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Peerman’s 2 TDs lead UVa by ECU

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Mikell Simpson was supposed to be the speed guy and Cedric Peerman the grind-it-out, move-the-chains runner in Virginia’s tailback rotation.
Try convincing the East Carolina Pirates of that.
Peerman reeled off touchdown runs of 78 and 60 yards Saturday as the Cavaliers continued their resurgence with a 35-20 victory over the Pirates.
Both scoring runs gave Peerman a chance to showcase his speed. On the first one, Peerman beat one defender to the edge and broke a tackle at the sideline before outrunning the East Carolina secondary 78 yards to the end zone to erase a 6-0 deficit.
‘‘I have to give him credit,’’ said East Carolina defensive back Van Eskridge. ‘‘I tried to tackle him and he did a great job of keeping his feet in bounds.’’
The 60-yarder allowed Peerman to turn on the jets even quicker as tackle Eugene Monroe and the rest of the left side of the offensive line opened a huge hole. Peerman scored untouched.
‘‘It was just a great job by the offensive line, and the receivers did a good job blocking down field,’’ Peerman said.
Monroe said he wasn’t surprised to get a long look at the back of Peerman’s No. 37 jersey.
‘‘Ced’s probably one of the fastest guys we’ve got,’’ he said.
Virginia coach Al Groh also wasn’t surprised, noting that Peerman was a state champion in the 100-meter dash in high school, albeit in the state’s smallest classification.
‘‘Cedric Peerman clearly stood out on those big plays,’’ Groh said. ‘‘Great effort plays that showed what kind of great speed he has, but when a guy gets to run that far, there are a lot of awards to pass out. There were an awful lot of good blocks to get him around the end there.’’
Peerman, who was slowed by a leg injury for the first three games of the season, said he doesn’t mind if people underestimate his speed as long as his teammates and coaches have confidence in him. And they do.
‘‘He’s an absolute warrior out there,’’ quarterback Marc Verica said. ‘‘The team feeds of his energy.’’
Virginia (3-3) needed the spark Peerman provided with his first touchdown run, which came on the last play of the first quarter. East Carolina (3-3) had intercepted two Verica passes and converted them into a pair of field goals.
For some Virginia fans, the shaky start no doubt raised unpleasant memories of the Cavaliers’ 31-3 loss to Duke two weeks ago, when Verica threw four interceptions. Verica said he had no such flashback, and his performance the rest of the game would seem to support that. His final numbers: 25-of-32 for 216 yards and one touchdown.
‘‘I wouldn’t have been able to do that if my teammates and coaches hadn’t been encouraging me,’’ Verica said of his ability to forget the two interceptions.
Verica’s backup, senior Scott Deke, also threw the first touchdown pass of his career — but under more unusual circumstances than Verica’s 30-yard strike to Kevin Ogletree.
With just over seven minutes left and Virginia clinging to a 28-20 lead, the Cavaliers lined up for an apparent field goal attempt from the 12. Deke, the holder, took the snap and stood up and lofted a pass to a wide-open John Phillips for the game’s final score.
East Carolina coach Skip Holtz took the blame for that one.
‘‘They were running guys in, running guys out and it was real rush-rush and I should have smelled a rat and called a time-out,’’ Holtz said. ‘‘That’s not on the players.’’
Holtz said he was proud of the way his team fought back from a 28-6 halftime deficit to make it a one-score game in the fourth quarter.
‘‘They didn’t hang their heads,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re competing hard and they want to be good … we just continue to make some mistakes we can’t make.’’
The loss continues an inexplicable slide for a Pirates team that opened the season with back-to-back wins over ranked opponents. East Carolina dropped out of the Top 25 after losses to North Carolina State and Houston and had a week off to try to regroup.
For Virginia, the victory shows the previous week’s 31-0 blowout of Maryland might not have been a fluke after all. Little was expected of the Cavaliers after the embarrassment at Duke, but now that’s likely to change.

‘‘It’s about growth,’’ Groh said. ‘‘Now Marc has been in four games, we have young players who are gaining experience, Cedric is back and going for us and everyone is sticking together, seeing that there is going to be light at the end. We’re into the tunnel and we’re seeing some real progress.’’

