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Big East: W. Virginia hangs on in sloppy game

By Associated Press
Published September 25, 2005

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - For once, West Virginia couldn't run all over East Carolina.

The Mountaineers' ground game, the seventh best in Division I-A coming in, didn't put up gaudy numbers but Adam Bednarik and Pat White each threw a touchdown and the Mountaineers held on for a 20-15 win.

With a showdown up next against No. 4 Virginia Tech, West Virginia's offense struggled with 307 total yards, 102 after halftime.

"It was a very uninspiring performance," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. " ... If we cannot run the football on somebody, then we will struggle."

WVU averaged 458 yards rushing against ECU the past three seasons but had 127 Saturday.

"This is a program that prides itself on toughness and I thought they stood there toe to toe with them from a run-game standpoint," said East Carolina coach Skip Holtz, whose team allowed 407 rushing yards last weekend in a loss to Wake Forest.

WVU led 20-3 but gave up a quick score in the fourth quarter. In the first three quarters, East Carolina had the ball inside the West Virginia 20 four times but failed to reach the end zone.

PITT 41, YOUNGSTOWN ST. 0: Tyler Palko shrugged off two early Pitt turnovers to throw for three touchdowns and Raymond Kirkley scored in the first two minutes of each half as the host Panthers earned their first win under coach Dave Wannstedt.

Pitt avoided its first 0-4 start since 1984 and might have changed its luck by wearing throwback light blue and gold uniforms with script "Pitt" helmets worn during the first Johnny Majors era from 1972-76.

The Division I-AA Penguins (3-1) averaged 40 points in their first three games but didn't convert on third down until the fourth quarter Saturday.

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