Homecoming means many different things. The Hokies welcomed East Carolina to Lane Stadium on an absolutely gorgeous Saturday. The homecoming contest was a revenge game for Virginia Tech. East Carolina has beaten the Hokies in the previous two meetings. The game started quickly. Greg Stroman fielded an E.C.U. punt and electrified the crowd with a 87 yard touchdown. Lane Stadium was absolutely rocking, and it was 7-0 Hokies in the early going. The game got settled, and took on the familiar ECU/VT battles of the past two years. Both teams were trading punts, and both defenses were playing well.
Let's take one to the house today!!#BeamerBall 2️⃣5️⃣ pic.twitter.com/EHfg1Eur8s— HokiesFB (@HokiesFB) September 24, 2016
The Hokies offense started getting in gear early in the first. An absolutely gorgeous pass from Jerod Evans to Isaiah Ford put the Hokies on the East Carolina doorstep. Marshawn Williams literally carried the entire ECU defense into the endzone, and it was 14-0 Hokies. The Pirates were starting to drive as the first quarter came to a close, but all the momentum was with the Hokies. The Pirates worked it down to the Hokies' 8, but big Tim Settle blocked a field goal attempt. The special teams were ruling the day in Blacksburg. The Hokies wasted little time marching down the field after the block. Jerod Evans hit all-everything Isaiah Ford on a 24 yard pitch and catch. Early in the second quarter, it was all Hokies, 21-0. The special teams came again. Cam Phillips blocked an E.C.U. punt, and put the Hokies deep in Pirate territory. On a 3rd and long, Jerod Evans rolled right, threw left, and hit Travon McMillian on a screen. Travon took it to the house, and it was 28-0 Hokies. The Hokies were in total control, and looked poised to put the game away in the first half.
The Pirates needed a response, and fast. The Virginia Tech defense simply wouldn't allow it. The Hokies forced yet another 3 and out. On the next drive, QB Jerod Evans appeared to sprain his ankle, and the entire stadium held its breath. Brenden Motley came in and protected the ball, but couldn't find the end zone. Joey Slye came in and booted a 20 yard FG, and it was 31-0 with 4:40 left in the half. Evans returned on the next possession, and had no noticeable limp. Cam Phillips got past the safety, and Evans threw a beautiful 45 yard bomb to make it 38-0 with one minute left the half. The half came to a close with the Hokies in total control.
The second half started well for the Pirates. WR Jimmy Williams got behind the Tech secondary for a huge 75 yard touchdown on the first play of the second half. It was the first touchdown allowed by the Hokies in 6 quarters. it was a busted coverage, and East Carolina made them pay. East Carolina's offense looked much sharper in the early goings in the second half. After forcing a Hokies 3 and out, the Pirates were on the march. The Pirates drove it down to the 10, but the Hokies defense helfd on 4th and 3. The momentum was trying to shift the Pirates' way, but Bud Foster's unit was up to the task.
The offense put together a lengthy, time consuming drive on the next possession. Sam Rogers saw heavy action on the drive. Chris Cunningham dropped a sure touchdown, and Evans was stopped short on a fourth down attempt. The Hokies got no point on the drive, but burned some serious clock. After Ken Ekanem recorded a safety, Jerod Evans went nuts.
Evans had one of the most incredible runs I have ever seen. He went 55 yards for the touchdown, and it seemed every Pirate touched him. He made cuts. He broke tackles. It will be on ESPN tonight, for sure. It was 47-7 with 4:25 left in the third quarter. Jimmy Williams from East Carolina had an answer. Williams broke a tackle, and 70 yards later the Pirates were in the end zone. The defense was playing a dangerous cat and mouse game, and for the second time, it got burned deep.
The teams traded punts as the game slid into the fourth quarter. The Hokies sniffed out a fake punt by the Pirates. The game was well in hand, and Coach Fuente was getting some young players some reps. Motley was in the game, and Evans was resting comfortably on the sideline. Motley ran a 1 yard TD, and the Hokies had officially put a 50 burger on the Pirates. East Carolina put together a solid drive, and managed a field goal. This brought the Pirates to 54-17 with six minutes left in the game, but the contest was over at halftime. The win took the Hokies to a 3-1 mark on the season. Great win! GO HOKIES!!!!!