Sunday, April 22, 2018
Colleges

East Carolina beats Ohio 37-20 at Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl

ST. PETERSBURG — It's any observer's guess as to who departed in a better mood after Monday's proceedings at Tropicana Field: ESPN's contingent or East Carolina's.

The holiday programming coveted by the bowl-centric network this time of year came gift-wrapped Monday afternoon in brisk tempos, bloated numbers, even bits of gadgetry.

When it ended, the Pirates (10-3) and Ohio University (7-6) had combined for 1,003 yards and 18 other Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl records. Among the few things that went unbroken: ECU's resolve. Down by three with 13:34 to play, the Pirates finished with 20 straight points for a 37-20 triumph before an announced audience of 20,053.

"This group has not flinched all year," ECU coach Ruffin McNeill said.

Among those opting to flourish instead of flinch was game MVP Vintavious Cooper, whose 31-yard TD run with 9:45 to play gave the Pirates a 24-20 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Cooper's career-best 198 rushing yards were among the bowl records. He dashed through gaping holes in his line for runs of 39 and 34 yards in the first quarter as ECU built a 14-0 lead.

East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley "fed me today," said Cooper, whose high-tempo unit ran a bowl-record 87 plays. "And I'm pretty full."

Cooper still was digesting when his team sealed things with arguably the play of the day.

On second and 10 from the Ohio 14, ECU quarterback Shane Carden tossed behind the line to receiver Cam Worthy then sprinted for the right corner of the end zone, hounded by two defenders all the way.

Carden out-fought both for Worthy's lob pass, giving the Pirates a 31-20 lead with 7:29 to go. "I still don't know how he caught it," Ohio linebacker Keith Moore said.

Carden set a bowl record for attempts (44) and completions (29) as the Pirates amassed 568 yards (another Beef mark). Yet ECU still found itself flustered midway through the game, managing only a field goal in six possessions during one stretch.

Seizing their defense's momentum, the Bobcats nudged the throttle on their own tempo and answered with two quick second-quarter TDs.

The first, a 17-yard pass from Tyler Tettleton to Plant City High alumnus Daz'mond Patterson, was set up by a 26-yard Patterson catch on a flea flicker and ensuing roughing-the-passer penalty.

The second arrived courtesy of backup Derrius Vick, Ohio's wildcat QB who found Donte Foster (bowl-record 160 receiving yards) isolated behind the secondary on a play-action pass for an 80-yard TD.

Ohio never found the end zone again. Tettleton tossed two late interceptions, and a successful Jos­iah Yazdani onside kick with Ohio ahead 20-17 produced nothing.

"Not putting points on the board during that drive really hurt us," OU coach Frank Solich said. "That was a critical point in the game for us."

ECU scored TDs on three of the next four possessions.

"Execute," McNeill said. "We talked about it all week, and doing it with clear minds and no hesitation. Clear minds mean fast legs. … I was proud of the way we finished."

Comments
Report: Florida Gatorsí Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Report: Florida Gatorsí Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Florida Gators defensive lineman Cece Jefferson will be out four months after having surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week, according to a report Wednesday evening from the Gainesville Sun.Jefferson, a 6-foot-1, 242-pound senior, injured th...
Published: 04/18/18
Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Tuesday evening's news that quarterback Jake Allen plans to transfer from the Florida Gators isn't a surprise.Allen, a former three-star recruit in 2017, was fourth on the depth chart. The St. Thomas Aquinas product didn't seem to fit new coach ...
Published: 04/18/18
Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

When former Wharton High star Auden Tate hears his name called sometime next week, he'll join a surprisingly small group.Recent Florida State receivers drafted into the NFL.Over the past decade, only two Seminoles receivers have been drafted: Rashad ...
Published: 04/18/18
Police suspected FSUís Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Police suspected FSUís Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Tallahassee police suspected Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois possessed marijuana with the intent to sell it when they executed a search warrant on his home last week, according to an affidavit.The case — which culminated Thursda...
Published: 04/17/18
Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Even as Florida State was finishing its first recruiting class under Willie Taggart, the Seminoles were already talking about what they could do in the new staff's first full cycle, for 2019."I can only imagine having a year here to be able to recrui...
Published: 04/17/18
Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State running back Khalan Laborn's breakout 140-yard output in Saturday night's spring game was a sign of what could be for the former blue-chip recruit.It was also a reminder of what almost wasn't for the Seminoles.With a...
Published: 04/16/18
New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

Steve Spurrier will make one of his first appearances in his new role with the Alliance of American Football tomorrow in Orlando.The league will welcome Spurrier as the coach of its Orlando team at an event at Ember (42 W Central Blvd.) at an event f...
Published: 04/16/18
Five takeaways from Florida Stateís spring football game

Five takeaways from Florida Stateís spring football game

TALLAHASSEE – Judging by the crowd for Florida State's spring game on Saturday, Seminoles fans are excited about the dawn of the Willie Taggart era.The official attendance of 53,974 — a new record for a spring game — inclu...
Published: 04/14/18
Five takeaways from the Florida Gatorsí spring game

Five takeaways from the Florida Gatorsí spring game

GAINESVILLE —It took some time, but the offense scored points in bunches, much to the delight of the 53,015 in attendance at Florida's spring game.And the Gators had fun doing it, pulling out all the stops with gadgets and celebrations that bro...
Published: 04/14/18
FSU quarterback Deondre Francois faces marijuana complaint

FSU quarterback Deondre Francois faces marijuana complaint

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois agreed to a pre-arrest diversion program after police found 17 grams of a cannabis/tobacco blend in his bedroom Thursday afternoon.The Tallahassee Police Department previously received a report of drug activ...
Published: 04/13/18