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The TD that wasn’t

On Thursday against East Carolina, Virginia Tech’s offense routinely failed to reach the end zone when in position to do so. The Hokies scored only one touchdown in their 16-3 win over the Pirates.

But their production – only one touchdown in four trips to the red zone – would not look so bad were it not for a close call in the second quarter. On the play, quarterback Tyrod Taylor broke for the goal line on a scramble but fumbled out of the end zone, resulting in a touchback.

“It was frustrating,” said Taylor, who said he believed he scored on the play. “But when I cam to the sideline, I told the guys, ‘I’ll eat that one, but when we get back on the field, I’ll make sure I get ya’ll another one.’ ”

Taylor did get the Hokies another one -- a 13-yard touchdown run with 2 minutes 6 seconds in the first half. It was the game's only touchdown. But the Hokies seemed like they were bound for the end zone earlier, on a nice possession that started after East Carolina fumbled on Virginia Tech’s 28-yard line.

Running back Ryan Williams broke a 46-yard run to bring the Hokies to East Carolina’s 29-yard line. Then Taylor hit Danny Coale on a 12-yard pass.

With 17 yards separating the Hokies from the end zone, Taylor scrambled for pay dirt when a wide berth opened in the Pirates’ defense once he dropped back to pass. Taylor sprinted toward the goal line and outstretched his right arm. But as he reached for the goal line, East Carolina free safety Van Eskridge poked the ball loose.

East Carolina took over on its 20-yard line with 10 minutes 55 seconds remaining in the first half.

By Mark Viera  |  November 6, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
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