Saturday, October 24, 2009

ACC FOOTBALL: WEEK 8


Saturday, Oct 24

GEORGIA TECH (-5.5) @ VIRGINIA, 12:00 PM, TV: RAYCOM (XM 190, Sirius 211)

MARYLAND @ DUKE (-4), 1:30 PM, Durham, N.C., TV: ESPN360.com (XM 191, Sirius 212)

BOSTON COLLEGE @ Notre Dame (-7.5) (Fighting Irish, 11,733 students, South Bend, IN), 3:30 PM, TV: NBC (XM 190, Sirius 211)

CLEMSON @ MIAMI (-4.5), 3:30 PM, TV: ABC (XM 192, Sirius 216)

WAKE FOREST @ Navy (-2.5) (Midshipmen, 4,400 students, Annapolis, MD), 3:30 PM, CBSCS (XM 194, Sirius 218)

*Point spread for recreational purposes only.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

REAL REFS. The NBA won't have to use replacement refs after all. The league and the officials inked a new two year deal yesterday.

Here, Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks rebounds the ball against Trevor Ariza #1 of the Houston Rockets on October 23, 2009 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.


(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

Friday, October 23, 2009

HISTORY, PONDER TOO MUCH FOR TAR HEELS

North Carolina has now lost 15 of its 17 games against Florida State. Last night, the Heels blew an 18 point lead as Christian Ponder went all Dan Marino in the second half - 395 yards, 3 touchdowns when all was said and done.

UNC's herky-jerky offense couldn't keep up.

Florida State won 30-27.

For a recap, box score and photos, click here.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

ESP(N)? North Carolina Tar Heels fans watch the action in the first half during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Kenan Stadium on October 22, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Did these kids somewhow know the Heels' 18 point lead was going to "slip away?"

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

HIGH FIVE. Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates with teammates after defeating the New York Yankees 7-6 in Game Five of the ALCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 22, 2009 in Anaheim, California.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

SPILLER FIRST ACC PLAYER TO TOP 6,000 YARD MARK

C.J.Spiller is a not a "hey-look-at-me" kind of guy. Good thing, since the backbone of Clemson’s offense for the past four seasons set a major record last weekend with a minimal amount of hoopla.

Most major news outlets barely mentioned Spiller’s accomplishment during the Tigers win over Wake Forest last week.

Heck, it took T.A.H. until today to work it into the rotation and that simply doesn’t do Spiller and his accomplishment justice.
Our bad. The rest of the media knuckleheads have some ‘splainin’ to do…
So what’s the big deal?

Well we know that Spiller is the most versatile player in the ACC as well as one of the most explosive. So you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that during the game last Saturday he became the ACC all-time leader in total yardage gained going over the 6,000 yard mark.

Spiller is the first ACC player and the 27th in NCAA football history with over 6,000 all-purpose yards. The 5’11” 195 lbs. senior from Lake Butler, FL has 2,891 yards rushing, 1,081 yards receiving, 541 punt return yard and 1,661 kick return yards for a total of 6,084.

Spiller, a sociology major, also boasts a 556 passer rating! He’s one for one for 15 yards and a touchdown.
He currently ranks sixth in the nation in all-purpose rushing yards, and has scored a touchdown of at least 60 yards in four different ways.

He is second in the conference with 190.8 all-purpose yards per game. He's averaging 77.7 rushing yards per game, and is No. 2 in the conference in kickoff return average (37.1).

By the way, Spiller has no shot at becoming the all-time leader in all-purpose yards. That honor belongs to Dematha High School star and current Philadelphia Eagle Brian Westbrook who accumulated an amazing 9,512 yards at Villanova.

Question is, did the Terps recruit Westbrook or did he just want to play for a traditional football power like the Wildcats?

FORMER TAR HEEL POPULAR WITH LOCAL CONSTABLES FOR REASONS THAT ARE HARD TO FATHOM

Former University of North Carolina Tar Heel and current Pittsburgh Steeler place kicker, Jeff Reed is having some difficulty avoiding the local authorities of late.

Already dubbed the “Liquor Kicker” by some sports blogs with much lower journalistic standards than T.A.H., Reed, was charged by police on Sunday with public intoxication just hours after his team topped Cleveland with a 27-14 win. Additional rumors uncovered by T.A.H. suggest the arresting officer either had a wager on the game or is a closet member of the “Dawg Pound.”

