GREENVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Marquel Blackwell threw three of his five touchdown passes in the third quarter as South Florida continued to warm up for its first season in Conference USA with a 46-30 win over East Carolina.
Blackwell completed 19-of-33 passes for 321 yards with an interception. He found DeAndrew Rubin from 54 yards and Vince Brewer from six and four yards in a 5:31 span of the third quarter as South Florida built a 36-17 lead.
The Bulls (5-2) earned their third straight win. Their last one was a 16-13 victory over Southern Mississippi - one of four Conference-USA opponents this season. South Florida joins the league in 2003
Paul Troth threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns and Art Brown had 290 total yards and a pair of scores for East Carolina (2-4), which had a 13-game Homecoming Day winning streak snapped. It also was Hall of Fame Day and Letterwinners Day for the Pirates.
In addition to a huge third quarter, Blackwell threw a 43-yard TD pass to Hugh Smith in the second quarter and a 10-yarder to Huey Whittaker in the fourth. A senior, Blackwell eclipsed 8,000 career passing yards, hitting 8,139.
Brown opened the scoring when he hauled in a 56-yard pass from Troth 73 seconds into the game. But Blackwell found Smith with 6:24 left in the first half and Ron Hemingway fell on a fumble in the end zone 70 seconds later for a 15-10 Bulls' lead.
After Troth threw a 16-yard TD pass to Tutu Moye 4:15 into the second half, Blackwell capped drives of 67, 23 and 15 yards with a trio of touchdown passes. The last two followed a 16-yard net punt and an interception.
Brown scored on a two-yard run in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. He finished with 188 yards on 30 carries and 102 yards on six catches.