record with 14 tackles, breaking the mark of 13 tackles by Jordan Hunt of FIU in 2011 against Marshall.
- ECU’s 20 points in the fourth quarter were the second-highest in any period in bowl history, one shy of the 21 points scored by Louisville in the second quarter of the 2010 game (31-28 Louisville victory over Southern Miss).
- Ohio passed for 328 yards, the highest in bowl history. Rutgers had held the record with 294 passing yards against UCF in 2009.
- ECU ran 87 plays, the most in bowl history. The previous best was 79 plays by USF in 2008. The Pirates set bowl marks for completions (30) and attempts (46), breaking the previous records of completions (27 by Marshall in 2011) and attempts (39 by Marshall in 2011).
- ECU RB Vintavious Cooper had 90 yards rushing in the first quarter, the most in a single quarter in the history of the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg. Cooper had runs of 39 yards and 34 yards during his record-setting first quarter, which are the second and fourth longest rushes in bowl history. The longest running play in bowl history was 62 yards by Southern Miss’ Desmond Johnson against Louisville in 2010.
- ECU WR Justin Hardy set ECU’s career receiving yards record on a 15-yard reception in the first quarter.
- ECU QB Shane Carden set the ECU single-season passing yards record on a 13-yard completion to Isaiah Jones in the first quarter.