NCAA Game Summary - Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina|
(Saturday, August 30th)
Final Score: East Carolina 27, (17) Virginia Tech 22
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - T.J. Lee's blocked punt and subsequent 27-
yard return for a touchdown with 1:52 left in the fourth quarter capped a
thrilling 27-22 comeback win for East Carolina over 17th-ranked Virginia Tech
in the season opener for both teams.
Patrick Pinkney completed 19-of-23 passes for 211 yards with a touchdown for
East Carolina (1-0), which came into the game having posted back-to-back
winning seasons for the first time since the 1999 and 2000 campaigns.
"It was just a roller coaster, going back and forth, up and down," said East
Carolina coach Skip Holtz. "I'm just so proud of these players, the way that
they competed. They never gave up, they never quit, they kept believing. The
leadership was awesome."
Sean Glennon connected on 14-of-23 passes for 139 yards and was picked off
twice for the Hokies (0-1), who had won the previous six meetings against the
Virginia Tech's Stephan Virgil returned a fumble 30 yards for a score and also
converted two points from a blocked extra point try.
East Carolina was down nine points in the fourth quarter, but Pinkney scored
on a three-yard run with 3:36 remaining, making it a 22-20 margin.
Facing a 4th-and-13 from their own 37, the Hokies were forced to punt, but Lee
came charging through the line to block Brent Bowden's kick. Lee then raced
uncontested to the end zone.
"I thought the snap was a little bit soft, and I think the kick was a little
bit slow," said Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. "The guy just broke through
on our protection and he did a nice job."
Glennon was unable to get an additional first down for the Hokies, and Quentin
Cotton broke up a fourth-down pass with 1:06 remaining. The Pirates ran out
the remaining time.
"You know what the saying is, defense wins championships and offense sells
tickets," said Cotton. "Coach told us from the get-go that it was going to be
two battles of the defense and we just need the O to come along. And just that
team camaraderie, how we stuck together throughout. Don't get me wrong that
Virginia Tech is a great team, I give them the utmost respect, the ACC
defending champions. But we just came out and played hard and we came out on
Glennon drove the Hokies deep in Pirates territory on the first possession of
the game, but Cotton came up with an interception inside the 10-yard line.
Virginia Tech was stymied again later in the first quarter when Darren Evans,
on a 4th-and-1 try from the five, was stuffed on a run.
The Hokies then caught a break less than three minutes into the second
quarter. A swing pass behind the line of scrimmage was dropped and Virgil
picked up the loose ball and rumbled 30 yards to the end zone.
Dalvon Mack fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up Virginia Tech in great
position. Kenny Lewis finished off the 25-yard drive on a six-yard TD run up
Ben Ryan missed a 39-yard field goal attempt for the Pirates, but they finally
caught a break when Nick Johnson intercepted Glennon. The 19-yard return set
up East Carolina at the one, and Jonathan Williams punched it in from there
with 1:16 left in the half.
The Pirates pulled within 14-13 on Pinkney's 12-yard TD pass to Jamar Bryant
nearly five minutes into the third. The extra point attempt was blocked, and
Virgil ran it back to the end zone for two points.
A 44-yard field goal try by Virginia Tech's Dustin Keys later in the third
clanked off the right upright, but a 62-yard pass play from Glennon to Dyrell
Roberts set up a three-yard TD run by Evans on the opening play of the fourth
for a 22-13 lead. Keys missed the extra point attempt.
Brandon Simmons had 54 yards on 17 carries, while Williams had 48 yards on 10
rushes for the Pirates...Lewis had 62 yards rushing...ECU's last win against
Va. Tech came on Sept. 12, 1992 in Greenville, NC...East Carolina becomes the
first team in the 13-year history of Conference USA Football to ever win back-
to-back games over nationally ranked teams. The Pirates closed out the 2007
season with a 41-38 victory over No. 22 Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl.
08/30 17:01:07 ET