Hokies rally from an early 10-point deficit to defeat ECU 49-27. If you want details, scroll down to the bottom and work up. Blow-by-blow account of the important stages of the game, with scoring plays in bold.
Randy King’s game story tomorrow will talk about the overall significance of the win and include plenty about the offense — David Wilson, Darren Evans, Jarrett Boykin and the like. Doug Doughty wrote a sidebar on offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, which I look forward to reading. My column for tomorrow’s paper is on Tech’s defense, which finally sustained some success. It was only one half, but it was vital that those guys show something on that side of the ball. Below are some quotes from the postgame interviews. That’s all from me tonight; see you next week when the Hokies open their ACC slate at Boston College. Thanks for checking in and for contributing.
ON THE DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT IN THE SECOND HALF: “We made a couple adjustments there at halftime that I think really helped us in the second half. ”
ON CARMICHAEL: “You talk about a guy who turned it on when things weren’t looking good — what a great interception and what a great run.”
ON WHAT CHANGED FOR THE DEFENSE: “We just got used to the speed of the game, used to the speed of the offense. We started knowing what they were doing, knowing their tendencies, and we started taking advantage of it.”
MORE ALONG THOSE LINES: “We just had to get used to the speed of the game and their offense. They were going with the no-huddle offense and sometimes they just hurry up and get on the ball….We knew what kind of defense we could play, and we showed it out there today.”
HIS ASSESSMENT OF THE TACKLING: “A lot better. Everybody was flying to the ball. There was more effort this week, more emotion in the game. I felt it from everybody. That’s what we needed.”
ON CARMICHAEL: “That’s our leader on defense. He’s a veteran…We’ve got a lockdown corner that can go out there against anybody, day in, day out.”
ON TECH’S SECOND-HALF DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE “That’s been Tech defense since I’ve known it. Score on offense, score on defense, score on special teams. I feel like that pick that Rock had, the first one, really got guys settled, allowed us to just pin our ears back and played.”
ON HIS EMOTIONS: “I feel great. Two weeks too late, but this is our first win. Just gotta keep moving forward.”
ON THEIR IDENTITY BEING AT STAKE, GIVEN THE STRUGGLES AND CRITICISM: “With reason. Definitely that first half, guys were a little worried. But our seniors just came back and told us, relax, we’re a good defense, coach foster’s put us in position to make plays so we’ve just got to go out there and do it. When we started doing it, it became easy out there on the field, kind of anticipating what they were going to do.”
ON HALFTIME CHANGES: “As far as X’s and O’s, there weren’t many adjustments. The game plan was a good game plan. We just had to go out there and execute.”
GAME PLAN WAS? “Put pressure on Davis. Focus on our key reads, coverage guys focus on your receiver and just do your job.”
ON DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HALF ONE AND HALF TWO: “First half it looked like how we’ve looked in the first two games, missing open-field tackles and stuff like that. In that third quarter, we came out there and said enough is enough. This isn’t tech defense….we’re not known for that. We’re known for getting turnovers, making big plays and big hits and all that. So that’s what we did in the second half.”
ON SENIORS RALLYING THE TEAM THIS WEEK: “They’ve been in the program for years now and seen how the defense usually plays. So they just kept telling us, look, man, come out here and play, do your job, know your job and don’t worry about anything else.”
ON HE FELT LIKE THE DEFENSE CLICKED FINALLY IN THE SECOND HALF: I felt like it did. The first half, we were kind of spotty. We really couldnt get them off the field. But in that second half, everybody was just comfortable, having a good time, having fun. Coach Foster always says you have to have fun when youre out there playing defense. You have to have great emotion. We had that in the second half. You could just see it in guys eyes. It was just different.
ON A STRETCH OF ECU POSSESSIONS THAT WENT PUNT, PUNT, PICK-6, PICK: The first half, it didnt feel right. It didnt feel like the Tech defense that Ive seen. But in that second half, once guys got settled in, I really felt like we were playing Tech defense. The first half was long, I was tired, we couldn’t get them off the field. The second half … it was just fun to go out there and pin your ears back and play.
ON WHETHER THE FIRST 10 QUARTERS OF THIS SEASON ARE BEHIND THEM: “They’re behind us, absolutely. It’s in the past. There’s nothing we can do about it now. It’s over with.”
NO INTRO NEEDED: “This week starts the Orange Bowl journey.”