He was picked up by police just blocks from Heinz Field at McFadden’s Bar. (Additional rumors heard by extremely reliable T.A.H. staffers say Reed went directly to the watering hole at the completion of the game. For the record, we are shocked by this.)

Earlier this year Reed pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after he damaged a paper towel dispenser in a convenience store bathroom in New Alexandria.

(T.A.H. sources maintain that the mild-mannered, generally sober and completely professional Reed was attacked by the towel dispenser which was manufactured by a company headed up by a Duke grad. Reed’s counsel is still looking for witnesses to this unprovoked attack.)

A court date for the latest infraction with the law has yet to be set.
As you can see from the photos, these charges are clearly unsubstantiated and ridiculous.


(And yes, bonus points for using “constable” and “fathom” in the same headline.)



















QUOTE OF THE DAY

On former assistant coach Sherman Lewis calling plays for the Redskins on Monday night:

"To think that you can bring a guy in from a retirement center who is pulling out Ping-Pong balls in the bingo games -- and literally, that is what he was doing in Detroit -- bring him down here for two weeks and say, 'You are going to call the plays for the next game against the Philadelphia Eagles, a division opponent, on "Monday Night Football," ' and think that is going to be successful, that is a joke."

– Steve Largent former U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma and Hall of Fame wide receiver who played with Redskins’ head coach Jim Zorn from 196 to 1984.

But Mike Wilbon says don’t blame, Sherman Lewis – he’s legit.

TERPS TO WEAR CAMO UNIS AGAINST HOKIES

According to an Associated Press report, Maryland will wear honor those who have served in the military by wearing uniforms featuring camouflage designs for its Nov. 14 game against Virginia Tech at Byrd Stadium.
The move will serve to promote the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides services and programs for injured military men and women.

According to a press release: "The teams will take the field in black and desert camouflage uniforms featuring the Wounded Warrior Project logo. The uniforms will also have a unique twist; a core value embellishment -- Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Country, and Service -- will replace the players' last name on the back of each jersey."

The uniforms will be created by Under Armour which, last we checked, was the major stockholder in University of Maryland Football, Inc.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

AMTRAK SERIES?Bold Looks like Yankees v. Phillies World Series is a very real possibility. That will certainly cut down on travel costs.


Here, fans of the Philadelphia Phillies hold up signs which call for the Phillies to play against the New York Yankees in the World Series after the Phillies advanced to the series with their 10-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the NLCS at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2009 in Philadelphia.

Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies has his cigar lit by teammate Jayson Werth after clinching a birth in the World Series.


Ugly hats.

(Photos by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

HEAD SHOT. Porto's "Hulk" Souza (C) is tackled by APOEL's Andreas Papathanasiou (2nd-L) during their Champions League football match against Porto at Dragao Stadium in Porto on October 21, 2009.

Evidently, in some language APOEL means DREAMSICLE.

(Photo y Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 3

IS THAT JOE PA? Or Eugene Levy in those American Pie movies?

(Paterno photo by Lane Stewart/Sports Illustrated)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CLEMSON’S CHANCELLOR TO HONOR HIGH SCHOOL TEAMATE

Clemson cornerback Chris Chancellor will carry more than the memory of high school teammate Jasper Howard when he returns home to play Miami on Saturday.

Chancellor will wear Howard's No. 6 to honor his friend, the University of Connecticut player who was stabbed to death last weekend.

"It's going to be pretty emotional," Chancellor said Tuesday.

Not long after Chancellor learned the horrific news about Howard, he planned the tribute. The two played football and ran track for Miami Edison Senior High in 2003 and '04.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

LOOK WHO IS STILL IN THE NBA

Yep, little Stevie Blake, the point guard for the 2002 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champion Maryland Terrapins, is still in the NBA and thriving.

Blake, now 29, a second round pick by the Washington Wizards, has played in D.C., Milwaukee, Denver and Portland twice. He averages 7.6 points and 25.23 minutes per game. Last year with the Trail Blazers, Blake played over 33 minutes per game averaging 11 points and five assists per game. He is also a 39.2% three-point shooter.

Here, Juwan Howard #6 and Blake #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers pause during a preseason NBA game against the Utah Jazz on October 20, 2009 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon.

