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East Carolina slams West Virginia, 24-3

September 07, 2008|From the Associated Press

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- East Carolina didn't need any final-moment heroics to seal its latest upset. This time, Coach Skip Holtz's Pirates all but had No. 8-ranked West Virginia put away by halftime.

Jonathan Williams ran for two touchdowns, quarterback Patrick Pinkney was nearly perfect and East Carolina beat the Mountaineers, 24-3, Saturday for its third consecutive win over a ranked team.

"It feels like we won a championship today," defensive end C.J. Wilson said.

Pinkney completed 22 of 28 passes for 236 yards with a touchdown.

East Carolina (2-0), which was coming off an upset of then-No. 17 Virginia Tech in which the Pirates returned a blocked punt for the decisive touchdown in the closing minutes, didn't let West Virginia (1-1) hang around nearly that long.

The Pirates never trailed, kept Pat White in check, and had 386 yards to the Mountaineers' 251. East Carolina, an eight-point underdog, converted half of its 16 third downs.

"I told them it wasn't going to take an out-of-body experience to beat West Virginia," Holtz said.

It was East Carolina's first win over a top-10 team since Steve Logan led the Pirates past then-No. 9 Miami, 27-23, on Sept. 23, 1999.

White had 97 yards in 20 carries and was 11 for 18 for 72 yards.

Pat McAfee kicked a 26-yard field goal midway through the second quarter for West Virginia. The Mountaineers were held without a touchdown for the first time since a 45-3 loss at Miami in 2001.

East Carolina began the game with a 2-17 record against West Virginia and seven consecutive losses in the series, though Holtz had contained the Mountaineers' run-first offense in each of the two previous meetings before last year's 48-7 win in Morgantown.

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