Friday, September 10, 2010

SATURDAY ACC FOOTBALL

#15 GEORGIA TECH (-14.5) @ Kansas, Lawrence (Jayhawks, 30,004 students, Lawrence, KS), Kan., 12:00 PM , TV: FSN (XM 191/SIRIUS 214) – Seriously, 30,000 students, almost nothing to do and the Jayhawks can’t get it together without the fat man?

DUKE @ WAKE FOREST (No line, No problem), Winston-Salem, N.C., 12:00 PM , TV: ACC Network (XM 191/SIRIUS 213) – This is an early test to see which one of these bottom tier teams has moved up. Both won handily last week against lower division opponents.

James Madison (Dukes, 18,454 students, Harrisonburg, VA) @ #13 VIRGINIA TECH (No line, that can’t bode well for the Dukes…), Blacksburg, Va., 1:30 PM , TV: ESPN3.com (XM 193/SIRIUS 215) – The T.A.H. editor/publishers alma mater hasn’t beaten a D1 team in their last ten tries and it’s unlikely to happen in Blacksburg against a pi**ed-off Hokie squad that should have beaten Boise State. Frank Beamer, among other notable coaches, consistently says teams improve the most between games one and two – another very bad omen for the boys from Harrisonburg.

Presbyterian (Blue Hose, 1,300 students, Clinton, SC) @ CLEMSON (No line), Clemson, S.C., 3:30 PM, TV: ESPN3.com (XM 194/SIRIUS 216) – This in-state rivalry lacks the sizzle or the steak of Tigers v. Cocks.

#17 FLORIDA STATE @ #10 Oklahoma (-7) (Sooners, 29,932 students, Norman, OK), Norman, Okla., 3:30 PM, TV: ABC / ESPN2 (XM 192/SIRIUS 214) – Hello, Jimbo, welcome to Boomer Sooner. The improved Noles get a shot at the big time in Norman. That said, Oklahoma struggled a bit last week against Utah State (allowing 421 yards) so they may be ripe for the picking if Ponder has a big day.

Kent State (Golden Flashes, 24,449 students, Kent, OH) @ BOSTON COLLEGE (-17.5), Chestnut Hill, Mass., 3:30 PM, TV: ESPNU (XM 191/SIRIUS 213) – Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we’re finally on our own…Whoops, it’s not 1970 and B.C. isn’t the armed National Guard taking on unarmed college protesters, but, in all likelihood, the results aren’t pretty.

#12 MIAMI @ #2 Ohio State (-8.5) (Buckeyes, 38,479 students, Columbus, OH), Columbus, Ohio, 3:40 PM, TV: ESPN (XM 141/SIRIUS 121) – Hey remember back in 2003 when the Canes rolled into the Fiesta Bowl riding a 34 game win streak only to lose a controversial National Championship to Maurice “The Criminal” Clarett and his Ohio State Buckeyes? Well more than likely, none of these kids remember it either. Miami’s best shot at getting out of Columbus with a win is if they keep telling their opponent that this isn’t an early season non-conference game, but it’s really the National Championship game. After all, the Buckeye’s can’t win that one.

Morgan State (Bears, 6,114 students, Baltimore, MD) @ MARYLAND (No line), College Park, Md., 6:00 PM, TV: ESPN3.com (XM 193/SIRIUS 215) – Some in-state rivalries are interesting (Maryland v. Navy), some aren’t.

N.C. STATE @ UCF (-3) (Knights, 53,644 students, Orlando, FL), Orlando, Fla., 7:30 PM, TV: CBSCS (XM 192/SIRIUS 214) – Both won their openers and for whatever its worth the Wolfpack put up better numbers.

VIRGINIA @ #16 Southern California (-20.5) (Trojans, 34,824 students, Los Angeles, CA), Los Angeles, Calif., 10:30 PM, TV: FSN (XM 192/SIRIUS 214)—How far have the might Trojans fallen? They are only favored to beat a non-descript Wahoo squad by a little under three touchdowns. Oh well, it was nice of them to agree to a home-and-home with the Cavs. Maybe USC, distraught over Reggie Bush losing his Heisman Trophy, will be distracted…yeah, right.

UNC WAITING ON SUITS IN KANSAS

North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour said Friday the school is still waiting to hear whether 13 players who missed the opener due to an ongoing NCAA investigation will return for next weekend’s game against No. 15 Georgia Tech.

