UVA shocks NC State with 33-6 win

ncstateuva.png

UVA shocks NC State with 33-6 win

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Phillip Sims ran for one touchdown and threw for another, and Virginia routed North Carolina State 33-6 on Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak.

Kevin Parks rushed for 115 yards and a late 31-yard touchdown for the Cavaliers (3-6, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Their defense more than doubled its season total for takeaways with five while holding N.C. State to 19 yards rushing, and their offense rolled up 446 total yards to lead Virginia to its first ACC win.

Sims was 8 of 10 for 115 yards with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Tim Smith and a 1-yard TD run that started the scoring for Virginia. Backup Michael Rocco added an 18-yard touchdown pass to Darius Jennings.

Mike Glennon finished 23 of 46 for a season-low 197 yards with four turnovers -- three interceptions and a fumble. The Wolfpack (5-4, 2-3) has 19 turnovers in their four losses.

Glennon's 2-yard touchdown pass to Mario Carter with 6:30 left helped N.C. State avoid its first home shutout since it lost 37-0 to Maryland in 2007.

A Virginia defense that entered with four takeaways all season was dominant all day with six sacks, three picks, two fumble recoveries and a safety which came when Will Hill wrapped up Glennon in the end zone as he intentionally spiked the ball into the turf. That made it 16-0 with 3:17 before the break.

Virginia extended its lead to 23-0 on its first possession of the second half, when Smith got behind Dontae Johnson and Sims found him in the end zone. Drew Jarrett kicked a 33-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth to make it 26-0. Parks then broke his long touchdown run with 4:28 left.

This one could have been even worse had Virginia not blown a golden opportunity moments before halftime.

Jake Snyder recovered Glennon's fumble at the Wolfpack 19 with 38 seconds left. Virginia lined up to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1, but receiver Jake McGee was called for a false start, and Ian Frye pushed a 22-yard field-goal attempt wide right.

The Cavaliers jumped on N.C. State early, scoring on their first offensive series and leading 14-0 after one quarter. That turned out to be a bad omen for a slow-starting N.C. State team that fell behind by multiple scores in the first quarters of each of its previous three losses.

Sims led the Cavaliers methodically downfield on their first drive and capped it by scoring on a rollout from 1 yard out less than 5 minutes in. It came two plays after he dropped a sure-thing touchdown pass from tailback Perry Jones in the end zone on a trick play, then crumpled to the grass in embarrassment.

Two series later, it was Rocco's turn to lead a scoring drive. He found a wide-open Jennings at the left pylon to give Virginia its first two-score lead since Sept. 29 against Louisiana Tech.  

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.