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East Carolina Defeats Virginia Tech 35-28

The Hokies were looking for payback, but the Pirates had the last laugh

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

On a dreary afternoon in Greenville, the Hokies went on the road looking for revenge.  The Hokies came out blazing, aided by 2 early turnovers from the Pirates.  Trey Edmunds cashed in a 1 yard TD run, putting the Hokies on the board.  After another Tech takeaway, the Hokies again had another short field.  This time Ryan Malleck caught a laser from Brenden Motley, as the Hokies stunned the sellout crowd going up 14-0 with only eight minutes off the clock.  On that scoring play Wyatt Teller picked up a tough personal foul penalty that was enforced on the ensuing kickoff.  The Pirates took full advantage as QB Blake Kemp marched down the shortened field and scored on a 3 yard scamper.

The defensive struggles continued for the Hokies, as Trevon Brown reeled in an 11 yard pass from Kemp drawing the Pirates even near the end of the first quarter.  The rain was really coming down at this point, which appeared to slow both offenses in the second quarter.  The only points in the second quarter came via a James Summers TD run coming with 10:02 left in the half.  Both teams traded punts, and Tech had a scoring opportunity slip, with kicker Joey Slye missing a 37 yard field goal with 5:26 left in the half.  The half ended with the Hokies trailing 21-14.

The first half was dominated by penalties against the Hokies, as they had a Bucky Hodges TD call brought back due to a false start call.  This was one of eight penalties against the Hokies, as the flags continued to  pester any momentum the Hokies could muster.

The second half had the Hokies receiving the opening kick.  After not converting a first down, punter A.J. Hughes (of scoreboard kicking fame) had the snap sail over his head.  After corralling the ball, Hughes saved at the very least a safety by getting the kick away.  The Pirates convert a 4th and 12 on their first possession  with a soul crushing 26 yard touchdown pass from James Summers and took the lead 28-14.  The Hokies were now looking at 28 unanswered points from the Pirates.

The Hokies offense got back into the game with a long drive capped off by a Sam Rogers 2 yard TD run.  The drive was important as it afforded the defense a chance to catch its breath and regroup after the way the second half started.  East Carolina continued its impressive 3rd down conversion rate.  James Summers then broke a 41 yard touchdown that had at least 3 missed tackles.  It even included a spin move, because we haven't seen enough of those this year.  The Pirates again enjoyed a 14 point cushion as we entered the 4th quarter.

The fourth quarter began with a Hokie drive that was stopped by a Motley interception of a tipped pass.  If the Hokies had any hopes of a comeback, Summers quickly quelched it with a 40 yard run on the Pirates first play.  The Hokies eventually held, and Brenden Motley ran it in from 5 yards to make it ECU 35 Tech 28 with 8:18 to play.  After trading punts, and down only 7, Tech was poised to make its comeback.

With all three timeouts and only four minutes left in the game, Tech began its last stand on its own four yard line.  Tech marched down the field and faced a 4th and 2 near mid field. Bucky Hodges was unable to collect the pass from Motley, and the Hokies turned it over on downs with less than two minutes to go.  Tech was forced to burn its timeouts, and forced ECU to punt one last time.  The Hokies last gasp began at its own 5 with no timeouts left.  The final effort fell short, and the Hokies fall 35-28 in a very wet Greenville, NC.