By AARON BEARD
AP Sports Writer
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Redshirt freshman Josh Jackson threw for 372 yards and five touchdowns – three to Cam Phillips – to help No. 16 Virginia Tech beat East Carolina 64-17 on Saturday.
Phillips had a program-record 14 catches for 189 yards to help the Hokies improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2011. He punctuated his day with a perfectly executed route that left him wide open, and Jackson hit him in stride for a 45-yard score with 7:46 left in the third quarter.
Both Jackson and Phillips called it a day before the fourth, as Virginia Tech roared out of a slow first-quarter start by scoring 57 straight points to turn this into a rout.
That included 34 points and four TD throws by Jackson in the third quarter alone.
Gardner Minshew threw for two scores for the Pirates. They led 17-7 but fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2004.
VIRGINIA TECH: Jackson continued his strong start as a first-year starter and now has eight TD passes with no interceptions. The Hokies also showed a familiar defensive edge by locking down on the Pirates after an early burst. And they improved to 5-1 on the road under second-year coach Justin Fuente.
ECU: Things were already bad for second-year coach Scottie Montgomery and managed to get worse. The Pirates reassigned their defensive coordinator after last week’s 56-20 loss at West Virginia, then gave up even more points and at least 600 yards (a season-high 675 Saturday) for the third straight game. And after their fast start fizzled to eliminate any chance of a desperation-fueled upset, the Pirates suffered their eighth loss by at least 20 points in 15 games under Montgomery.
VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies host Old Dominion for an instate matchup on Sept. 23.
ECU: The Pirates visit Connecticut in a game rescheduled to Sept. 24 due to several postponements in the American Athletic Conference due to Hurricane Irma.