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GREENVILLE, N.C. (HokieSports.com) – Virginia Tech defensive end James Gayle recorded a safety in the waning moments to help the Hokies hold on in a 15-10 nonconference victory over the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Tech moved to 2-1 overall on the season, while ECU fell to 2-1. The Hokies have won four straight versus ECU and 10 of 11 games. Tech has won five straight games in Greenville.
“The win was great,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “ECU is a good team. You look over at them, and they’ve got all these great athletes. We’ve just got to keep on getting better. I thought we were about to put them away three different times and we didn’t get it done, but I give our kids a lot of credit for hanging in there and finding a way.”
The Hokies had several opportunities to put the Pirates away in the second half, but kicker Cody Journell missed an extra point and two field goals. He missed a third attempt late in the game that was negated when ECU ran into him, leaving the Hokies with a fourth-and-1 at the ECU 10. Tech head coach Frank Beamer elected to go for it, but quarterback Logan Thomas couldn’t pick up the first down on a quarterback sneak, giving the Pirates the ball at their 10 with just 2:04 left in the game.
Gayle, though, finally sealed it for the Hokies. The fifth-year senior rushed ECU quarterback Shane Carden, hitting him in the end zone and knocking the ball out of his hands. ECU’s Ike Harris fell on the ball in the end zone, resulting in a sack and safety for Gayle and the Hokies.
ECU then tried on an onsides kick, but the kick didn’t travel 10 yards, and the Hokies ran out the clock for the win.