(Saturday, September 6th)
Final Score: East Carolina 24, (8) West Virginia 3
Greenville, NC (Sports Network) - Pat Pinkney completed 22-of-28 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown, as East Carolina knocked off another ranked opponent with a 24-3 domination of eighth-ranked West Virginia.
East Carolina (2-0) knocked off then-No. 17 Virginia Tech, 27-22, last Saturday, and won again behind a strong showing on both sides of the football. Jon Williams ran for 69 yards and two scores on 17 carries for the Pirates, while Dwayne Harris caught eight passes for 68 yards.
"I don't think you can put it into words. I am so proud of these players the way they have come out and competed the last few weeks," East Carolina head coach Skip Holtz said. "We played two elite programs and I am just proud of the way our team has grown...That was just a phenomenal job by our defense. West Virginia is a team that scores a lot of points with their speed."
Pat White was limited to 72 yards on 11-of-18 passing for the Mountaineers (1-1), as head coach Bill Stewart was dealt his first loss. He took over for Rich Rodriguez prior to the Fiesta Bowl last season and led the Mountaineers to a 20-point triumph over Oklahoma, and West Virginia opened its season last week by throttling Villanova.
White also ran for 97 yards on 20 attempts, and Noel Devine added 94 yards on the ground on 12 rushes for WVU.
"There are some things that need to be ironed out and there will be things that are ironed out," Stewart said. "We will work hard and learn from this game. We need to get better defensively and work on our receivers. It is a long season and the naysayers cannot end our players' season after two games."
East Carolina opened the game with first possession and a long scoring drive. The 11-play, 80-yard progression featured a 35-yard connection from Pinkney to Jamar Bryant on 3rd-and-9 to bring the ball down to the WVU seven-yard line. Two plays later, Williams dashed five yards into the end zone for a 7-0 ECU lead.
The drive ate up six minutes of the game clock, and the Pirates took the ball again late in the first quarter to start a drive that lasted even longer.
It took East Carolina 14 plays and 6:45 to go 56 yards, and Ben Ryan capped it with a 42-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead. West Virginia got those points back on the next drive, though, on Pat McAfee's 26-yard kick.
The Mountaineers took the ball late in the first half to start a drive that might have tied the game, but instead was a pivotal point in their defeat.
Jock Sanders caught a pass on the second play, but fumbled in the flat on the tackle by Van Eskridge as Marcus Hands recovered. It gave ECU the ball on the WVU 35, and Pinkney took advantage by later lofting a 13-yard pass that Alex Taylor caught in the back right corner of the end zone.
The touchdown came with 47 seconds left, giving the home team a 17-3 lead at intermission, and ECU never looked back. On the Pirates' first possession of the second half, Williams capped a 12-play, 86-yard drive with a one-yard run into the end zone.
West Virginia had a number of possessions from there, but never advanced the ball past the ECU 34.
White became the first player in WVU history to surpass 8,000 total career yards...McAfee became the second-highest scorer in Mountaineers football history, with 312 career points. Paul Woodside is the all-time leader with 323...The last time WVU did not score a touchdown in any game was a 45-3 loss to Miami on October 25, 2001.
09/07 00:21:26 ET