ON THE DEFENSIVE MINDSET: “We had to go out there and tell them, ‘If you’re going to catch that ball, trust me, you’re going to feel it.’ Their guys were good at catching the ball and holding it. Some of those hits Davon was laying I was like, ‘Good lord.’”
SIMILARLY: “We had to go out there and let those guys know if you catch this ball, trust me, you’re going to feel the thunder afterwards.”
CB ROCK CARMICHAEL (courtesy of Kyle Tucker of our sister paper, The Virginian-Pilot)
ON HIS ROUGH START (GETTING TWO PASS INTERFERENCE PENALTIES), THEN SPECTACULAR FINISH (TWO PICKS): Im an aggressive player. Thats just how I play corner. I feel like this isnt flag football. Youre going to get touched. Youre going to get hit. Sometimes, its going to be a flag. Sometimes its not. But the key to it is keep playing, like I was telling my guys. Just keep playing. Thats what I did. I feel like we grew up as a whole, as a team. It was a series in the second quarter where we could feel that chemistry. Everybody was together. We wasnt going down when we were losing. We didnt want to lose that game. We just felt like we grew up today.
ON MAKING A TWEAK TO HIS TECHNIQUE DURING THE GAME: The ref told me, Youre in good position; we just threw the flag because you didnt turn your head around. I was like, Alright, Ive just got to turn my head around.
ON HIS TWO INTERCEPTIONS, ESPECIALLY THE FIRST ONE: They had one of their bigger guys out there, No. 84, the 6-9 guy. I remember seeing him go up on film and get some deep balls. But I wasnt sure how quick he was. I told Davon (Morgan), my safety, get me over the top because if he throws it short, Im going to make a play. It just happened to work in my favor. He was trying the hitch, and Id seen it on film. I played the play. I just told (Morgan), Im going to make this play. Im going to jump it. Theyd been throwing quick passes all game. I said, If he throws it quick, Im going to jump it. I need you to get me back deep.
ON WHAT FOSTER SAID TO HIM AFTER HIS SECOND INT: Just keep it up. Just keep showing these younger guys how we play ball here.
Hokies defeat ECU, 49-27. Coach Frank Beamer calls it a “relief,” saying, “we needed a win around here.” You might say that.
Beamer said he didn’t think Williams’ hamstring injury was very serious.
Game ball winners, according to Tech: Greg Nosal (offensive line), Taylor (offense), Carmichael (defense), Myer (special teams).
I’ll have a little more later after I write my column for tomorrow’s paper. Thanks for checking in. Oh, and the trivia answer was Bluefield, W.Va. I know everyone was on pins and needles.
[IN GAME POSTS ARE IN REVERSE-CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER]
Tech defense finally starting to feast.
Boykin 69 yard touchdown reception gives Tech a 49-27 lead with 10:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. Don’t look now, but the Hokies look like they’re going to cover the number.
Carmichael interception at VT 31.
Williams converts fourth-and-1, first down ECU at ECU 44.
Harris shaken up for ECU. Walks off under his own power.
I’ll update with big plays for a few more minutes but no more play-by-play as I have to go to the field soon.
Hokies extend their lead to 42-27 with 13:22 left in the fourth on a 68-yard interception return by Carmichael. That’s 21 straight points for Tech in less than 7 minutes.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 20…Williams up middle for loss of 1…THIRD QUARTER ENDS WITH TECH UP 35-27…Davis hits Harris over middle for 24, first down at ECU 43…Davis hits Bodenheimer on right side for 7…Williams bursts through hole off right tackle for 14, first down at midfield…Davis quick pass right anticipated and picked off by Carmichael at the VT 32, he races down the left sideline, fighting pursuers all the way, officials rule he’s in, touchdown. Play is reviewed and upheld. PAT is good.
Wilson has 110 yards on 11 offensive touches.
Hokies extend their lead to 35-27 with 29 seconds left in the third quarter on an 8-yard touchdown run by Wilson. Drive: Six plays, 39 yards, 2:58.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 39…Evans runs middle for 5…Wilson runs off right tackle for 12, guy’s got quite a burst, first down at ECU 22…Wilson runs off left tackle, tripped up after gain of 3…Evans off right tackle for 4…Wilson scoots off right tackle for 7…Wilson off left tackle, he’s in, touchdown, 8 yards. PAT good.
Nice stand by the Tech defense. Hokies get good field position.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 19…Davis tries to hit Ruffin in flat but overthrows him, incomplete…Davis pass over the middle, Gibson nearly tips it to himself for an INT but it’s incomplete…Davis sacked by Taylor for loss of 7…Punt of only 31.
