Bottled up WVU survives Pirates
West Virginia wide receiver
Brandon Myles (7) runs after catching the ball with East Carolina defender
Pierre Parker (1) in pursuit Saturday in Morgantown. (AP Photo/Joe Sadlek)
MORGANTOWN — West
Virginia's heralded running game ran into unexpected resistance Saturday
but the Mountaineers managed just enough big plays in other aspects of
their game to fend off a persistent East Carolina team.
Adam Bednarik and Pat
White each threw a touchdown pass and Antonio Lewis returned a punt 76
yards for a score to carry West Virginia over the Pirates 20-15.
The Mountaineers (4-0)
scored all their points in the first half, and then held off the
Pirates, who were inside the West Virginia 20 four times in the first
three quarters but unable to score a touchdown.
West Virginia, which plays
No. 4 Virginia Tech next week, managed just total 102 yards after
West Virginia had the
nation's seventh-best rushing attack and had averaged 458 yards on the
ground against the Pirates over the last three seasons, but were limited
to 127 this time.
The Mountaineers failed to
score in the second half for the first time since Oct. 25, 2001.
quarterback tandem had its worst outing, combining for three
interceptions and a fumble. West Virginia freshman Pat McAfee missed two
field goals and an extra point.
Except for Robert Lee's
three field goals, East Carolina (1-2) was equally inept in the first
The Pirates made it
interesting in the final minutes.
A poor punt gave East
Carolina the ball at the West Virginia 48 and the Pirates needed just 44
seconds to score on James Pinkney's 11-yard TD pass to Aundrae Allison
with five minutes left. A 2-point conversion pass attempt failed.
East Carolina got the ball
back two more times, including at its 38-yard line with 19 seconds left.
Pinkney hit Chris Johnson with a 10-yard pass but was sacked by Keilen
Dykes on the next play to end the game.
On the game's first
series, Pinkney fumbled as he was hit by Marc Magro. Jeff Noechel
recovered for the Mountaineers at the ECU 44. Six plays later, Bednarik
hit Darius Reynaud with a 15-yard TD pass.
But Bednarik was
intercepted and fumbled the ball away on the next two series. Bednarik
strained his knee on the fumble and did not return until the third
For the second straight
year, West Virginia returned a punt 76 yards for a score in the second
quarter against the Pirates. Antonio Lewis' return put the Mountaineers
West Virginia's Brandon
Myles had three catches for 40 yards on another second-quarter drive,
including a 10-yard TD reception from White for a 20-3 lead.
02/23/2007 10:54 AM
Copyright 2005 The
Associated Press. Bonesville.net contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may
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