Phillip Nelson (Photo: Peter Casey/USA Today)

East Carolina loses road game against Virginia Tech 54-17

East Carolina suffered a tough road loss on Saturday against Virginia Tech.

On Saturday afternoon, East Carolina faced off against Virginia Tech on the road.

The Hokies jumped on the Pirates early and ended up routing ECU 54-17.

Virginia went up 14-0 in the first quarter. Special teams for the Hokies proved to be the difference-maker. The first score came on an 82-yard punt return by defensive back Greg Stroman. The following Virginia Tech touchdown came on a six-yard run by sophomore running back Marshawn Williams.

Behind quarterback Jerod Evans, the Hokies converted their final four drives of the first half into points. Evans threw three touchdowns to three different receivers, and Virginia Tech converted a field goal,  and went into the half up 38-0.

ECU's offense was stagnant in the first half. The running game was nowhere to be found and the only people on the same page were Philip Nelson and Zay Jones. The two connected six times for 76 yards. The only other completion was to wide receiver Jimmy Williams.

In the second half, not much changed for the Pirates. Although ECU outscored Virginia Tech 14-9 in the third quarter, the Pirates could not overcome the large deficit. After a quick 75-yard touchdown to Williams from Nelson, the Pirates had a little momentum. But the Hokies tacked on a safety and touchdown, which increased their lead to 47-7. Nelson and Williams connected again on a 70-yard touchdown pass at the end third period.

The Hokies put the nail in the coffin with a one-yard rush by backup quarterback Brenden Motley and extended the lead to 54-14. ECU responded with a 27-yard field goal to cut it to 54-17.

Throughout the game, Virginia Tech's defense and special teams dominated against the Pirates. The Hokies had a blocked punt, blocked field goal, a punt return for a touchdown, and  one fumble recovery.The Pirates' offense was 3-of-14 on third down and 0-of-3 on fourth down.

Now that East Carolina is done with the non-conference part of their schedule, they will now head into conference on a two-game losing streak. The Pirates hope to bounce back at home against UCF next Saturday.

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