(Thursday, November 5th)
Final Score: (22) Virginia Tech 16, East Carolina 3
Greenville, NC (Sports Network) - Tyrod Taylor rushed for a touchdown and threw for 137 yards, as the 22nd-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies beat the East Carolina Pirates, 16-3, in a non-conference matchup at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Taylor completed 17-of-30 passes and rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries for the Hokies (6-3), who became bowl eligible for the 17th straight season with the victory. Ryan Williams rushed for 179 yards on 26 carries. Danny Coale caught six passes for 60 yards for Virginia Tech, which avoided its first three-game skid since the 2003 season. Matt Waldron made all three of his field goal attempts for the victors.
"Obviously, we ran the ball very well. We also had some good passes against their scheme. I thought Tyrod [Taylor] was great out there, keeping plays alive. He ran tough and gained some first downs for us. You need a quarterback like that at any level to be successful," Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said.
Pat Pinkney connected on 16-of-33 passes for 167 yards and an interception for the Pirates (5-4), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Alex Taylor caught five passes for 60 yards. Dominique Lindsay rushed for 69 yards on 13 carries in defeat.
"It's really frustrating to lose because I thought we played well. I thought the defense accepted the challenge and did some really good things. The offensive line played pretty well but we lacked a big play on offense," East Carolina head coach Skip Holtz said. "We just had the two turnovers in the redzone which really hurt us. There are a lot of guys in that locker room who played well enough for us to win tonight."
Down 13-3, the Pirates took over on their own four with 3:21 to play in the fourth. On 3rd-and-13, Pinkney made a big mistake when he threw an interception to Rashad Carmichael.
Virginia Tech took 1:01 off the clock before Waldron drilled a 31-yard field goal to essentially seal the victory for the visitors.
The Hokies were set up at the ECU 31 after Jayron Hosley returned a punt 33 yards. However, VT had to settle for a Waldron 41-yard field goal to make it 3-0 with about nine minutes left in the first quarter.
Virginia Tech put together a 14-play, 75-yard scoring drive with its next possession. Waldron capped the march, which lasted over six minutes in length, with a 22-yard field goal for a 6-0 lead with 51 seconds to go.
After recovering a fumble deep in their own territory, the Hokies marched down the field early in the second period. Taylor was about to score on a 16-yard run, but he lost the ball as he tried to stretch the football across the goal line. The ball went through the back of the end zone for a touchback.
Taylor's 13-yard TD run gave VT a 13-0 edge with just over two minutes remaining until the half. East Carolina responded with a 24-yard field goal by Ben Hartman to cut the deficit to 13-3 heading into the locker room.
The Pirates took their second possession of the third stanza into the red zone, but Giavanni Ruffin lost the football and VT recovered. But the third frame went scoreless.
The Pirates offense spent the entire fourth quarter on their own side of the field...East Carolina defensive back Dekota Marshall suffered a right leg injury after taking a hard hit while covering a punt early in the first quarter. Marshall was taken off the field on a stretcher with a brace on his right leg. Pirates tight end Rob Kass also left the game with a right leg injury. Kass hurt his leg after fumbling the ball early in the second period...The Hokies outgained the Pirates, 379-277...VT has a 60-32-5 record in games played on Thursday...Virginia Tech owns a 10-5 advantage in the all- time series versus East Carolina, but the Pirates did win last season's matchup by a 22-7 final. Virginia Tech was making its first trip to Greenville since a 45-28 win on September 7, 2000...Virginia Tech has committed just 11 turnovers in its nine games...The Hokies play at Maryland on November 14, while the Pirates travel to Tulsa on November 15.
11/06 00:13:45 ET