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Peerman’s 2 TDs lead UVa by ECU

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Mikell Simpson was supposed to be the speed guy and Cedric Peerman the grind-it-out, move-the-chains runner in Virginia’s tailback rotation.
Try convincing the East Carolina Pirates of that.
Peerman reeled off touchdown runs of 78 and 60 yards Saturday as the Cavaliers continued their resurgence with a 35-20 victory over the Pirates.
Both scoring runs gave Peerman a chance to showcase his speed. On the first one, Peerman beat one defender to the edge and broke a tackle at the sideline before outrunning the East Carolina secondary 78 yards to the end zone to erase a 6-0 deficit.
‘‘I have to give him credit,’’ said East Carolina defensive back Van Eskridge. ‘‘I tried to tackle him and he did a great job of keeping his feet in bounds.’’
The 60-yarder allowed Peerman to turn on the jets even quicker as tackle Eugene Monroe and the rest of the left side of the offensive line opened a huge hole. Peerman scored untouched.
‘‘It was just a great job by the offensive line, and the receivers did a good job blocking down field,’’ Peerman said.
Monroe said he wasn’t surprised to get a long look at the back of Peerman’s No. 37 jersey.
‘‘Ced’s probably one of the fastest guys we’ve got,’’ he said.
Virginia coach Al Groh also wasn’t surprised, noting that Peerman was a state champion in the 100-meter dash in high school, albeit in the state’s smallest classification.
‘‘Cedric Peerman clearly stood out on those big plays,’’ Groh said. ‘‘Great effort plays that showed what kind of great speed he has, but when a guy gets to run that far, there are a lot of awards to pass out. There were an awful lot of good blocks to get him around the end there.’’
Peerman, who was slowed by a leg injury for the first three games of the season, said he doesn’t mind if people underestimate his speed as long as his teammates and coaches have confidence in him. And they do.
‘‘He’s an absolute warrior out there,’’ quarterback Marc Verica said. ‘‘The team feeds of his energy.’’
Virginia (3-3) needed the spark Peerman provided with his first touchdown run, which came on the last play of the first quarter. East Carolina (3-3) had intercepted two Verica passes and converted them into a pair of field goals.
For some Virginia fans, the shaky start no doubt raised unpleasant memories of the Cavaliers’ 31-3 loss to Duke two weeks ago, when Verica threw four interceptions. Verica said he had no such flashback, and his performance the rest of the game would seem to support that. His final numbers: 25-of-32 for 216 yards and one touchdown.
‘‘I wouldn’t have been able to do that if my teammates and coaches hadn’t been encouraging me,’’ Verica said of his ability to forget the two interceptions.
Verica’s backup, senior Scott Deke, also threw the first touchdown pass of his career — but under more unusual circumstances than Verica’s 30-yard strike to Kevin Ogletree.
With just over seven minutes left and Virginia clinging to a 28-20 lead, the Cavaliers lined up for an apparent field goal attempt from the 12. Deke, the holder, took the snap and stood up and lofted a pass to a wide-open John Phillips for the game’s final score.
East Carolina coach Skip Holtz took the blame for that one.
‘‘They were running guys in, running guys out and it was real rush-rush and I should have smelled a rat and called a time-out,’’ Holtz said. ‘‘That’s not on the players.’’
Holtz said he was proud of the way his team fought back from a 28-6 halftime deficit to make it a one-score game in the fourth quarter.
‘‘They didn’t hang their heads,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re competing hard and they want to be good … we just continue to make some mistakes we can’t make.’’
The loss continues an inexplicable slide for a Pirates team that opened the season with back-to-back wins over ranked opponents. East Carolina dropped out of the Top 25 after losses to North Carolina State and Houston and had a week off to try to regroup.
For Virginia, the victory shows the previous week’s 31-0 blowout of Maryland might not have been a fluke after all. Little was expected of the Cavaliers after the embarrassment at Duke, but now that’s likely to change.

‘‘It’s about growth,’’ Groh said. ‘‘Now Marc has been in four games, we have young players who are gaining experience, Cedric is back and going for us and everyone is sticking together, seeing that there is going to be light at the end. We’re into the tunnel and we’re seeing some real progress.’’

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