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Virginia Tech at East Carolina

Virginia Tech beats East Carolina 15-10

By AARON BEARD
AP Sports Writer
  •  

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) Logan Thomas threw two touchdown passes and Virginia Tech turned in a dominating defensive performance to beat East Carolina 15-10 on Saturday.

Thomas' second TD toss, a 3-yard score to D.J. Coles with 4:09 left in the third quarter, put the Hokies (2-1) ahead to stay.

The Pirates (2-1) had their own chance for a go-ahead drive, getting the ball back at their own 10 with 2:04 left. But the Hokies sacked Shane Carden on first down, then James Gayle stripped Carden from behind in the end zone for a safety that essentially sealed the win.

Virginia Tech had seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss and three interceptions. The Hokies also held the Pirates to a meager 3-for-11 third-down conversion rate.

Virginia Tech needed every bit of that production, too. Its offense had to grind out tough yards all day, while Cody Journell missed two field goals and an extra point.

It was difficult to know what to make of the Hokies coming in. They lost their opener to No. 1 Alabama in an ugly performance full of dropped passes by Hokies receivers that led to a 5-for-26 passing day for Thomas. They followed that with a 45-3 win against Championship Subdivision opponent Western Carolina at home.

But the formula Saturday was to rely on the defense and avoid major mistakes - Journell's off-target kicking, aside - to win on the road. Virginia Tech allowed just 204 total yards and hasn't allowed more than 206 in a game this season.

East Carolina was going for its first 3-0 start since 2008, when the Pirates opened with a win against the Hokies in Charlotte followed by an upset of West Virginia the following week. But the Pirates had lost three straight to the Hokies and nine of 10 regular-season meetings with Atlantic Coast Conference opponents since that start.

Things looked promising when Carden directed the Pirates on a 75-yard touchdown drive that lasted just 99 seconds to start the game. But the Pirates managed 129 yards for the next 58 minutes and never got their pass-heavy spread offense running at full speed.

Carden threw for 158 yards on 19-for-31 passing, while the Pirates finished with just 46 yards on 23 rushing attempts. In addition, top receiving threat Justin Hardy had six catches for just 31 yards.

Thomas threw for 258 yards on 25-for-43 passing, while Trey Edmunds managed just 42 yards rushing.

Demitri Knowles also had a touchdown catch for Virginia Tech and finished with eight catches for 99 yards.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoring Summary
ECUBryce Williams 22 yd pass from Shane Carden (Warren Harvey kick)
VATECHDemitri Knowles 30 yd pass from Logan Thomas (Cody Journell kick)
ECUWarren Harvey 44 yd FG
VATECHD.J. Coles 3 yd pass from Logan Thomas (missed kick)
VATECH Team safety
 
Team Stats
 VATECHECU
First Downs1815
Third Down Efficiency9-203-11
Fourth Down Efficiency1-20-0
Plays-Net Yards77-31154-204
Rushes-Yds34-5323-46
Passing Yds258158
Kick Return Yds3666
Punt Return Yds2219
Passes25-43-119-31-3
Punts5-2205-218
Fumbles-Lost0-01-0
Penalties-Yds5-485-25
Time of Poss.36:4323:17
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
VATECH: Trey Edmunds 21-42, Logan Thomas 7-9, Joel Caleb 1-2, Chris Mangus 3-1, Sam Rogers 1-0, Team 1--1
ECU: Vintavious Cooper 8-28, Shane Carden 12-10, Cory Hunter 2-9, Team 1--1
PASSING
VATECH: Logan Thomas 25-43-258-1
ECU: Shane Carden 19-31-158-3
RECEIVING
VATECH: Demitri Knowles 8-99, Willie Byrn 7-63, D.J. Coles 3-39, Joshua Stanford 3-26, Trey Edmunds 2-20, Chris Mangus 1-7, Kalvin Cline 1-4
ECU: Justin Hardy 6-31, Vintavious Cooper 5-52, Bryce Williams 2-28, Danny Webster 2-15, Davon Grayson 2-6, Reese Wiggins 1-21, Lance Ray 1-5
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Virginia Tech5th Atlantic Coast Coastal3-56-6
East Carolina4th American Athletic 5-38-4