Tag:Frank Beamer
Posted on: October 22, 2011 6:34 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 14

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WON. The Hokies trailed 7-6 after a painfully slow first half that featured 10 combined punts and no offensive consistency on either side. But early in the third quarter David Wilson kickstarted Virginia Tech and the Hokies pulled away late to a 30-14 victory in front of their Homecoming crowd in Blacksburg. Wilson entered the game as the nations fifth-leading rusher (129.00 yards per game) and 100+ second half yards helped him continue that pace with 134 yards on the day

HOW VIRGINIA TECH WON: Wilson and quarterback Logan Thomas were able to open things up offensively with the read and option attack. Thomas began making great reads on the Boston College defenders, and a pitch to David Wilson on an option play led to a 42-yard touchdown to get things going for the Hokies. As Boston College tried to answer for the ground game, Thomas got comfortable in the pocket and improved his accuracy throwing the ball as the game progressed. Boston College found a way to answer, finally pulling off their first 10+ play scoring drive in the middle of the fourth quarter to cut Virginia Tech's lead to 13. But between Wilson's 100-yard second half and a fourth quarter Boston College fumble, there was just too much Hokies in the second half.

WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: After David Wilson scored Virginia Tech's first touchdown on that 42 yard run, Boston College had arguably one of their best drives of the game. Running back Andre Williams, plagued by a bad ankle for much of the season, had a couple nice runs and the Eagles made it into Virginia Tech territory. Quarterback Chase Rettig dropped back to pass from the 22 yard line, and his attempt into the red zone was picked off by Tariq Edwards at the 11. Logan Thomas got it going through the air on the next drive, scoring another touchdown to extend the Hokies' lead for good..

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: The Hokies showed significant improvement once conference play began. Outside of the Miami game, their defense has been solid most of the season despite suffering numerous injuries to key players. But it has only been in recent weeks the Hokies' offense has been able to force the issue against their opponents. The first half was a red flag for Virginia Tech fans, with the stagnant offense looking very similar to the unit that struggled to score against ECU, but the second half eased those concerns as the effective ground game helped set up Thomas with open targets downfield.

WHAT BOSTON COLLEGE LOST: A great opportunity to steal a much-needed win on the road. The Eagles have not won a conference game yet, and if their first came in Blacksburg it would be a fine memory in a season many Boston College fans would like to forget.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Of all the things that have gone wrong for Boston College, Luke Kuechly continues to amaze with his ability to make plays on the ball. The All-American linebacker continued his now-standard-issue production, with an unofficial count of 19 tackles in the loss. Kuechly entered the game as the nation's leading tackler, and likely will hold that position after his performance.



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Posted on: October 21, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 10:29 am
 

Virginia Tech CB Hosley (hamstring) doubtful

Posted by Chip Patterson

It took a while for the Hokies to to hit their stride, but Virginia Tech seems to be putting the pieces together for another ACC title run in 2011. However, one item of concern moving forward is the health of All-ACC cornerback Jayron Hosley.

Hosley injured his hamstring last week in practice, and after aggravating it against Wake Forest is listed as doubtful on the Hokies injury report. CBSSports.com's Sean Bielawski reports that Hosley's recovery plan is to take it slow, and the star cornerback said he wants to be 100 percent before returning to the field.

Redshirt freshman Detrick Bonner would be the next man up if Hosley does miss Saturday's showdown with Boston College in Blacksburg. In addition to cornerback, Hosley is also one of the league's best punt returners. Senior wide receiver Danny Coale is expected to be the next man up at that position.

If there's a point in Virginia Tech's schedule for Hosley to take it easy with his recovery, now is the time. The Hokies face Boston College, Duke, and then have an off-week to prepare for a Thursday night showdown with Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The way Virginia Tech has been playing, they shouldn't need the talented corner on the field until Nov. 10.

Hosley has been a difference-maker since breaking out in 2010, with 12 interceptions in the last 20 games. The Hokies schedule is backloaded with division opponents, and they will need to be playing their best football down the stretch to secure their fourth Coastal Division title in five years.

