HUNTINGTON, W. Va. -- Rakeem Cato threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more on Friday as Marshall took an early undisputed lead and defeated East Carolina 59-28 to win the East Division of Conference USA.
Marshall (9-3, 7-1) was up 24-0 after Cato threw a 3-yard TD pass to Gator Hoskins with 9:33 left to play in the second quarter. The Pirates scored before halftime on back-to-back turnovers by Marshall, with a Vintavious Cooper 2-yard TD run and a field goal by Warren Harvey. East Carolina (9-3, 6-2) was never able to get closer than a 14-point margin for the rest of the game.
Essray Taliaferro led the Thundering Herd with a game-high 161 yards rushing on 26 carries and surpassed 1,000 yards for the season.
East Carolina's Shane Carden threw three interceptions after throwing just seven for the season before the matchup. Carden finished with 291 yards passing.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday he has informed competing quarterbacks Jake Rudock and Shane Morris of his decision on a starter for the Wolverines' opener Thursday night at Utah.
Michigan State quarterback and Heisman Trophy hopeful Connor Cook said he was disappointed his teammates didn't vote him among the team's three captains this season.
No. 5 Michigan State will start redshirt freshman Vayante Copeland at one of its two cornerback spots Friday night at Western Michigan.
Less than four months removed from his transfer to Florida State, Everett Golson has been named the Seminoles' starting quarterback.
After hinting at it for more than a week, LSU coach Les Miles confirmed Monday that Brandon Harris will start at quarterback in Saturday's opener against McNeese State.
USC AD Pat Haden said he had "thoughtful conversations" with medical professionals and that "a lot of careful thought was given" before deciding on a course of action for coach Steve Sarkisian.