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Turnovers Plague Golden Eagles in 24-14 Loss to ECU

Desmond Johnson runs the ball, finishing with 76 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Desmond Johnson runs the ball, finishing with 76 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Sept. 15, 2012

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Shane Carden threw for 171 yards and a TD and East Carolina capitalized on three third-quarter turnovers to beat Southern Mississippi 24-14 Saturday in the Conference USA opener for both teams.

The Pirates (2-1, 1-0 C-USA) trailed 7-3 at halftime, but forced Southern Mississippi's (0-2, 0-1) freshman quarterback Anthony Alford into an interception and two fumbles on the first three Golden Eagle drives of the second half. That led to three third-quarter touchdowns.

After an interception early in the second half, East Carolina's defense held on fourth-and-1 at its 16-yard line. Carden took over and led the Pirate offense 84 yards in four plays for a 10-7 lead.

A fumble by Alford on the very next drive led to an 8-yard TD run by Carden. Another fumble on the next possession was scooped up by Montese Overton and returned 16 yards for East Carolina's last score.

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