Justin Hardy, left, recorded season highs with 14 receptions and 186 yards with a touchdown in the win.
Greenville, NC (SportsNetwork.com) -
Shane Carden threw for a season-high 445 yards with two touchdowns and No. 18 East Carolina held off upset-minded Connecticut with a 31-21 win on Thursday.
Carden, who had three straight games of 400-plus passing yards earlier this season, completed 38 passes on a career-high 64 attempts with one interception.
Breon Allen rushed for 65 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns to help the heavily-favored Pirates (6-1, 3-0 AAC) win their fifth straight game.
The year of running backs
Brandon Lawrence, FBS Editor
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
We've all noticed the trend: NFL teams are more reliant on the passing game offensively than ever before, which makes the running back position more of a commodity than a necessity.
That wasn't always the case, though. Decades ago, the running game was the most effective way to move the ball down the field. But with such athletic and talented passers nowadays, it's become commonplace for the majority of downs to be passes.
The devaluation of the running back position at the highest level was epitomized in May, when the first running back taken in the NFL Draft - Washington's Bishop Sankey to Tennessee - was the lowest selection for a player at the position in the history of the draft (54th overall pick - second round).