East Carolina ..... 10 14 3 0 - 27 Virginia Tech ...... 7 14 14 14 - 49 Scoring Summary: 1st Quarter 08:21 EC - Barbour 26 yd FG 05:42 EC - Williams 2 yd run (Barbour) 01:41 VT - Williams 2 yd run (Hazley) 2nd Quarter 14:50 EC - Harris 7 yd pass from Davis (Barbour) 12:03 VT - Roberts 24 yd pass from Taylor (Hazley) 05:58 VT - Evans 7 yd run (Hazley) 00:26 EC - Williams 1 yd run (Barbour) 3rd Quarter 10:43 EC - Barbour 41 yd FG 04:34 VT - Wilson 3 yd run (Hazley) 00:29 VT - Wilson 8 yd run (Hazley) 4th Quarter 13:22 VT - Carmichael 68 yd INT return (Hazley) 10:53 VT - Boykin 69 yd TD pass from Taylor (Hazley)
Blacksburg, VA – Virginia Tech trailed at halftime, but the Hokies dominated the East Carolina Pirates in the trenches over the final 30 minutes to come away with a 49-27 win in Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies are now 1-2 on the year, and the Pirates dropped to 2-1.
East Carolina gained 361 yards of total offense against the Hokies, but had just 88 in the second half after some outstanding halftime adjustments by Bud Foster. True freshman Kyle Fuller starter at cornerback for the suspended Jayron Hosley, and Antone Exum also started in the secondary. The Hokies used a nickel package the entire game to defense ECU’s wide open passing attack.
Overall, five freshmen saw significant action on the Tech defense: Kyle Fuller, Antone Exum, Derrick Hopkins, James Gayle and J.R. Collins. Tariq Edwards also saw action in the first half when Lyndell Gibson briefly exited the game due to an injury.
Gibson led the team with 10 tackles including a sack. Antone Exum also added 10 tackles, while Bruce Taylor had nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. True freshman defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins had a sack, and Rashad Carmichael had two huge second half interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown to seal the game.
Ryan Williams went down in the second quarter with an apparent hamstring injury and did not return. It’s not clear at this point whether or not the injury is significant. He had six carries for eight yards and a touchdown, and also caught a pass for 29 yards.
With Williams out, David Wilson and Darren Evans had to carry the load. Wilson finished the game with 12 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns, and also had a 26 yard reception. Evans had 10 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown, though he put the ball on the ground for the second straight game. That fumble handed East Carolina their only points of the second half. The Hokies averaged 6.1 yards per carry as a team.
Tyrod Taylor was 8-of-16 for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 24 yard touchdown pass in the first half to Dyrell Roberts on a post pattern, and hit Jarrett Boykin for a 69 yard touchdown in the second half. He also rushed for 32 yards, and it would have been more had it not been for three East Carolina sacks.
The Hokies outgained the Pirates 448 to 361 and dominated in the trenches during the second half. Tech ran the ball at will on ECU over the final 30 minutes, and the Tech defense was able to put a lot of pressure on Pirate quarterback Dominique Davis thanks to inventive schemes by defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
ECU was flagged 11 times for 100 yards, while Tech had just four penalties for 47 yards.
Overall it was a good win for the Hokies, and a number of young Tech defenders had to have grown in confidence following a good showing in the second half.
Though the Hokies dominated the second half, they certainly didn’t control the early portions of the game. East Carolina drove 70 yards on their first possession to kick a field goal and take a 3-0 lead, and the Tech offense responded by going three and out in their opening possession.
The Pirates then drove down the field on their second drive and scored a touchdown, with Jonathan Williams running in from two yards out. The drive was aided by a late hit by Bruce Taylor, as well as a pass interference call on Rashad Carmichael on a key third down. Trailing 10-0 in the first quarter, it certainly wasn’t the way the Hokies hoped to start the game after losing two consecutive contests to Boise State and James Madison.
Tech got things going on their next drive. A flare pass to Ryan Williams gained 29 yards to the East Carolina 46, and two plays later David Wilson took a handoff and ran through the ECU defense for a gain of 17 yards. A pass interference call on East Carolina gave Tech the ball at the four, and two plays later Ryan Williams took it in from two yards out to make the score 10-7 with 1:41 left in the first quarter.
The East Carolina offense wasn’t finished however, and they responded with a 60 yard touchdown drive. All the yardage of the drive came through the air, and Dominique Davis hit Dwayne Harris for a seven yard touchdown to make the score 17-7 early in the second quarter. Harris had an excellent game, catching 10 passes for 119 yards.
