Virginia Tech takes down UNCG

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Virginia Tech takes down UNCG

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Jarell Eddie scored a career-high 28 points and Virginia Tech hit a season-high 14 3-pointers to hold off UNC Greensboro 96-87 on Monday night.

Erick Green added a career-best 26 points and Robert Brown had 10 for the Hokies (4-0), who had to fend off a late Spartans' rally to remain undefeated.

Trevis Simpson scored 25 points and Derrell Armstrong added 23 for UNC Greensboro (1-3), which rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to go ahead 77-73 with 6:07 remaining.

The Hokies shot 45.3 percent (24 of 53) from the field, including 14 of 22 on 3-pointers, and hit 34 of 42 from the free-throw line Monday. Virginia Tech ended with a 41-38 rebounding advantage against the Spartans.

Still, that nearly wasn't enough, as UNC Greensboro -- now 1-46 against Atlantic Coast Conference teams -- fought back from a 14-point deficit in the first half to briefly lead before Virginia Tech rallied for a 45-41 margin at the break. UNC Greensboro overcame another double-digit Virginia Tech lead in the second half to challenge late.

The Hokies were up 67-54 with 14 minutes left in the second half when UNC Greensboro began whittling away at their lead. The Spartans went on a 23-6 run, capped by a pair of Simpson layups, giving UNC Greensboro its final lead.

Virginia Tech, which has won all eight meetings against the Spartans, responded with a 10-0 run to regain command. Green scored six points during the run, which ended with Eddie's fifth 3-pointer and an 83-77 Hokies lead with 2:52 left.

Kelvin McNeil had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Korey Van Dusen added 10 points for UNC Greensboro.

The Spartans led early in the first half, going up 7-6 less than three minutes in, when Virginia Tech went on a 17-2 run. Will Johnson hit three of the Hokies' four 3-pointers during the run, and Cadarian Raines' dunk put them up 23-9 with 12:48 left.

Virginia Tech would go up by 14 points again later in the half, leading 30-16 on Green's steal-and-dunk with 9:16 remaining. But the Spartans responded with a 17-2 run, capped by Kayel Locke's layup with 4:25 left, to put UNC Greensboro up 33-32, its final lead of the half.

After tying things at 35-35, the Hokies pulled back into the lead on Marquis Rankin's layup with 3:40 left, and followed that with a Jarrell 3-pointer and a Joey van Zegeren layup to pull ahead 42-35 with 1:55 remaining.

The Spartans made one final run, getting an Armstrong 3-pointer, a David Williams free throw and a McNeil layup to cut Virginia Tech's lead to 42-41 with 27 seconds left. But Eddie hit his third 3-pointer of the half at the buzzer to put the Hokies up by four points at intermission.  

College Football Playoff projections: From contender to pretender in just four weeks

College Football Playoff projections: From contender to pretender in just four weeks

There were high hopes for LSU at the start of the season. With the collection of talent the Tigers boast on their roster, there was no reason to think they could not challenge Alabama for SEC supremacy.

Even my preseason College Football Playoff projections at the start of the season had LSU as one of the four teams to make the playoff.

SEE THE NEW COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROJECTION HERE

The Tigers' championship hopes took a hit with an opening loss to Wisconsin. Now just four games into their season, Les Miles been fired and their playoff aspirations appear to be completely dashed after a devastating loss Auburn.

With Alabama looking as dominant as ever and what was believed to be their main rival already looking down and out, who else can challenge the Tide for supremacy of the SEC? Who else joins the Alabama in the projected top four?

Find out here in this week's College Football Playoff projection.

Jerod Evans' 4 touchdowns carry Virginia Tech past East Carolina

Jerod Evans' 4 touchdowns carry Virginia Tech past East Carolina

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Jerod Evans said that he needed to clean up some things during Virginia Tech's upcoming off week.

The Hokies' fan base may be wondering what exactly that is. His play so far has been sparkling.

Evans, the Hokies' starting quarterback, threw three touchdown passes and rushed for one to lift Virginia Tech over East Carolina 54-17 on Saturday.

The Hokies (3-1) scored on their final five possessions of the first half, including all four of their second-quarter possessions, to overwhelm East Carolina (2-2) and snap a two-game losing streak to the Pirates.

Evans completed 13 of 20 passes for a career-best 282 yards and rushed for a career-best 97 more. He has thrown at least three touchdown passes in three of the Hokies' first four games and is completing 67 percent of his passes.

"I missed a couple of things here and there," Evans said. "I have a lot of things that I can get better at for sure."

Evans entered the game with an ACC-best 10 touchdown passes this season. Of more importance to Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente, he has thrown just one interception.

"I think he's pretty good," Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said of Evans. "He's been judicious with the ball and he's going to the right place most of the time. He's been pretty efficient."

Following a punt return for a touchdown by Greg Stroman and a touchdown run by Marshawn Williams that gave the Hokies a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Evans threw touchdown passes of 24 yards to Isaiah Ford, 13 yards to Travon McMillian and 55 yards to Cam Phillips. That final score gave the Hokies a 38-0 halftime lead.

ECU quarterback Philip Nelson had 362 yards passing and two touchdown tosses to Jimmy Williams. The Pirates had 443 yards of offense, but committed three special teams mistakes, fumbled once and were sacked six times.

"We studied the film well and they had a lot of keys when they were sliding the protection," said Ken Ekanem, who had two of the Hokies' six sacks. "We had a lot of indicators and we knew when someone was going to be left one-on-one. We look forward to one-on-one matchups and pride ourselves on winning those. We did a good job of that today."

THE TAKEAWAY

EAST CAROLINA: Coming off a 20-15 loss at South Carolina and playing its third consecutive game against a Power 5 opponent, the Pirates looked a step slow and out of sorts from the opening kick. They went three-and-out on five first-half possessions. The Pirates hope to regroup now that they have finished the non-conference portion of their schedule.

"That was clearly the best football team that we have played," ECU coach Scottie Montgomery said. "The most physical. The biggest. The fastest. The strongest. The smartest. I thought they competed well in their scheme. They played great emotional football. They leaned on their crowd. They played a complete football game -- as complete as it gets."

VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies dominated on special teams, scoring three touchdowns as a result of those units. Greg Stroman scored on an 87-yard punt return, and Cam Phillips blocked a punt that led to an Evans touchdown pass to Travon McMillian. A sack of ECU punter Worth Gregory in the fourth quarter led to a 1-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Brenden Motley.

UP NEXT

EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates open AAC play next Saturday with a home game against UCF. ECU blasted the Golden Knights 44-7 last season for their first win in Orlando since 2008.

VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies are off next week before taking on North Carolina on Oct. 8 and will be looking to avenge last year's 30-27 overtime loss. The Hokies have won nine of the 12 meetings with the Tar Heels since joining the ACC.