Blake's Terp teamates Juan Dixon (Atlanta) and Chris Wilcox (Detroit) are also still playing in the NBA. Lonny Baxter is still playing in Europe. Tahj Holden's pro career abroad was cut short by injury and Bryon Mouton played in the minor leagues and may still be living in the D.C. area - we aren't sure.

(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

RUMOR: ACC TO LEGALIZE “DUKE ELBOW”

Last week, the NBA revised its “traveling rule” to more accurately depict the way the infraction has been called (or more appropriately, not been called) for the past several decades.

The new rule says in part: "A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball."

It is believed to be the first time any league, at any level anywhere in the world, has explicitly allowed two steps.

This caused some hub-bub (technical journalism term meaning “causing a stir”) in media circles, and it was not lost on the ACC big-wigs over in Charlotte.

T.A.H. sources have confirmed a rumor that the ACC will also be capitalizing on the NBA’s bold rule change to memorialize in the Official ACC Basketball Rule Book another commonly used basketball move know as “ the Duke Hook.”

Offensive players, especially Coach K’s boys over the past 15 years, have been partial to using their non-dribbling arm as leverage when “hooking” the defensive player as an aid to creating leverage and what is known in hoops’ parlance as “space.” While perfected by class after class of Duke players, last season, Duke forward Gerald Henderson demonstrated perfectly the most recent version – what we referred to here at T.A.H. as the “Henderson Hook.”

(As seen in these photos obtained by T.A.H., transfer Seth Curry has already perfected the ‘hook’ while Henderson clearly is still utilizing it in his rookie pro season.)

Through a wee bit of skullduggery, T.A.H. has obtained the rough draft of quotes that ACC Commish John Swofford plans to utilize in a future press conference explaining the new rule.

“The game is about offense,” Swofford will say. “Fans don’t pack ACC arenas to see defense, they pay their hard earned money, or their parents’ hard earned money, to see players score and this rule change will simply legitimize a move that has long helped certain players do just that.”

“Look, David Stern and the suits over at the NFL are no dummies,” Swofford will continue, “whether it’s traveling rules or rules that help wide receivers in the NFL, it’s all about scoring points. Remember Michael Irvin’s push-offs that were never called offensive pass interference? Well, think of the ‘hook’ as our version of that important play.”

When in formed of the new rule, Duke head coach Mike Krzscvbd8ski said, “It makes perfect sense. It’s a quality play and an important part of my ‘educational’ process. Frankly, I don’t know what took them so &*$&@#! (rhymes with ‘ducking’) long.”

UNC head coach Roy Williams said, “Ol’ Roy thinks it stupid for several reasons not the least of which is that ‘other coach’ thinks it’s a good idea.”

Dino Gaudio, Leonard Hamilton, Gary Williams, Seth Greenberg, Frank Haith, Paul Hewitt, Al Skinner, Oliver Purnell and Sid Lowe all released statements which, for all intents and purposes, boiled down to “don’t care.”

Tony Bennett, the new head coach at Virginia and an ACC rookie, after assuring the assembled media for the 492nd time that he did not leave his heart in San Francisco (or anywhere else for that matter) said “Who are these people?”


*Items in italics may not be true.

ACC EXCERPT OF THE DAY

Over at the Raleigh News & Observer, J.P. Giglio (no relation to Papa Giglio) said this on ACC Now:

Florida State's coming to town on Thursday and as far as North Carolina is concerned, it's the old Florida State, the powerhouse of the 1990s, not the current version, winless in the ACC and mired in coaching turmoil.

"They're still Florida State," UNC cornerback Kendric Burney said. "Growing up in the 90s, Florida State was pretty much all you heard about in the ACC."

Tar Heels coach Butch Davis gushed about the Seminoles, who are 0-3 in the ACC, and compared quarterback Christian Ponder to Brett Favre. Davis, who praises the opponent each Monday at his press conference, can be forgiven for his impressions of FSU. As Miami's head coach in the late 1990s, Davis went 1-5 against Bobby Bowden's program.

To read his entire blog post, click here.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

…and it’s only Wednesday.

Los Angeles Angels' Howie Kendrick (47) celebrates with Erick Aybar (2) after scoring the game-winning run on a double by Jeff Mathis during the 11th inning of Game 3 of the American League Championship baseball series against the New York Yankees Monday, Oct. 19, 2009, in Anaheim, Calif.

