CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -
ran for 173 yards and two long touchdowns, and Virginia turned back a second-half East Carolina rally for a 35-20 victory
East Carolina converted a pair of interceptions into an early 6-0 lead. But Peerman rallied the Cavaliers (3-3) with scoring
runs of 78 and 60 yards, and the rout was on.
Or so it seemed after
added a 5-yard touchdown run to cap a 61-yard drive, and
on a 30-yard touchdown pass for a 28-6 halftime lead.
But the Pirates (3-3) got a lift from
' 59-yard return of the second-half kickoff and cut the lead to 28-20 on
' 1-yard touchdown run and
's 10-yard scoring pass to
The momentum seemed clearly in East Carolina's favor after Virginia turned the ball over on downs at the Pirates' 33. But
Pinkney fumbled on a sack by
, and the Cavaliers'
recovered at the 24 midway through the fourth quarter.
Virginia stalled at the 12 and lined up for an apparent field goal attempt. Holder
, a senior backup quarterback, took the snap and tossed his first career touchdown pass to a wide-open
to make it 35-20.
East Carolina's dim hopes vanished with another Pinkney fumble, recovered by
, with just over two minutes left.
Peerman's first TD came on the last play of the first quarter. The Cavaliers had done little on offense before he beat one
defender to the edge, slipped a couple of tackles and raced down the right sideline 78 yards.
His 60-yard touchdown run came five minutes later, on the first play after a 1-yard shanked punt by East Carolina's
. Peerman found a gaping hole behind left tackle
and was untouched to the end zone, stretching Virginia's lead to 14-6.
Before those two runs, it looked like the Cavaliers might be plagued by the same turnover problems that led to their 31-3
loss to Duke two weeks ago. Verica, who threw four interceptions in that game, was picked off on Virginia's first possession.
His pass was on target, but it bounced off the hands of fullback
and into the arms of
, leading to
's 45-yard field goal.
Two possessions later, an overthrown pass by Verica was intercepted by J.J. Millbook at the East Carolina 48. Nine plays later,
Hartman's 35-yard field goal made it 6-0.