September 10, 2011
Hokies grind out 17-10 win over East Carolina
Beamer picks up 200th victory at Virginia Tech
(11) Virginia Tech (2-0) 037717
East Carolina (0-2) 703010
  • Dowdy-Ficklen - 49,404
  • Passing: Logan Thomas 91 yds
  • Rushing: David Wilson 137 yds
  • Receiving: Jarrett Boykin 48 yds

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Thanks to a powerful rushing attack, the No. 11 Virginia Tech Hokies overcame a bunch of penalties, dropped passes, and a couple of turnovers to get past East Carolina 17-10 in a non-conference game played Saturday afternoon in front of more than 49,000 fans at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

With the win, Tech moved to 2-0 overall on the season and beat the Pirates for the eighth time in the past nine meetings. ECU fell to 0-2 overall.

The win marked a milestone for Tech head coach Frank Beamer, who won his 200th game as the head man of the Hokies’ football program. After the game, in the locker room, the team presented Beamer with the special teams game ball.

“I’ve said all along I’m a fortunate guy,” Beamer said. “I’ve had a lot of good people around me, and it’s a good school, and they hung with me when things weren’t so good. I know how blessed I am, so I feel great about that.”

He wasn’t feeling so great about some of the mistakes the Hokies made, though. Tech committed 12 penalties for 92 yards, had two turnovers, including one in the end zone, two interceptions negated by penalties and a few dropped passes. That allowed the Pirates to stay in the game in a game in which they were out-gained 332-112.

“Coach [Ruffin] McNeil had his team ready to go and they played great,” Beamer said. “They took it to us.

“But I’m disappointed in myself and how we came out ready to play. We had too many penalties … When you play like that, you’re just not mentally where you need to be, and that’s my fault.”

Yet to their credit, the Hokies found a way to get it done – and a lot of the credit goes to the offensive line and a rushing attack that kept ECU’s offense off the field.

For the second straight game, David Wilson rushed for more than 100 yards, finishing with 138 yards of the Hokies’ 241 yards rushing on the day. But Josh Oglesby took care of the scoring while playing in his home state.

The Raleigh, N.C., native’s 10-yard touchdown run right up the gut with 7:30 remaining broke a 10-all tie and gave the Hokies the lead. The redshirt senior polished off a 13-play drive – 12 runs – 89-drive, and he finished with 43 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns.

“It felt good to score in front of a lot of people who have seen me play before,” Oglesby said. “This is an area where I grew, so it felt really good to have some success and for us to pull out this victory.”

East Carolina actually struck first, scoring after taking possession at the Tech 38 following a short, 30-yard punt by Tech punter Scott Demler in the first quarter. The Pirates got to the 2 on a 16-yard pass from Dominique Davis to Andrew Bodenheimer, and scored two plays later when tailback Michael Dobson went in from the 2. Michael Barbour’s extra point gave the Pirates a 7-0 lead with 8:51 left in the first quarter.

The Hokies squandered several opportunities throughout the first half. They drove to the ECU 3 once in the first quarter, but were forced to settle for a 30-yard field-goal attempt by Cody Journell – who missed it wide right. Early in the second quarter, Tech drove to the ECU 6, but Logan Thomas threw an interception in the end zone.

Thomas struggled most of the game, completing just 8 of 20 for 91 yards, with the interception. He fared better on the ground, rushing for 66 yards on 11 carries.

“That was a hard-fought one,” Thomas said. “ECU gave us all we could handle. We had way too many penalties and two turnovers. The interception, the safety made a great play to pick me off, but I think all those things kept them in the game early. That’s a great compliment to them, and it shows we’ve got some things to work on.”

Tech’s lone score of the first half came with only a minute left. A 13-play drive ended at the ECU 22, and the Hokies settled for a 39-yard field goal by Journell with 44 seconds left. That made the score 7-3 at halftime.

Tech grabbed the lead with an impressive drive following halftime. An eight-play, 78-yard drive – one kept alive with a 13-yard completion to Jarrett Boykin from Thomas on third-and-11 from the ECU 30 – ended with Josh Oglesby carrying it in from a yard out. Journell’s extra point made the score 10-7 in favor of Tech with 10:48 left in the third.

ECU, though, tied the game five minutes later. Barbour’s 48-yard field goal with 5:40 left in the quarter tied the game at 10.

Boykin became the Hokies’ all-time leading receiver in this game. He caught four passes to give him 129 for his career, snapping Ernest Wilford’s record of 126.

Tech returns home to continue its non-conference slate next Saturday. The Hokies take on Arkansas State at 4 p.m.

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

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