The Angels won 5-4.

Yesterday, we ran the edited version of this photo and we point out two things: First, as noted by alert and loyal reader T. Terp/Tiger Blaser, AP blew the caption wrongly identifying the Yankee pitcher. Secondly, and more importantly to our eye, the photo editor really blew it as the unedited version here showing his elated teammate and the fireworks is much better than the version AP distributed immediately after the game.

It’s good to be King.

(AP photo by Mark J. Terrill )

A GOOD NFL FRANCHISE SPOILED…

Yeah, we know he went to Duke, but we’ve always been a fan of John Feinstein’s work whether it be books, newspapers columns, radio show guest appearances, etc. etc.

He wrote a column recently in the Washington Post that described the Redskin’s pitiful state as eloquently as possible in a limited amount of space.

To read it click here.

This morning, Sally Jenkins explains why the Skins need a good GM and what that role entails. She nailed it too saying among other things:

“A strong GM is arguably the real difference-maker in the NFL, potentially bigger than any head coach. Snyder and Cerrato have apparently decided that Zorn is a failure. But a good manager doesn't just summarily replace a failed employee; he asks why did that person fail and sets out to fix the problem in an organized, emotionless way.

The scattered, panicked response at the top of the Redskins franchise is its own condemnation…”

Click here to read her column.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

UNHITTABLE. Off just three days rests, C.C. Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees overwhelmed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during Game Four of the ALCS, a 10-1 Yankees win.

Sabathia pitched eight innings and struck out five Angels. He threw 101 pitches and his final pitch was clocked at 93 miles-per-hour.
Bold
(Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NICE UNIS. Rugby squad Stade Francais is know for their controversial uniforms. Last year's version - a blue jersey with multiple images inspired by Andy Warhol - was panned by the Paris fashion mavens and media. This seasons version has been better received.

Go figure.

Here, Nick Abendanon of Bath attempts to gather the high ball despite the challenge from Geoffroy Messina (L) during the Heineken Cup match between Bath and Stade Francais at the Recreation Ground on October 18, 2009 in Bath, England.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images Europe)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

LINGERIE LEAGUE. Roll over Lombardi and tell George Halas the news: These gridiron gladiatrixes sneered at 25-degree temps and the frozen tundra of Dick's Sporting Goods Park while doing Lingerie League battle in Commerce City, CO, on Oct. 9. For those keeping score at home, the Mist won, 28-19.

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

BIG ENTRANCE. Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo is famous for making big Midnight Madness entrances. Having played in the Final Four last season in Indianapolis he decided to arrive in a race car Friday, Oct. 16, 2009, in East Lansing, Mich.

(AP Photo)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HUMOROUS, AND AT THE SAME TIME, SOMEWHAT DISTURBING...

GEORGIA TECH NOT QUITE SURE WHERE IT STANDS ON GOAL POST TRADITION

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia Tech officials don’t have a consistent view on the post-game celebration that resulted in a few injuries following the Yellow Jackets big win over Virginia Tech.

Georgia Tech President Dr. G.P. "Bud" Peterson has called for a review of the "safety procedures" during football games after Saturday night's tearing down of the goal posts resulted in several injuries.

Evidently, a possible broken arm, asthma attack and "hurt" ankle are on the preliminary list of injuries after students tore down a goal post at the end of the game. They carried the post to the president'’s house and used a hacksaw to cut it into pieces – a long-standing college tradition.

According to a GT spokesperson, "The President has asked that the officials that oversee the game environment review safety procedures following (Saturday) evening's activities to ensure that in the future, all appropriate precautions are in place."

Several Georgia Tech students told the AJC that President Peterson wasn’t singing that tune while basking in the glow of victory last Saturday. Eye-witnesses say Peterson met the goal post-carrying crowd at the corner of State Street and 10th Avenue.

"He said, ‘Follow me,'" according to various students and then gave a short speech, congratulating the team on their win.

