Virginia Cruises in Second Half to Victory over Eastern Michigan 48-21
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Marc Verica threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns and punter Jimmy Howell also had a passing score as Virginia beat Eastern Michigan 48-21 on Saturday night.
Off a fake punt, Howell found Trey Womack for a 56-yard touchdown pass to give the Cavaliers (3-4) a 38-21 lead.
On the next possession for Eastern Michigan (1-7), Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield picked off an Eagles quarterback Alex Gillett pass and returned the ball to the EMU 15. Two plays later, Keith Payne ran 15 yards around the right end to give the Cavaliers a commanding 45-21 lead.
Payne led Virginia with 69 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Eastern Michigan freshman Javonti Greene had his first 100-yard game of his career, gaining 155 yards on the ground and two touchdowns on eight attempts.
The Eagles trailed 14-0 in the first quarter, but answered with a 55-yard scoring run down the right sideline by Greene to cut the lead in half. Two possessions later, Gillett scored on a 31-yard touchdown run tie the game at 14-14 with 5:18 to go in the half.
Virginia was able to take a 17-14 lead into halftime after a 24-yard field goal by Robert Randolph.
Virginia took a 10-point lead early in the third quarter when Verica, who completed 18 of 31 of his passes, found an open Terence Fells-Danzer in the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown pass.
Greene, on an almost identical play as his first-half score, took off for a 53-yard touchdown, this time around the left side of the field.
But Fells-Danzer answered by returning the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to make it 31-21.
Virginia took the opening kickoff and went on a 10-play, 81-yard drive that was capped by a 4-yard run from Payne. One possession later, the Cavaliers took a 14-0 lead after Verica hooked up with tight end Paul Freedman on a 21-yard strike.