Phillips sets school record, Jackson ties another in Tech rout at East Carolina

Virginia Tech's Cam Phillips (5) breaks away from the grasp of East Carolina's Corey Seargent (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

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.

THE TAKEAWAY

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.

UP NEXT

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.