WEEK 7: ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OFFENSIVE BACK - Montel Harris, Boston College, RB, So., 5-10, 200, Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian)Boston College sophomore running back Montel Harris carried the ball 27 times for 264 yards--a Boston College single-game record and the ninth-highest mark in ACC history--and scored five rushing touchdowns for another Eagle single-game record in Boston College's 52-20 win over NC State. Additionally, Harris' 264 yards is the most of any player in the nation this season, while his five touchdowns and 30 points also tied national season highs.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN - Sean Bedford, Georgia Tech, C, Jr., 6-1, 267, Gainesville, Fla. (Buchholz) Georgia Tech junior center Sean Bedford was honored for the second time this season after a standout performance on an offensive line that helped the Yellow Jackets produce 309 rushing yards in a 28-23 upset win over then fourth-ranked Virginia Tech.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN - Nate Collins, Virginia, DE, Sr., 6-2, 290, Port Chester, N.Y. (King & Low-Heywood Thomas) Virginia senior defensive end Nate Collins provided the big play to propel the Cavaliers to their third win with a 20-9 victory over Maryland. Trailing 9-6 with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter, Collins grabbed a Maryland pass tipped by teammate Darren Childs and raced 32 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to give Virginia a 13-9 lead. Later in the fourth quarter on a third down-and-10 from the Maryland nine-yard line, Collins sacked Terrapin quarterback Chris Turner for a loss of seven yards to set up the Cavaliers' final score. Collins finished the game with a team-high nine tackles, including two for losses, and a sack.

DEFENSIVE BACK - DeAndre McDaniel #2, Clemson, S, Jr., 6-1, 210, Tallahassee, Fla. (Amos P. Godby) Clemson junior safety DeAndre McDaniel recorded five tackles and returned his ACC-leading fifth interception of the season 26 yards in the Tigers' 38-3 win over visiting Wake Forest. This season McDaniel leads the ACC with five interceptions and is fourth with 50 tackles.

SPECIALIST - Matt Bosher, Miami, K/P, Jr., 6-5, 205, Jupiter, Fla. (Jupiter)
Miami junior kicker/punter Matt Bosher converted all three of his point-after-touchdown attempts and connected on two field goals in the Hurricanes' 27-7 win against UCF. He also extended his streak to 62 straight PATs.

ROOKIE (AGAIN!) - Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, RB, Fr. 5-9, 205, Manassas, Va. (Stonewall Jackson) Virginia Tech freshman running back Ryan Williams rushed for 100 yards for the fifth time this season – a Hokie freshman record. Despite limited practice time during the week due to illness, Williams amassed an even 100 yards on 14 carries (7.1 yards per carry) and scored on a season-high 66-yard run in the third quarter to bring the Hokies to within four points. Williams later caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor that again put the Hokies within striking distance of the Jackets. In the process, Williams also scored his 10th and 11th touchdowns of the season, also tying a Virginia Tech record for first-year players.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROPONENTS FORM P.A.C.

Lawmakers who have been trying to prod college football to replace the Bowl Championship Series with a playoff system now have the Washington equivalent of a booster club: a political action committee.

A group of college football fans launched the Playoff PAC Monday with the goal of electing similarly minded members of Congress. The hope is that if there’s enough pressure from Congress, the BCS—a complex system of computer rankings and polls that often draws criticism—will voluntarily change to a playoff system.

“We recognize this is not a top-of-the-line issue for members of Congress and for the public, but college football is financially and culturally important to a lot of people,” said one of the PAC’s founders, Washington lawyer Matthew Sanderson. “So we feel members of Congress should spend time on a national institution that’s financially and culturally important to their constituents. We also feel there will be a lot of support out there for this type of an effort.”

Sanderson worked as campaign finance lawyer for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is also a graduate of the University of Utah, whose football team was passed over for last season’s national championship even though it went undefeated in the regular season.

STUBHUB MARKETING DEPARTMENT JUST MIGHT BE DOING TEQUILA SHOTS FOR BREAKFAST

In an email received at T.A.H. Worldwide Media Headquarters titled
“Get great seats to any Washington Nationals playoff game,” the folks at StubHub had this to say:

Where do you want to sit?

Hey T.A.H.,

Be there alongside your Washington Nationals as they chase baseball immortality. Go to StubHub, where you’ll find a fantastic selection of tickets to every playoff game – so you experience the championship chase live and in person. Check it out. Go to StubHub and get the seats you want today.

Say what?

Somebody tell the marketing gurus at America’s largest ticket brokering web site that my Washington Nationals LOST 103 games and finished 34 games out of first.

Now, mind you GREAT seats are available primarily because Nationals Stadium is empty because there are no games…Details.

