September 18, 2010
Hokies rally in second half to knock off ECU
By Jimmy Robertson
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East Carolina (2-1) 10143027
Virginia Tech (1-2) 714141449
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 66,233
  • Passing: Tyrod Taylor 199 yds
  • Rushing: Darren Evans 91 yds
  • Receiving: Jarrett Boykin 118 yds

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech tailbacks David Wilson and Darren Evans combined to rush for 180 yards and three touchdowns and Tech’s defense played well in the second half as the Hokies scored 28 unanswered points in the final 30 minutes to beat East Carolina 49-27 at Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The win marked Tech’s first of the season. The Hokies, who came into this season ranked No. 10 in the preseason Associated Press poll, had lost to Boise State and to Division I-AA James Madison last week.

“This was a great win because it came after a very difficult week for our coaches and players” Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “It came after we had to battle out there and didn’t look so hot at times. Our guys and coaches kept battling, and I’m proud of winning and how it took place. We had to hang in there, but we took some strides.”

“We were 0-2 and now we’re 1-2,” Tech free safety Eddie Whitley said. “Next week starts the Orange Bowl journey.”

Tech won despite losing standout tailback Ryan Williams, a redshirt sophomore who broke Tech’s single-season rushing record last season (1,655 yards). Williams injured his right hamstring with 7:24 left in the first half and did not return.

The Hokies trailed 10-0 in the first quarter, 17-7 in the second quarter and 27-21 in the third quarter after ECU converted a Tech fumble into a 41-yard field goal by Mike Barbour with 10:43 left in the third.

But Tech took the lead when Wilson scored on a 3-yard run with 4:34 left in the quarter to cap a seven-play, 69-yard drive. The Hokies’ defense then held the Pirates (2-1) on the ensuing possession, and Wilson struck again. The sophomore scored on an 8-yard run with 29 seconds remaining in the quarter to give Tech a 35-27 lead.

The Hokies put the game away on East Carolina’s next possession when cornerback Rashad Carmichael intercepted a Dominique Davis pass and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown.

“They had one of their big guys out there, No. 84 [Justin Jones], the 6-9 guy,” Carmichael said. “I remember seeing him on film go up and catch some deep balls, but I wasn’t sure how quick he was, so I told Davon [Morgan] to watch me over the top. If he [Davis] threw it short, I was going to try and make a play.

“He ran a hitch and I just played the play. It worked out for us.”

Carmichael’s second interception – the Hokies’ first two interceptions of the season – set up Tech’s final score. Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor hit Jarrett Boykin for a 69-yard touchdown with 13:22 left in the game that gave the Hokies a 49-27 lead.

Tech’s defense held ECU to just three points and 83 total yards in the second half.

“In the first half, we were a little bit out of sorts because we didn’t know how fast their offense would be,” Whitley said. “The second half, we knew we had to be calm and we know what we had to do on the field. We knew we had to come out and be relaxed and play. That’s what we did.”

Wilson rushed for 89 yards on 12 carries, while Evans finished with 91 yards on 10 carries. Taylor completed 8-of-16 for 199 yards and two touchdowns, and Boykin had 118 yards receiving.

Tech finished with 448 yards of offense

“It was real important,” Wilson said of the offensive performance. “Any time you have a big upset loss and you feel like it’s your side that struggles, you want to come out and prove that you’re better than what you’ve showed. That was our big thing – to use our weapons and show we had as an offense.”

East Carolina was led by Davis, who completed 30-of-44 for 251 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Pirates, who were looking to go 3-0 for the second time since 1999, scored on five of their first six possessions in the game.

The Hokies open ACC play next Saturday when they travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass., for a game against BC. The kickoff time is expected to be announced on Sunday.

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).

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