ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Vintavious Cooper rushed for a career-best 198 yards, setting a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl record and leading East Carolina 37-20 over Ohio on Monday.
The Pirates (10-3) grabbed the lead for good on the first of Cooper’s two touchdowns runs in the fourth quarter, a 31-yard burst with just under 10 minutes remaining.
East Carolina’s Shane Carden threw for 273 yards and one TD and also scored on a pass reception.
Cam Worthy caught an early 5-yard scoring pass from Carden, and then took a lateral from the junior quarterback and threw 14 yards back to Carden for a fourth-quarter TD that made it 31-20. Cooper put it well out of reach, finding an opening off left tackle and racing 22 yards for his second TD.
Tyler Tettleton and Derrius Vick threw scoring passes for Ohio (7-6), which overcame an early two-touchdown deficit to lead 20-17 before Cooper put East Carolina back in front before an announced crowd of 20,053 at Tropicana Field.
Breon Allen also scored on a 2-yard run for East Carolina, which won six of its final seven games to finish with the second-most victories in school history.
Carden set the school record for single-season yards passing with a 13-yard throw to Isaiah Jones on the drive ended with Allen’s TD, making it 14-0. He completed 29 of 45 passes while boosting his season total to 4,139 yards, breaking Dominique Davis’ record total for the Pirates.
Cooper ran for 90 yards in the opening quarter alone, becoming the third running back in East Carolina history to rush for 1,000 in consecutive seasons.
Auburn’s Malzahn named coach of year
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s Gus Malzahn is the Associated Press coach of the year.
Malzahn received the honor Monday after directing one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history.
He has led the second-ranked Tigers into the national championship game against No. 1 Florida State. They have gone from 3-9 to 12-1 in his debut season.
Malzahn said the honor is “very humbling” but awards like this are a team accomplishment.
He received 33 votes from AP Top 25 college football poll voters to beat out Duke’s David Cutcliffe. Cutcliffe received 17 votes after leading Duke (10-3) to its first 10-win season. Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio each received three votes.
Malzahn is the second Auburn coach to win the award, joining Tommy Tuberville in 2004.
Assistant suspended for using gay slur
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Colorado State defensive line coach Greg Lupfer has been suspended without pay for two weeks for using a gay slur when yelling at Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday in the New Mexico Bowl last weekend.
Athletic director Jack Graham also ordered Lupfer to undergo anger management and diversity training at his own expense.
Lupfer issued a statement saying he was grateful to keep his job on Jim McElwain’s staff and said “I am deeply sorry for my behavior, which does not represent who I am or my values.”
Lupfer got into a verbal altercation with the Cougars’ QB after his first TD throw. His slur was caught on ESPN cameras and marred the Rams’ comeback from a 22-point deficit for a last-second 48-45 win to kick off the bowl season.
By wire sources