Hokies regain the lead 28-27 with 4:34 left in the third quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run by Wilson. Drive: Seven plays, 69 yards, 2:47.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at VT 31…Taylor pressured, run out of bounds for loss of 5 (should have thrown away)…Counter play, Evans runs off right tackle for 18, first down at VT 44…Option left, Taylor pitches to Evans who picks up 16 (Evans and Wilson both in backfield in that formation), first down at ECU 40…Wilson around left end, fights for extra yardage, gains 18, first down at ECU 22…Wilson run middle for 1…Taylor zips pass over middle to slanting Boykin, who gains 18, first down at ECU 3…Timeout ECU…Wilson toss right, looks like he’s stymied, does a little dancing, finds a seam, he’s in, touchdown. PAT good.
Can we see some more of Wilson now? Pretty please? The guy has done something good every time he’s touched the ball today — which hasn’t been often.
ECU punts for just the second time today after three-and-out.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 25…Davis throws incomplete…Davis throws deep right sideline, incomplete…Davis pass underthrown, incomplete, nearly picked by a diving Exum….Punt of 44.
This team has zippo confidence right now.
Third-and-2, you throw deep? Really?
Hokies pick up one first down but must punt.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at VT 6…Taylor drops back, scrambles right for 14, first down at VT 20…Wilson runs off left guard for 4…Taylor throws to fullback Kenny Younger for 4…(third and 2) Taylor scrambles right, throws deep off back foot intended for Marcus Davis, underthrown, incomplete…Strong punt of 53 by Saunders.
ECU extends its lead to 27-21 with 10:43 left in the third quarter on a 41-yard field goal by Barbour. Drive: Seven plays, 15 yards, 3:57. Turnover set up the short field.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at VT 39…Davis scrambles for no gain…Davis throws quick pass complete to Michael Bowman, wrapped up for loss of 1…Davis throws over the middle complete to Harris, he fights for extra yardage, gains 12, first down at VT 28…Davis throws deep for a receiver (I couldn’t ID him, sorry), Carmichael faceguarding him, gets nailed for pass interference, first down at VT 13…Personal foul facemask penalty on ECU backs Pirates up to first-and-25 at VT 28….False start by ECU tackle Grant Harner…Davis feel pressure, scrambles right, then throws it away…Davis throws deep for Lewis, broken up nicely by Carmichael, who nearly picks it off on a dive, BUT no play because of offensive holding on ECU…Davis throws quickly to Williams in flat for 3…Davis escapes pressure scrambles right for 16…41-yard field goal attempt by Barbour is good.
Hokies turn it over in their own territory.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at VT 22…Taylor play action deep pass overthrown, incomplete…Evans runs up middle through big hole, nice gain but he’s popped by Bradley Jacobs, loses the ball, recovered by Emanuel Davis.
Members of the 1965 football team — which played the first varsity game at Lane Stadium and finished 7-3 — were honored before the game.
Defensive end James Gayle, defensive tackle Antoine Hopkins, cornerback Kyle Fuller and defensive back Antone Exum all made their first college starts today.
Offensive tackle Nick Becton made his first appearance of the season on Tech’s third drive of the game. He’d been sidelined by turf toe the first two weeks.
The last time Tech gave up 24 points or more in the first half was to Boston College in 2008. BC scored 28 and held on for a 28-23 win in Chestnut Hill.
A few first half numbers of note:
Total yards: ECU 278, VT 184
Penalties: ECU 5 for 50, VT 2-27
Wilson: Two carries for 28 yards
Taylor: Five carries for 26 yards
Evans: Two carries for 14 yards
R. Williams (out for game): Six carries for 8 yards.
J. Williams 12 carries for 51 yards and 2 touchdowns
Davis 19-for-25 for 188 yards, 1 touchdown and no INTs
Taylor: 5-for-10 for 108 yards, 1 TD, no INTs
Time of possession: ECU 18:12, VT 11:48
ECU is 4-for-4 on converting red zone appearances into points; VT is 2-for-2.
The first half ends with ECU leading 24-21. I’ll have some stats for you in a few minutes.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at VT 37. Taylor deep over middle intended for Boykin, high, incomplete, he was open, would have been about a 20-yard gain. Taylor scrambles right, throws across his body incomplete. End of half.
Injury update: Ryan Williams has an injured right hamstring and will not return.