“We’re working hard on a number of scenarios and I would repeat what I’ve said before: I’m hopeful we’ll get some movement in some cases, but I just cannot guarantee it at this time,” Baddour said.

The 13 players—including potential NFL draft prospects Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin, Kendric Burney and Deunta Williams from a talented defense— didn’t travel with the team to face LSU in Atlanta last week due to the inquiry into agent-related benefits and possible academic misconduct.

The Tar Heels nearly rallied from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter, driving all the way to the LSU 6 in the final seconds before missing on two passes into the end zone in the 30-24 loss.

The school has been conferring steadily with the NCAA about the players’ status over the past two weeks. North Carolina is off this week, giving the school more time to get answers.

Picture(s) of the Day


SUPER BANNER. The banners representing achievements of the New Orleans Saints, including the newly unveiled 2009 Super Bowl World Champions banner, hang above the fans in the upper deck during the Saints game against the Minnesota Vikings at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. We'd like to pick on 'em for having four crummy banners, but after all they've been through it just ain't right... (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
I’M GETTING’ TOO OLD FOR THIS (FILL-IN-THE-BLANK). Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings grabs his torso as he lies on the turf after taking a hard hit from Roman Harper of the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PEARL JAM. Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl got whacked with a $1.5 million pay cut when he was cited for “misleading” the NCAA enforcement staff during an investigation into what can generally be called excessive phone calls to recruits. Pearl admitted he didn’t tell the truth in a June interview. He said he regretted it immediately and came clean about it to his boss, athletic director Mike Hamilton, in July.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#3 Boise State Slips Past #10 Hokies

“Death by a thousand cuts” might be the best way to explain last night's last-minute loss for the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Tyrod Taylor rallied his squad from a 17 point deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter, but a series of game-long mistakes, especially noticeable in Virginia Tech’s last offensive clock- killing series and during the Bronco’s game-winning final drive, were too much to overcome.

Kellen Moore hit Austin Pettis with a 13-yard touchdown pass with 1:09 left and No. 3 Boise State passed what might be its toughest test of the season, beating No. 10 Virginia Tech 33-30 on Monday night.

The Broncos (1-0) came to FedEx Field with their best preseason ranking ever and ran out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, then had to rally themselves to extend their winning streak to 15 games.

Taylor passed for 186 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 73 yards for the Hokies (0-1), who for the fourth straight season took a deflating early season loss.

The normally disciplined Hokies were plagued by mistakes – a fumbled exchange, a blocked punt, a few dumb penalties, stepping out of bounds while trying to kill the clock, etc.

Surely, Beamer will be reminding his squad that you can beat lower tier teams with that effort, but beating highly ranked opponents leaves no margin for such errors.

On the plus side, Taylor continues to develop into a big-time weapon, while the Hokies offense was more productive than many have anticipated.  Virginia Tech wracked up 314 yards to 383 for Boise, and just a few more yards on their final offensive drive would have sealed the win.  The only big issue looks to be that Taylor was responsible for 259 of the Hokies' 314 yards.

To read more, click here.

Out-gained Terps Tip, But Don't Capsize

Maryland’s Kenny Tate stopped Ricky Dobbs at the goal line with 34 seconds left, and Maryland stunned in-state rival Navy 17-14 on Monday to break a seven-game losing streak that began last October.

The Midshipmen (0-1) held the ball for nearly 19 minutes longer than Maryland (1-0) and outgained the Terrapins by more than 200 yards. But in a game influenced by untimely turnovers and huge penalties, the outcome was decided on a gritty goal-line stand.

Trailing 17-14 with a fourth down at the 1, Navy decided to go for the win. Dobbs took the snap, went to his left and was met by Tate, who would not relent to the momentum Dobbs brought to the line.

Earlier in the drive, Dobbs was stopped on a third-and-8. But Maryland's Adrian Moten was flagged for grabbing the facemask on the play, and the Midshipmen advanced until Tate's big play.

Coming off a 2-10 season, the Terrapins came in as underdogs against a Navy team that went 10-4 and beat Missouri in the Texas Bowl.

But Maryland jumped to 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never trailed despite allowing the Midshipmen to amass 485 yards in offense.

Dobbs ran for 63 yards and a touchdown, but the senior quarterback fumbled three times - losing two of them at the Maryland 1.

The game might have been a rout had Navy not failed to score on four different forays inside the Maryland 20. The Mids didn't punt until early in the fourth quarter.

