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BLACKSBURG (HokieSports.com) – Virginia Tech quarterback Jerod Evans threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, and the Hokies made three big plays on special teams, as they scuttled the East Carolina Pirates 54-17 in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium.
The Hokies (3-1) scored on their final five possessions of the first half, including all four of their second-quarter possessions. They jumped out to a 38-0 halftime lead, overwhelming East Carolina (2-2) and snapping a two-game losing streak to the Pirates.
Evans completed 13 of 20 passes for a career-high 282 yards and rushed for a career-high 97 more. He entered the game having thrown an ACC-best 10 touchdown passes and has thrown just one interception on the season. He threw touchdown passes of 24 yards to Isaiah Ford, 13 yards to Travon McMillian and 45 yards to Cam Phillips.
Three of the big special teams plays came in the first half. Greg Stroman scored the Hokies’ first touchdown on an 87-yard punt return in the first quarter, and a blocked field goal led to a touchdown pass from Evans to Ford. Phillips blocked a punt by East Carolina punter Worth Gregory in the second quarter, and the Hokies took advantage, scoring on a 13-yard pass from Evans to McMillian.
The other big special teams play came in the second half with the game already decided. ECU attempted a fake punt that the Hokies snuffed out and that led to a 1-yard run by Brenden Motley.
“I was happy with the way we made big plays on special teams,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. “Obviously, in the first half, it was a big part of the game. We played really well on offense and defense. We got a little sloppy in the second half, but we were playing a good team and we didn’t move the ball as well as we wanted on offense. We gave up a couple of big plays on defense."
“By and large, I’m please with the kids and the way they went about it. There is a lot we can learn from this film moving forward as we head into our bye week.”
ECU quarterback Philip Nelson had 362 yards passing and two touchdown tosses to Jimmy Williams. The Pirates had 443 yards of offense, but committed the three special teams mistakes, fumbled once and were sacked six times.