HUNTINGTON, W. Va. (AP) Rakeem Cato threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more on Friday as Marshall took an early undisputed lead and defeated East Carolina 59-28 in the East Division Championship of the Conference USA.
Marshall (9-3, 7-1) was up 24-0 after Cato threw a 3-yard TD pass to Gator Hoskins with 9:33 left to play in the second quarter. The Pirates scored before halftime on back-to-back turnovers by Marshall, with a Vintavious Cooper 2-yard TD run and a field goal by Warren Harvey. East Carolina (9-3, 6-2) was never able to get closer than a 14-point margin for the rest of the game.
Essray Taliaferro led the Thundering Herd with a game-high 161 yards rushing on 26 carries and surpassed 1,000 yards for the season.