Grier throws 5 TDs, West Virginia thumps East Carolina 56-20

West Virginia wide receiver Ka'Raun White (2) catches a touchdown pass while being defended by East Carolina defensive back Corey Seargent (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (AP)–Will Grier threw five touchdown passes, including three to David Sills, to lead West Virginia to a 56-20 victory over East Carolina on Saturday.

West Virginia (1-1) scored touchdowns on five consecutive drives spanning the first and second quarters and was never threatened.

In his first home start since transferring from Florida, Grier completed 19 of 25 passes for 352 yards. His TD tosses covered 7, 52, 9, 75 and 4 yards.

Four of Grier’s TD tosses came in the first half, when West Virginia built a 49-3 lead. It was the highest-scoring first half for the Mountaineers since they scored 49 in a 70-33 Orange Bowl win over Clemson following the 2011 season.

West Virginia’s Justin Crawford provided some balance with 15 carries for 118 yards, including TD runs of 5 and 41 yards.

Thomas Sirk, a graduate transfer from Duke, couldn’t get much going in his first start for East Carolina (0-2). Kyzir White intercepted him twice and Sirk finished 16 of 34 for 191 yards with one score before being replaced by Gardner Minshew midway through the third quarter.

THE TAKEAWAY

East Carolina: The Pirates couldn’t defend the pass against the Mountaineers after allowing 422 rushing yards in a 34-14 loss to defending FCS champion James Madison a week ago. The Pirates have allowed an average of 616 yards in two games and the schedule isn’t getting any easier.

West Virginia: Grier found seven different receivers, making his home debut look easy. Sills caught seven passes for a career-high 153 yards. The Mountaineers scored once after halftime, when backup quarterback Chris Chugunov played most of the half.

UP NEXT

East Carolina hosts No. 18 Virginia Tech next Saturday.

West Virginia hosts FCS Delaware State next Saturday.

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More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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