To read more, click here.

Pictures of the Day

LAST FANS STANDING. Boise State Broncos fans celebrate after defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies 33-30 at FedExField on September 6, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
IT WAS GOING SO WELL, AND THEN IT WASN’T. Virginia Tech Hokies fans tailgate prior to the Hokies game against the Boise State Broncos at FedExField on September 6, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.
TRUE COLORS. Florida State fans Brandon Kron, right and Joshua Diaz painted themselves garnet and gold in preparation for the NCAA college football season opener against Samford on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
GOLDEN EAGLES. Boston College Eagles fans cheer on their team against the Weber State Wildcats on September 4, 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston College defeated Weber State 38-20.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Short-Handed Heels Can’t Catch Tigers, Everybody Else Wins

#21 LSU 30, NORTH CAROLINA 24 – Against all odds, undermanned North Carolina nearly rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit before losing 30-24 to LSU on Saturday night.

Patrick Peterson had 257 yards - including an 87-yard touchdown - on kickoff and punt returns, leading No. 21 LSU (1-0) to a 30-10 halftime lead. Not surprising, given the Tar Heels were missing 13 key players because of an NCAA investigation over relationships with agents and possible academic violations.

But No. 18 North Carolina (0-1) made a game of it, scoring two second-half touchdowns, then getting two shots at the win after recovering an onside kick and a fumble. T.J. Yates drove the Heels to the LSU 2-yard line and got off a pair of passes into the end zone after throwing for a career-high 412 yards.

Both slipped through the hands of Zack Pianalto.

Hey, give the Tar Heels credit - it looked as though they were headed for a blowout.

DUKE 41, Elon 27 – Sean Renfree threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns in his first college start, and Duke opened its season by beating Elon 41-27 on Saturday night. He finished 31 of 39 while his favorite target, Conner Vernon, caught 10 passes for a career-high 129 yards.

Ramseur, NC’s favorite son and T.A.H. stalwart Scott Riddle was 22 of 42 for 281 yards and a touchdown and an 11-yard TD run for Elon.

VIRGINIA 34, Richmond 13 – Keith Payne ran for four touchdowns and Virginia ended a four-year losing streak in season openers with a 34-13 victory against Richmond on Saturday night.

Payne carried 16 times for 114 yards. He had consecutive carries of 15, 13 and 15 yards on the third scoring drive, each time carrying several defenders along.

N.C. STATE 48, Western Carolina 7 – T Russell Wilson passed for 306 yards and four touchdowns to help North Carolina State defeat Western Carolina 48-7 on Saturday night.

Wilson completed 21 of 31 passes, engineering seven consecutive scoring drives as the Wolfpack won their season opener for the first time in four tries under coach Tom O'Brien.

CLEMSON 35, North Texas 10 – Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper each scored twice for Clemson in a 35-10 victory over North Texas on Saturday that showed there's life for the Tigers without ACC player of the year C.J. Spiller.

BOSTON COLLEGE 38, Weber State 20 – Dave Shinskie rebounded from an interception on the first play of the season by throwing touchdowns on consecutive first-quarter drives and Boston College--bolstered by the return of cancer-survivor Mark Herzlich-- rolled past Weber State 38-20 on Saturday in the schools' season opener. 

#20 FLORIDA STATE 59, Samford 6 – Florida State slams Samford, 59-6, in Jimbo Fisher's first game as head football coach at Florida State University.

GEORGIA TECH 41, South Carolina State 10 – Quarterback Joshua Nesbitt ran for 130 yards and three touchdowns, Roddy Jones added two scoring runs and No. 16 Georgia Tech beat South Carolina State 41-10 on Saturday.

To read more, click here.

Pictures of the Day

HE’S BACK. Mark Herzlich #94 of the Boston College Eagles blocks Erik Walker #83 of the Weber State Wildcats on September 4, 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston College defeated Weber State 38-20.

HAIL MARY WINNER. ECU's Justin Jones (84) gets up above teammate Lance Lewis (88) and Tulsa defenders Trae Johnson (top 1), Trent Wilkins (bottom 1) and Jameel Owens (6) to haul in the game-winning Hail Mary touchdown pass. (Photo by Chris Seward, Raleigh News & Observer)
SO CLOSE. Patrick Peterson #7 of the LSU Tigers breaks up a touchdown reception to Joshua Adams #3 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the final seconds of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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