ECU Defeats UTEP 53-21

East Carolina took an early lead against the University of Texas at El Paso and never looked back in the final regular game of the season.

The Pirates end the regular season with an 8-4 record. Regardless of today's outcome, ECU had already won Conference USA's East Division and will play for the conference title next Saturday.

Brandon Simmons ran for three scores and had a touchdown catch to help East Carolina beat UTEP.

Patrick Pinkney threw for two scores for the Pirates. Although there was nothing to play for in the standings, the Pirates came out with probably their best performance of the season.

East Carolina scored the first 24 points and led 30-7 at halftime against a UTEP team trying to become bowl eligible for the first time in three years. The Miners (5-7, 4-4) got no closer after the break.

Simmons finished with a career-high 111 yards rushing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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