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C-USA: ECU stuns top team in league

©Associated Press
November 24, 2002

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Travis Heath returned a fumble 81 yards for a touchdown as East Carolina rallied from an 11-point deficit to upset Texas Christian 31-28 Saturday.

TCU had a chance to tie it, but Nick Browne's 40-yard field-goal attempt with 25 seconds to play went wide left.

"That was a superior effort on the defensive side of the ball, absolutely superior," East Carolina coach Steve Logan said. "One of the best I've seen in my years here."

The Pirates broke the Horned Frogs' eight-game winning streak and further scrambled the Conference USA title race with their first triumph over a ranked team since beating Miami in 1999. East Carolina needs victories against Southern Mississippi and Cincinnati to gain bowl eligibility.

TCU failed to clinch a share of the league title.

Lonta Hobbs ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 3-yard pass from Sean Stilley in the third quarter to give TCU a 28-17 lead. But the Pirates crept back behind field goals by Kevin Miller from 44 and 32 yards to make it 28-23 with 11:06 to play.

On second and 6 from the East Carolina 19, Ricky Madison tried to outrun Heath to the left boundary. Instead, Heath tied him up, took the football away and ran 81 yards for the winning score. Paul Troth threw to Art Brown for the 2-point conversion and a three-point lead.

The Pirates tried to ice it on fourth and 1 at the TCU 10 but failed to convert. Stilley led TCU to the East Carolina 23, setting up Browne's miss.

* * *

MEMPHIS 38, ARMY 10: DeAngelo Williams ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns as the host Tigers snapped a six-game losing streak.

Williams had scoring runs of 59 and 12 yards in the second half to help Memphis break open a game that was tied at 10 at halftime. Another Tiger running back, Dante Brown, scored twice and gained 76 yards.

One week after they beat Tulane for their first victory of the season, the Black Knights gained 67 yards in the second half, 14 in the fourth quarter.

Williams' 59-yard run with three minutes gone in the third quarter gave the Tigers the lead for good at 17-10. His 12-yard run came in the fourth quarter.

Memphis had 218 yards rushing and 216 passing, all from Danny Wimprine.

TULANE 31, SOUTHERN MISS 10: Mewelde Moore accounted for 194 yards and scored a touchdown for the host Green Wave, which clinched its first bowl appearance since 1998.

Moore ran for 136 yards on 32 carries and caught five passes for 58 yards. His 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter sealed the win.

Moore, a junior, finished Tulane's regular season with 1,022 yards and is the school's all-time leading rusher with 3,333.

LOUISVILLE 41, UAB 21: Dave Ragone threw three touchdowns and became Louisville's all-time winningest starting quarterback.

Ragone, one of 14 Cardinals seniors playing their final home games, was 21-of-33 for 207 yards with three interceptions. He improved to 27-9 as a starter, passing Frank Gitschier (26-10-1 from 1946-49.)

T.J. Patterson ran for 135 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals. Darrell Hackney went 15-of-32 for 192 yards for the Blazers, who need to win at Cincinnati this Saturday to be bowl eligible.

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