Nice, StubHub, NICE!

(Editor’s note: About four hours later, we received another email from StubHub apologizing for the error. We blame Dan Snyder.)

MONDAY LINKS

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich: Who would've thought there'd be a showdown in Charlottesville this week?

*It's highly unlikely, but hey, Georgia Tech fans can dream about going to the national title game. Here are 12 steps to getting there.

*This picture of Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen pretty much sums up the kind of day the Terps had on Saturday -- lousy. What's odd, though, is that the players haven't let their 2-5 start discourage them to the point of quitting -- yet.

*If BC coach Frank Spaziani has learned one thing in his first season as head coach, it's "don't let the past be an anchor."

*Despite Clemson's win over Wake Forest, the Tigers haven't shown enough consistently for us to believe they've transformed from "tease to powerhouse overnight." Saturday's game at Miami should reveal a little more truth about this team.

*The great thing about NC State coach Tom O'Brien? He's not afraid to say the truth. Unfortunately, the truth hurts, and O'Brien said his team has regressed.

*Virginia continues to surprise its ACC opponents, but Maryland still thinks it's better than the teams it lost to.

*Was Virginia Tech looking ahead to bigger things on Saturday? Tyrod Taylor said no, but now the ACC championship remains Tech's best hope.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

NOT ONE, BUT TWO. Back in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft, the Denver Broncos drafted 5’10” 182 lbs wide receiver out of Virginia Tech Eddie Royal. Last night, he returned two kicks for touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers. The Broncos won to go to 6-0.

(Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 2

GAME WINNER. PART 1. Los Angeles Angels' Howie Kendrick (47) scores the game-winning run in front of some Yankee pitcher who should not have been in the game on a double by Jeff Mathis during the 11th inning of Game 3 of the American League Championship baseball series Monday, Oct. 19, 2009, in Anaheim, Calif.

The Angels won 5-4.
(AP Photos/Mark J. Terrill)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 3

GAME WINNER. PART 2. Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a game-winning walkoff 2-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning to win 5-4 against Jonathan Broxton #51 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Four of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 19, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(Photos by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Monday, October 19, 2009

GEORGIA TECH JUMPS UP TO NO. 11

After defeating then No. 4 Virginia Tech with an overwhelming display offensive fireworks and some pretty good defense, Georgia Tech shot up 11 spots in the polls and is now looking to be the ACC’s benchmark squad with its highest ranking since 2001. The Yellow Jackets are 12th in the first BCS standings.

Georgia Tech (6-1, 4-1 ACC) posted their first victory at home over a top-five team since 1962, and the way they did it was definitely a throwback to an era when offenses such as the wishbone and veer ruled the college football landscape.

In doing so, Tech has clearly demonstrated that coach Paul Johnson’s funky spread-option offense is more than just a gimmick.

Throwing, of course, had nothing to do with it. Georgia Tech put the ball in the air a grand total of seven times. The Hokies caught as many (an interception by Dorian Porch) as the Yellow Jackets (whose lone completion was Nesbitt’s 51-yard throw to Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter).

Not to worry. With Bud Fosters’ lunch pale crew focused on stopping running back Jonathan Dwyer up the middle and A-backs Anthony Allen and Roddy Jones from getting loose on the outside, quarterback Josh Nesbitt kept carrying the ball himself. He ran it 23 times for 122 yards, the last of them a 39-yard touchdown run to seal the victory with 3 minutes remaining.

In all, the Yellow Jackets ran 63 times for 309 yards—all but 37 of those yards coming after Johnson made a few subtle adjustments at halftime, taking advantage of a defense that he said never changed the way it played the option.
For Virginia Tech, it was a long fall. The Hokies (5-2, 3-1) tumbled 11 places to No. 15 and likely doomed their national championship hopes with a second loss in Atlanta.

Coach Frank Beamer said his defense got into a “little bit of a guessing game” trying to stop Georgia Tech’s offense, and wound up guessing wrong a bunch of times after halftime. Over the last two quarters, the Yellow Jackets ran 42 times for 272 yards—a staggering 6.5 yards per carry.

Next up for Georgia Tech is Coastal Division leader Virginia. The Yellow Jackets have lost eight straight games in Charlottesville since a 1990 win helped catapult them to a share of the national title.

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