College Football: UVa. planks Pirates, 35-20
Story by Chris Graham
A 79-yard first-quarter touchdown run by Cedric Peerman ignited a 28-point first-half outburst by Virginia, and the ‘Hoos withstood a late rally to beat back East Carolina by a 35-20 final on Saturday in Charlottesville.
It was the second straight home win for the Cavs, who defeated Maryland 31-0 last weekend after losing at Duke and UConn. by a combined 76-13 and putting coach Al Groh on the hot seat with Wahoo Nation.
The performance against an ECU team that had briefly entered the BCS bid conversation after early-season wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia will probably put that talk to rest. The Cavs (3-3, 1-1 ACC) racked up 328 yards of total offense in the first half to vault to a 28-6 lead by the break. A 1-yard TD run by Jon Williams and a 10-yard touchdown pass from Pat Pinkney to Brandon Simmons cut the margin to 28-20 early in the fourth.
A Pinkney fumble gave Virginia the ball at the ECU 24 with 9:33 to go, and Virginia made it work with a 10-yard pass on a fake field goal from backup quarterback Scott Deke to a wide-open John Phillips.
Quarterback Marc Verica overcame a shaky first quarter (two interceptions) to finish 25-for-32 passing for 216 yards and one touchdown, a 30-yard second-quarter connection with Kevin Ogletree.
Peerman finished with 173 yards rushing on 16 carries and two touchdowns, the second coming on a 60-yard second-quarter run.