ECU regains the lead 24-21 with 26 seconds left in the first half on a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams. Drive: 13 plays, 80 yards, 5:32.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 20. Williams runs middle for 6. Davis swings out to Williams for 9, first down at ECU 35 (they’re having a lot of success throwing short to backs). Williams runs middle for 4. Davis has all kinds of time, finds Bodenheimer open on the right side, he gains 19, first down at VT 42. Giavanni Ruffin runs middle for 2. Davis pass tipped by Antoine Hopkins, incomplete. Davis floats it out to Ruffin on the right for 5, brings up fourth and 3. Davis rolls right, throws on run deep, caught by Harris, he’s hammered by Morgan, loses his helmet but not the ball, gain of 17, first down at VT 18. Williams loses 4 on run. Davis keeps up the middle, weaves his way 21 yards, first down at VT 1. Davis sneak middle, no gain. Davis sneak middle, no gain. Williams runs right, untouched into the end zone, touchdown. PAT good.
Hokies take their first lead of the game, 21-17 with 5:58 left in the second quarter, on a 7-yard touchdown run by Evans. Drive: Eight plays, 75 yards, 3:30.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at VT 25. Williams runs left, can’t get the edge, gains 1. Taylor has all day, scrambles around and dumps it off to Wilson over the middle for 26, first down at ECU 48. Taylor drops back, then scrambles (not designed) up middle for 10, first down at ECU 38. Williams runs middle for 2. Williams is shaken up on play. He’s helped off the field, not putting weight on right leg. Taylor drops back, scrambles right for 22, first down at ECU 14. Taylor floats it toward the end zone intended for Smith, a little too long, off his fingertips, incomplete. Evans run middle, nice hole that time, picks up 7. Evans runs left, nice move around left tackle, he’s in, touchdown, 7 yards. PAT good.
The Hokies are getting a ton of calls.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 20. Davis pass complete to Harris BUT it’s called back for illegal receiver downfield by ECU, 5 yard penalty. Williams starts middle, bounces outside left and finds running room BUT it’s called back for holding to the ECU 23. Davis pass complete to Harris for 10, first down at ECU 33. Davis zips it out to Michael Bowman for 2. Williams up middle for 4. Davis pass incomplete, thrown behind intended receiver Andrew Bodenheimer, brings up first punt for ECU.
Wilson’s making a strong case that he’s now Tech’s No. 2 tailback.
The shootout is in full effect as the Hokies get a 24-yard touchdown catch from Roberts to cut the deficit to 17-14 with 12:03 remaining in the second quarter. Drive: Five plays, 7 yards, 2:42.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at VT 29. Taylor quick pass complete to Roberts for loss of 2. Taylor drops back, slips and loses 8. Taylor deep pass complete to a wide-open Jarrett Boykin, who is hit and fumbles it, Tech’s Andre Smith recovers it at midfield, first down at midfield, gain of 31 on the play. Nice alertness there by Smith. Wilson runs middle for 11, first down at ECU 39. Taylor sacked BUT personal foul facemask call on eCU gives Tech a first down on ECU 24. Taylor deep pass complete to Roberts in end zone, touchdown Tech. Good zip on that pass, nice catch by Roberts. PAT good.
ECU goes up 17-7 with 14:50 remaining in the second quarter on a 7-yard touchdown catch by Harris. Drive: Eight plays, 60 yards, 1:51.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 40. Davis deep pass down left sideline incomplete (intended for Lewis, Carmichael on coverage). False start on ECU’s Willie Smith. Davis pass complete to Harris in right flat for 11. Davis pass complete to Arrington, missed tackle by Hill, slips away for 29 yard gain, first down at VT 25. Davis pass incomplete (quick middle). Davis quick middle pass to Lewis, he breaks and arm tackle and gains 18, first down at VT 7. Tech LB Lyndell Gibson is shaken up on the sidelines. Williams run left for no gain. FIRST QUARTER ENDS, ECU LEADS 10-7. Davis pass tipped at line of scrimmage by Chris Drager, incomplete. (third and goal). Davis floats one up to Harris, he jumps over Carmichael (who’s got his back turned) and grabs it in the end zone, touchdown ECU. PAT good.
Kickoff by Justin Myer sails out of bounds. ECU will start at the 40.
