GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Shane Carden threw two touchdown passes and East Carolina beat Florida Atlantic 31-13 on Thursday night in the Pirates' final Conference USA opener.
Carden was 17 of 25 for 191 yards for East Carolina (2-0, 1-0) against the overmatched Owls (0-2, 0-1). The Pirates are leaving Conference USA after the season for the American Athletic Conference, while the Owls are in their first season in C-USA after bolting from the Sun Belt.
Carden threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Davon Grayson in the first quarter, and connected with Justin Hardy on a 1-yarder in the second. Last week in a 52-38 victory over Old Dominion, Carden set school records with 447 yards and 46 completions and matched the TD mark with five.
Vintavious Cooper had 20 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 49 yards.
Florida Atlantic, coming off a 34-6 loss at Miami in its opener, is 4-25 in its last 29 games.
Greg Hankerson threw a 2-yard scoring pass to William Dukes with 1:03 left, and Mitch Anderson made two field goals for the Owls.