East Carolina's James Pinkney (7) drops back to pass during the second half. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)
Nov. 19, 2005
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Chris Johnson rushed for three touchdowns to lead East Carolina to a 34-29 win over Marshall on Saturday night.
East Carolina (4-6, 3-4 Conference USA) broke a three-game losing streak under first-year coach Skip Holtz.
Marshall (4-6, 3-4) is guaranteed its first losing season since 1983 and won't go to a bowl game for only the second time since rejoining Division I-A in 1997.
James Pinkney directed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives to secure East Carolina's second road win of the season. He found Kevin Roach on a 27-yard pass to set up Dominique Lindsay's 19-yard TD run to put East Carolina ahead 24-23.
The Pirates went 85 yards on their next drive, with Pinckney throwing passes of 19 yards to Roach and 20 yards to Johnson, who scored from 2 yards out with 7:55 left.
Marshall's Chubb Small fumbled the ensuing kickoff out of bounds at the 2-yard line. East Carolina's Kasey Ross then intercepted Jimmy Skinner near midfield with 5:35 left, leading to a Pirates field goal for a 34-23 lead.
Skinner threw an 8-yard TD pass to Hiram Moore with 49 seconds left.
Marshall squandered a career-high effort from Ahmad Bradshaw for the second straight game. Bradshaw finished with 187 yards on 29 carries and scored twice.
Skinner, starting in place of the injured Bernie Morris, moved Marshall effectively in the first half but let two scoring chances slip away after halftime.