GREENVILLE - Not many people could muster an explanation as a lot of shaking heads left the stands Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium after Virginia Tech defeated ECU 64-17.
It wasn't that ECU lost, it was how they lost, by giving up 57 unanswered points.
"Not really, there's nothing you can say to that," ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery said of the 57 unanswered.
"You say 57 unanswered - the biggest thing is the unanswered, not just the giving up 57 because it means our offense didn't get anything going."
The Pirates scored all 17 of their points in the first quarter and never really sniffed scoring again.
ECU led 17-7 after one and trailed 23-17 at the half.
Then in the second half, the Hokies unleashed their fury.
Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson threw for 372 yards and five touchdowns (three to Cam Phillips).
ECU allowed more than 600 yards of total offense for the third-straight game in a row.
For that first quarter, Gardner Minshew somewhat resembled the man that wore the No. 5 jersey before him at ECU (Shane Carden).
Minshew threw for 195 yards and two scores in the first quarter. He ended up with 241 passing yards for the game.
Trevon Brown had 107 yards receiving, all before halftime.
"Yeah, it's always good to take shots - they have good players on defense so taking shots down the field is all about one-on-one who's better? The receiver or the DB (defensive back)," Brown said.
"I do think we could have taken some more shots down the field and put more pressure on them when we were up early."
Montgomery said after coming out of the locker room at halftime, down by six, the energy just evaporated from the home team's sideline.
"In the second half, we didn't come out with any energy whatsoever," Montgomery said.
"It was almost as if we had already played a full game. We just got nothing going on offense."
Montgomery also said he was most frustrated by the Pirates lack of a running game.
ECU gained just 40 yards on 31 carries.
Virginia Tech outscored the Pirates 41-0 in the second half.
Montgomery gave a lot of the credit of the Hokies' attack on Jackson.
The redshirt-freshman showed a lot of the same unflappable characteristics he displayed in week one on national television versus West Virginia.
"He made it very difficult on us, he was more accurate than we had seen him," Montgomery said.
"He really knew that we were going to try to make him execute and he did, he didn't miss many throws tonight."
ECU falls to 0-3 and will travel to Uconn next Sunday for their first American Athletic Conference contest.
Virginia Tech 7; 16; 34; 7; 64
ECU 17; 0; 0; 0; 17
ECU - Davon Grayson 9 pass from Gardner Minshew (Jake Verity kick)
VT - Steven Peoples 1 run (Joey Slye kick)
ECU - Trevon Brown 76 pass from Minshew (Verity kick)
ECU - Verity 35 field goal
VT - Cam Phillips 10 pass from Josh Jackson (Slye kick)
VT - Slye 25 field goal
VT - Slye 34 field goal
VT - Slye 37 field goal
VT - Phillips 31 pass from Jackson (2-point conversion failed)
VT - Travon McMillan 70 pass from Jackson (Slye kick)
VT - Phillips 45 pass from Jackson (Slye kick)
VT - Sean Savoy 9 pass from Jackson (Slye kick)
VT - Jalen Holston 1 run (Slye kick)
VT - Coleman Fox 5 run (Brian Johnson kick)
Total Offense 281 675
First Downs 12 34
Rushes-Yards 31-40 62-287
Passing Yards 241 388
Comp-Att-Int 11-30-1 25-33-0
Turnovers 3 0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 6-40 7-69
Passing: Virginia Tech - Josh Jackson - 25-for-33 for 372 yards (5 TD). ECU - Gardner Minshew - 11-30 for 241 yards (2 TD, INT).
Rushing: Virginia Tech - Travon McMillan 11 carries for 72 yards, A.J. Bush 5-66, Deshawn McClease 11-55, Jalen Holston 10-39 (TD), Coleman Fox 8-34 (TD), Steven Peoples 8-26 (TD), C.J. Carroll 1-5, Sen Savoy 1-1, James Clark 2-(-1), J. Jackson 3-(-5). ECU - Tyshon Dye 11-31, Derrell Scott 9 -15, Hussein Howe 4-10, Darius Pinnix 4-2, Reid Herring 1-1, Minshew 2-(-19).
Receiving: Virginia Tech - Cam Phillips 14 receptions for 189 yards (3 TD), McMillan 1-70 (TD), Sean Savoy 4-30 (TD), Henri Murphy 2-29, McClease 1-15, Dalton Keene 1-14, Hezekiah Grimsley 1-7. ECU - Trevon Brown 4-107 (TD), Stephen Baggett 1-41, Dye 1-30, Quay Johnson 1-27, Malik Gray 1-11, Davon Grayson 1-9 (TD), Jimmy Williams 1-9, Howe 1-7.
Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at firstname.lastname@example.org