Virginia Tech Makes Second Half Statement Against East Carolina

Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2010

BLACKSBURG, VA - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back David Wilson #4 of the Virginia Tech Hokies runs with the ball as defensive tackle Matt Milner #98 of the East Carolina Pirates chases at Lane Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Blacksburg, Virginia.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Many thought Virginia Tech had a realistic shot of going undefeated this season.  No one would have thought the Hokies would be winless going into last Saturday's matchup with East Carolina after hosting James Madison, but that's why they play the games.

After the Hokies embarrassed themselves in Week 2, they got off to a slow start against ECU.  In fact, Tech was losing at halftime and didn't look strong until late in the third quarter.

After Ryan Williams was helped off the field late in the first half with a hamstring injury, you could hear everyone across Hokie Nation saying, "Here we go again."

But then something clicked.  David Wilson, who serves as the Hokies third string running back, gave the team a spark.  He scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes of the third quarter to give the Hokies life.

The defense started playing better, the offense started playing better, and 28 unanswered points later the Hokies had their first win of the season.  Late in the third quarter of Week 3, Virginia Tech woke up.

It took long enough, that's for sure.  ECU had a Top 20 offense coming into this game, and it showed in the first half.  Then finally, Bud Foster's defense started to play smash mouth football.  The Pirates were held to only three points and under 100 yards in the second half, and the Hokies offense exploded. 

Wilson provided a lot of energy when he came into the game, and he absolutely dominated.  He carried the ball 12 times for 89 yards and two scores, while Darren Evans had 10 carries on 91 yards and scored for the first time since coming back from his ACL injury.

If the offensive line can block like they did in those final 20 minutes, Virginia Tech will be hard to beat.  That being said, there are still a lot of questions facing this team.

Will the Hokies be able to put together a complete game?  How long will Williams be out with an injury?  Will the offensive line be able to hold up against bigger, tougher opponents?

Three critical questions, all of which should be answered as the season goes on.  The Hokies have a critical ACC matchup against Boston College on Saturday, which should provide a few more answers.

The Eagles are 2-0, but haven't played a real tough opponent so far.  The Hokies will be a good test for Boston College, and the Eagles will look to bounce back from the beating the Hokies put on them in Blacksburg last season.

It's still too early for Hokie fans to get their hopes up, but at least the team showed signs of life, and played like they were expected to play all year in the second half against ECU.