Tech went 71 yards for their next touchdown, with a 29 yard pass play to Jarrett Boykin starting the drive. After an 11 yard run by David Wilson, Tyrod Taylor was sacked by Marke Powell, but Powell grabbed Taylor’s facemask on the play and gave the Hokies a free first down on the ECU 24. On the next play, Taylor hit Dyrell Roberts for a 24 yard touchdown on a post route to make the score 17-14 Pirates with 12:03 remaining in the second quarter.
ECU was forced to punt on their next drive, and the Tech offense took over on their own 25. The drive started with Tyrod Taylor being flushed from the pocket. Rolling to his left, Taylor found David Wilson for a 26 yard gain, and the Hokie offense began to move the ball steadily down the field once again.
A 22 yard scramble by Tyrod Taylor got the Hokies field position at the ECU 14, and Darren Evans had two straight seven yard runs to put his team up 21-17 with 5:58 left in the second quarter.
Tech was establishing control of the line of scrimmage at this point, but the Pirates still had one last drive left in them. Dominique Davis led his team on an 80 yard touchdown drive that culminated with a 1 yard touchdown run by Jonathan Williams just 26 seconds before halftime. The teams went into the intermission with East Carolina leading 24-21.
Bud Foster made adjustments at halftime, which included rushing his inside linebackers through the A-gap to pressure the quarterback, while dropping his defensive ends into the passing lanes. Those adjustments worked brilliantly, as East Carolina only had 88 yards of total offense over the final 30 minutes.
They did add a field goal on their first drive of the second half. Tech got the ball first, but a fumble by Darren Evans gave the Pirates the ball at the VT 39. The Hokie defense held strong, limiting ECU to a field goal which made the score 27-21 Pirates with 10:43 left in the third quarter.
After both teams traded punts, East Carolina’s swan song began. Tyrod Taylor was sacked on the first play of the Tech drive, but then the Hokies began to pound the football. First it was Darren Evans for 18 yards, and then Evans for 16 more. David Wilson then checked in for an 18 yard run before Taylor hit Jarrett Boykin on an 18 yard wide receiver screen for a first down to the ECU three. On the next play, David Wilson scored his first rushing touchdown of the game. Tech took a 28-27 lead, and never trailed again.
After a three and out by the Pirates, the Hokies took over on their own 39 and marched 61 yards for a touchdown. Every yard gained on the drive was via a handoff to either David Wilson or Darren Evans. Wilson eventually finished the drive with an eight yard run to the left, and Tech led 35-27 with just 29 seconds left in the third quarter.
Rashad Carmichael locked the game up for Tech on the next ECU drive. After driving to the VT 36, Dominique Davis looked right for a quick pass. Carmichael baited Davis, stepped in front of the pass, picked it off and ran it back 68 yards down the sideline for a touchdown to make the score 42-27.
Carmichael also ended the next ECU drive with a pick, fighting off a Pirate receiver to make a leaping interception in traffic down the left sideline. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Tyrod Taylor hit Jarrett Boykin for a 69 yard touchdown pass to put Tech up 49-27 with 10:53 left in the game, and the game was basically over at that point.
Though the Hokies started slow, their superior talent on the offensive side of the ball and terrific coaching by Bud Foster on the defensive side gave them a relatively easy victory.
Tech will travel to 2-0 Boston College next Saturday. The Eagles were off this weekend. Kickoff time and television coverage will be announced on Sunday, September 19.
STATISTICS VT ECU ---- ---- First downs 22 22 Rushed-yards 41-249 30-110 Passing yards 199 252 Sacked-yards lost 2-10 3-27 Return yards 133 35 Passes 8-16-0 30-44-2 Punts 3-39 5-40 Fumbles-lost 2-1 0-0 Penalties-yards 4-47 11-100 Time of possession 27:17 32:43 Att: 66,233 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Evans 10-91, Wilson 12-89, Taylor 9-32, Gregory 4-29, Williams 6-8. ECU, Williams 17-72, Davis 11-34, Ruffin 1-2, Harris 1-2. PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 8-16-199-0. ECU, Davis 30-44-251-2. RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Boykin 3-118, Roberts 2-22, Williams 1-29, Wilson 1-26, Younger 1-4. ECU, Harris 10-119, Williams 7-37, Lewis 3-22, Bodenheimer 3-22, Arrington 2-34, Bowman 2-1, Jones 1-11, Ruffin 1-5, Womack 1-0.