Howard falls to Pitt

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Howard falls to Pitt

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Lamar Patterson and Tray Woodall scored 15 points each and Pittsburgh pulled away from Howard in the second half for a 70-46 victory on Tuesday night.

Talib Zanna added 12 points and eight rebounds and freshman point guard James Robinson had 11 points and eight assists for the Panthers (6-1), who had little trouble against the overmatched Bison (1-6) after a lethargic first half.

Simuel Frazier led Howard with 12 points and Mike Phillips and Alphonse Leary scored 10 points each for the Bison but could do little over the final 20 minutes after Pitt got serious.

The Panthers, playing in their first game since a respectable third-place finish in the NIT Season Tip-Off last week, were sluggish to start but rode the hot shooting of Patterson -- who hit his first four 3-point attempts -- beginning a soft spot in their schedule with a convincing win.

The game marked the beginning of a five-week stretch in which the Panthers don't leave the Pittsburgh city limits, giving coach Jamie Dixon ample time to bring his young team along before its starts the program's final season in the Big East.

From the looks of the first half, Dixon will need most of that time to get ready.

Despite having just seven scholarship players on the roster, facing a size disadvantage at just about every position and a travel schedule that sent the Washington, D.C., school to Iowa, Kansas and Mexico during the season's first two weeks, the Bison hung around in the first half.

Looking like the fresher, more engaged team for long stretches, Howard beat Pitt to loose balls, actually outrebounded the Panthers by one (16-15) and stayed patient offensively.

The Panthers, meanwhile, struggled to get anything going outside of Patterson's hot shooting. Dante Taylor and freshman center Steven Adams were ineffective and rhythm of any variety was difficult to come by.

Pitt still managed a 36-28 lead at the break and finally gained control with an 11-3 run to start the second half fueled by 3-pointers from Woodall and Patterson. Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry called timeout, but by then the Panthers had found their footing on both ends of the floor.

The Bison shot just 31 percent (8 of 26) in the second half as Pitt simply wore Howard down with its depth.

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.