Just a week after knocking off then No. 8 Ohio State, the No. 17 Hokies got a taste of the same medicine falling 28-21 to East Carolina Saturday in Blacksburg.
Pirates quarterback Shane Carden had his way with the Hokie secondary—especially in the first quarter—completing 23-of-47 passes for 427 yards and three touchdowns while adding the game-winning touchdown on a quarterback sneak with just 16 seconds remaining in the game. Carden's performance ranks as the third most passing yards allowed by a Tech defense.
Carden's favorite target was Cam Worthy who finished with an eye-popping six catches for 224 yards. Trevon Brown, Bryce Williams and Isaiah Jones all caught touchdowns in the Pirates' first win in Blacksburg since 1991.
Tech (2-1, 0-0) looked out of sync from the start going three and out on the Hokies' first three drives and East Carolina capitalized racing out to a 21-0 lead. The Hokies finally got on the board shortly before halftime on a controversial touchdown catch by Isaiah Ford that cut the lead to 21-7. It was ruled a catch on the field and while the replay looked a bit shaky, it was ruled inconclusive.
Both teams went scoreless in the third quarter but Tech got things going in the fourth. Isaiah Ford caught his second touchdown pass after making a perfect double move on a defender in the redzone, then fellow freshman Cam Phillips hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 21 with 1:20 remaining.
ECU (2-1, 0-0) came right back however moving the ball 65 yards in just three plays to take the lead and ultimately pull the upset.
Tech had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds after a Cam Phillips reception moved the Hokies deep into East Carolina territory, but Michael Brewer's pass was overthrown and fell harmlessly out the back of the end zone on the final play.
The Hokies' stable quarterback was finally rattled in this one. Brewer was under pressure for most of the game completing 30-of-56 passes for 298 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. It was the first time this season Brewer showed any signs of frustration forcing throws on both interceptions.
There wasn't much rushing as the Hokies' gained just 91 yards on the ground to the Pirates' 75. Marshawn Williams ground out 74 yards on 17 carries to lead Tech.
East Carolina played an outstanding football game, but Tech aided their effort with seven dropped passes and multiple substitution penalties on defense. The Hokies finished with eight penalties for 64 yards.
ECU will return home to Greenville next week to face North Carolina (2-0, 0-0) at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Virginia Tech will attempt to regroup quickly as the triple option attack of Georgia Tech (3-0, 0-0) comes to Lane Stadium.
That game is scheduled for a noon kickoff.