UVA shutdown by Wake Forest defense, lose 16-10

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UVA shutdown by Wake Forest defense, lose 16-10

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Chad Hedlund kicked three field goals and Wake Forest returned from an open week with a much-improved defense and beat mistake-prone Virginia 16-10 on Saturday, the Cavaliers' sixth consecutive loss.

The Demon Deacons (4-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) came in allowing more than 206 rushing yards and 31 points, but limited the Cavaliers to 48 yards on 32 carries. They also stymied a late Virginia drive with a 6-yard loss on second down and an 11-yard sack of Phillips Sims on third down.

The Cavaliers (2-6, 0-4) had driven to the Demon Deacons' 36 before those two plays.

On its previous drive, Virginia reached the Wake Forest 34 and faced second-and-1 when Sims tried to float a pass to 5-foot-11 wide receiver Darius Jennings near the end zone. Instead, Demon Deacons 6-1 cornerback Kevin Johnson got inside position on the throw and intercepted, ending the possession. Johnson also recovered a fumble earlier.

The final straw came with 1:59 left when Virginia forced a punt, and the ball hit returner Khalek Shepherd near the shoulders and bounced away, the Demon Deacons recovering to essentially finish it.

Virginia's third turnover was among several special teams miscues for Virginia in the game.

The Demon Deacons went ahead 16-7 with more help as Virginia got called for an illegal block in the back on a punt when Wake Forest punted on fourth-and-11 from the Cavaliers 38. The Deacons went for it on fourth-and-1, and Price made it. Six plays later, Hedlund kicked his third field goal, a 24-yarder.

Virginia answered quickly, driving 62 yards in eight plays. Sims started the drive with a 31-yard pass to Jake McGee, but the drive stalled at the Demon Deacons' 13. Ian Frye kicked a 30-yard field goal.

Wake Forest led 10-7 at halftime and Hedlund's 44-yard field goal made it 13-7 in the third.

The Demon Deacons scored on their first offensive play of the game. After forcing Virginia to punt, Lovell Jackson returned it 60 yards. On the next play, Harris went right for the 16-yard touchdown.

Almost the rest of the half was a punting contest, except for one Cavaliers drive that reached the Demon Deacons' 26. From there, Frye tried a 44-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide right.

Virginia finally got something going late in the half, almost all of it through the air. Sims completed seven passes on the drive, converting on third down three times, and hit former Oscar Smith High School teammate Tim Smith on a slant from 13 yards and Smith beat the defense to the right pylon.

Only 20 seconds remained in the half, but the Demon Deacons made another special teams play as Chibulkem Okoro returned the short kick 20 yards to the 40. A personal foul on Kyle McCartin for tackling Okoro out of bounds moved it to the Virginia 45. Price hit 6-5 Brandon Terry in one-on-one coverage with 6-foot Drequan Hoskey for 41 yards, and Hedlund's 22-yard first field goal made it 10-7 at halftime.

Wake's scoring drives in the half took six seconds, and 17 seconds. 

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.