East Carolina 31, Virginia 21

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Brandon Fractious had 102 yards and one

of East Carolina's four rushing touchdowns to lead the Pirates past

Virginia, 31-21 on Saturday night.

Brandon Simmons and James Pinkney also ran for scores for the

Pirates (2-3), who dominated the first half and coasted the rest of

the way for a relatively easy win.

East Carolina finished with 432 total yards against one of the

nation's stingier defenses despite playing without starting wide

receiver Aundrae Allison and running back Chris Johnson. The

Pirates even got a 2-yard rushing score from punter Ryan Dougherty

on a fake field goal with 2:17 left to seal the win.

Jason Snelling ran for 103 yards and a touchdown for the

Cavaliers (2-4).

For a half, this looked like a signature win for second-year

coach Skip Holtz. The Pirates -- a Conference USA school located in

the shadows of Atlantic Coast Conference schools Duke, North

Carolina and North Carolina State -- completely outplayed the ACC's

Cavaliers for the first 30 minutes and led 24-7 at halftime.

The Pirates didn't do much in the second half. But against the

offensively challenged Cavaliers -- who got no closer than 10 points

after the break -- it hardly mattered.

Pinkney ran for 42 yards and threw for 224, while Simmons ran

for 57 yards as part of the Pirates' 208-yard rushing day against a

defense that came in ranked 20th nationally by allowing 263 yards

per outing.

All that came despite missing Allison and Johnson. Holtz ruled

Allison out Saturday morning due to an ankle injury he suffered

against West Virginia two weeks ago, while Johnson had been limited

with a toe injury all week.

But Fractious and Simmons carried the load for Johnson, while

Bobby Good finished with five catches for 102 yards to make up for

the absences.

The strong play started up front with an offensive line that

kept opening holes for the running back tandem that rotated

throughout the game. Both took advantage, with Simmons scoring on a

5-yard run in the first quarter and Fractious scoring on a 12-yard

run late in the second for a 17-7 lead.

Then Pinkney made his biggest play on a terrific individual

effort just before halftime.

With the Pirates lined up in the shotgun at Virginia's 5, the

snap came in fast and high and the ball bounced off Pinkney's

fingers and into the air. Pinkney turned around to catch it, then

tucked the ball away and dove into the end zone for the 24-7 lead

with 1:46 left in the half.

The Cavaliers got a spark when Ben Parziale blocked a punt from

Dougherty to give Virginia the ball at East Carolina's 17 early in

the third quarter. Jameel Sewell then connected with Tom Santi on a

16-yard pass to set up Snelling's short TD run that made it 24-14

with 13:02 left in the quarter.

But the Cavaliers didn't manage much else, finishing with 298

total yards. Sewell, a freshman making his third straight start,

finished 15-for-31 for 123 yards and threw a meaningless TD with 18

seconds left.