King was 15-of-21 passing for 330 yards and scored on a 2-yard run on Houston's (6-3, 4-2 American Athletic Conference) opening drive and the Cougars led 21-0 after the first. King threw a 5-yard TD pass to Courtney Lark, a 75-yarder to Steven Dunbar and a 62-yarder to Linell Bonner that was set up by Emeke Egbule's fumble recovery.
Dunbar gained a career-high 171 yards on six receptions and Bonner had seven catches for 147 yards.
Brandon McDowell had a 74-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter as the Houston defense held the Pirates to 36 yards rushing.
Terrell Williams' interception set up Duke Catalon's 22-yard TD run and Mulbah Car scored on a 1-yard run.
Gardner Minshew was 52-of-68 passing for 463 yards for East Carolina (2-7, 1-4), with TD throws of 34 and 9 yards to Trevon Brown, who had 11 receptions for 141 yards, and an 18-yarder to Quay Johnson, who caught 14 passes for 115 yards.
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