Hokies get on the board with a 2-yard touchdown run by Williams, cutting the deficit to 10-7 with 1:41 left in the first quarter. Drive: Seven plays, 70 yards, 3:54.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at VT 30. Ugly option run right by Taylor, bottled up for minus-5. Taylor swings out to Ryan Williams complete, Williams finds space and picks up 29, first down at ECU 46. Taylor keeps right for 7. David Wilson runs around left end for 17, first down at ECU 22. Williams runs left for 3. Pass interference on ECU, first down at ECU 4. Williams runs off right tackle for 2. Williams runs off right tackle, he’s in, touchdown, Tech. PAT good.
No boos yet but another three and out and you can bet they’ll be coming. Woeful performance by the Hokies so far.
The Pirates take a 10-0 lead with 5:42 left in the first quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by Williams. Drive: Five plays, 56 yards, 1:35.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 44. Davis scrambles for 14, first down at VT 42. Davis swings it out to Williams who slips tackle to gain 8, PLUS personal foul late hit on Taylor, first down at VT 19. Davis short pass over middle complete to Dayon Arrington for 5. Davis swings out to Williams but it’s dropped, incomplete. Davis pass intended for Lewis incomplete BUT pass interference called on Rashad Carmichael, first down at VT 2. Williams runs up middle untouched, touchdown, ECU. PAT good.
Gouveia-Winslow did not start the game. Hokies came out with five defensive backs instead, and they’re doing it again now.
Hokies go three-and-out and look bad doing it.
VT drive anatomy: Starts at VT 27. Tyrod Taylor throws deep, intended for Dyrell Roberts, incomplete. Ryan Williams runs left, slips and loses 2. Taylor gets heat from the left side, throws toward Jarrett Boykin in one-on-one coverage but the rushed throw is off target, incomplete. Punt of only 31 yards by Brian Saunders.
ECU takes a 3-0 lead with 8:21 left in the first quarter on a 26-yard field goal by Michael Barbour. Drive: 14 plays, 70 yards, 6:41. Nice effort by Bruce Taylor on the last set of downs to force the field goal, but Pirates moved the ball way too easily before that.
ECU drive anatomy: Starts at ECU 20. Jonathan Williams runs middle for 10, first down at ECU 30. Dominique Davis pass complete to Dwayne Harris for 13, first down at ECU 43. Davis quick pass outside to Williams, who slips a tackle and gains 6. Williams run left for 3. Davis QB sneak stopped at line of scrimmage for no gain. (fourth-and-1) Williams runs up middle big hole for 10, first down at VT 38. Davis run right for 2. Davis shovel pass complete to Williams, a lot of room to move, picks up 17, first down at VT 19. Davis quick out pass to Lance Lewis for no gain (Eddie Whitley tackle). Davis pass over middle complete to Harris, big hit from Davon Morgan but he hangs on for gain of 11, first down at VT 8. Davis keeps right for loss of 3 (Bruce Taylor tackle). Davis quick pass over middle complete to Harris, snuffed out by Taylor for no gain. (third and goal) Davis shovel pass complete to Williams (Taylor hits him immediately) for no gain. 26-yard field goal by Micheal Barbour is good.
Hokies win toss and defer. ECU to receive.
Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley has been suspended for today’s days game for an unspecified infraction. Cris Hill will make his third career start in Hosley’s place.
Matchup to watch: ECU wideout Dwayne Harris vs. Tech outside linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow. Gouveia-Winslow has struggled in the first two games, but Tech’s defensive scheme demands he cover the Pirates’ all-time career receptions leader.
The last time the Hokies started 0-2 was in 1995, when they finished 10-2. The last time they started 0-3: 1987, Frank Beamer’s first season as head coach. They finished that year 2-9.
Trivia question (answer later): The first meeting in this series was played in 1956. Where was the game played?
On the flip side, Randy King made the Hokies -17.5 one of the locks on our handicapping show this week.
Kyle Tucker, sitting next to me in the press box, just said: “Everything that ECU does well on offense, Tech does poorly on defense.” He picked the Pirates to win 38-31 in The Virginian-Pilot. He couldn’t remember the last time he didn’t pick the Hokies to win. He picked them to beat Boise State in the opener and top Alabama last year.
The Hokies have not beaten ECU by 18 points or more since 1998 — a span of five meetings.
Greetings from Blacksburg, where we’re less than an hour away from kickoff of East Carolina-Virginia Tech. Gorgeous afternoon — cloudless sky, comfortable temperature
The Vegas line opened at Tech by 17.5 and now is up to 20.5.