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Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC



Posted by Chip Patterson


Offensive Player of the Year: David Wilson, Virginia Tech. One of the most important aspects of Virginia Tech's success has been their ability to lean on the ACC's leading rusher for production while new starting quarterback Logan Thomas becomes accustomed to the offense. Wilson carried the load early, averaging 129.0 yards per game in his first four outings. Thomas has shown his rapid development in back-to-back wins against Miami and Wake Forest, and now Virginia Tech is more dangerous offensively than they've been all season. Wilson not only has shown the capability to carry a 20+ attempt load, but has rushed for 120+ yard in six of Virginia Tech's seven games. Also considered: Tajh Boyd, Clemson; Lamar Miller, Miami; Tanner Price, Wake Forest

Defensive Player of the Year: Sean Spence, Miami. Few defensive players have meant more to their unit than Spence has in Coral Gables. After serving his one game suspension in the opener, the senior linebacker has reinserted himself as the playmaker of the Hurricanes defensive unit. In many cases this season, Miami's defense has been shaky - missing assignments and finding themselves out of position. On more occasions than I can count, Spence comes flying across the field to save the play with a big tackle. His game-saving sack of North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner to ice a must-win road game in Chapel Hill on Saturday was a perfect example of Spence delivering when the Canes need him most. Also considered: Luke Kuechly, Boston College. Jeremiah Attaouchu, Georgia Tech. Andre Branch, Clemson.

Coach of the Year: Dabo Swinney, Clemson. After last season's disappointing 6-7 finish, Swinney made some swift changes on the coaching staff and hit the recruiting trail hard. With 42 of his 85 scholarship players either true or redshirt freshman, the ability to bring that youth into the program and develop them quickly would be essential to the Tigers' success. Clemson's uber-talented lineup, led by sophomore Tajh Boyd and true freshman Sammy Watkins, has played with the enthusiasm and energy of their coach. Swinney's personality is all over this team, and this team is undefeated and sitting in the top 10. Pretty good job for a coach who once held the "interim" tag. Also considered: Jim Grobe, Wake Forest

Surprise: Wake Forest. After a disastrous 2010 season, with no notable additions to the roster, the media selected the Demon Deacons to finish at the bottom of the ACC Atlantic Division in the preseason poll. However, what wasn't considered is that Jim Grobe's best teams tend to show up when there is continuity from one season to the next. Grobe and his staff have a roster made of mostly of high-IQ recruits from Florida and Texas that were passed over by some of the powers that dominate those areas. Wake Forest still has several ACC challenges ahead, but the 3-1 conference start and victory over Florida State is plenty to hang your hat on at this point in Winston-Salem. Also considered: Clemson

Disappointment: Florida State. Coming into the season, the buzz was back in Tallahassee. Florida State had a strong finish to Jimbo Fisher's first season at the helm, and returned 17 starters from the squad that knocked off South Carolina in the Chick Fil-A Bowl. They gave Oklahoma everything they had in a memorable top-five bout in Tallahassee, but after that 24-13 loss things began to unravel for the Seminoles. Much of the frustrations can be blamed on a long list of injuries, but three straight losses is incredibly disappointing considering the expectations coming into the season. Also considered: Boston College

Game of the Year So Far: Clemson at Maryland. The game of the year might have been this past weekend with Clemson's 18-point comeback victory over Maryland in College Park. From the Terps' freshman quarterback CJ Brown lighting up the Tigers defense for 162 yards rushing to Sammy Watkins' 89-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter, there was no shortage of fireworks in the 56-45 Clemson win. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris (former Tulsa OC) reportedly told Swinney after the game the 28 combined fourth quarter points was "just like another night in Conference USA." Also considered: Miami at Maryland; Georgia Tech at Virginia; Oklahoma at Florida State.

Game of the Year (To Come) - Clemson at Georgia Tech, Oct. 29. With Virginia Tech turning the corner and Georgia Tech picking up their first division loss against Virginia, this game will be a must-win for the Yellow Jackets. In addition to being a rematch of the 2009 ACC title game, both teams are hoping this will be a preview of the 2011 title game in Charlotte. Georgia Tech has the offense that can keep Clemson's explosive weapons off the field, but the rushing attack has been sputtering in their last two outings. The kickoff has already been set for 8 p.m., and Bobby Dodd Stadium should be packed for a inter-division showdown under the lights.

Atlantic Division Champion: Clemson. Six conference wins normally can put you in a good spot to lock up the division, and a home victory over North Carolina will bring the Tigers to 5-0 with Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and N.C. State left on the schedule. Even with an upset against the Yellow Jackets the Tigers should lock this up in the coming weeks.

Coastal Division Champion: Virginia Tech. The beginning of the season showed a Hokies team struggling to impress while Georgia Tech was setting all kinds of offensive records. At the midpoint, Virginia Tech is playing their best football while the Yellow Jackets are looking to get back on track on both sides of the ball. Typical early loss, strong finish season for Frank Beamer will result in another ACC title game appearance.

ACC Champion: Clemson. After that memorable comeback win against Maryland, you have to feel like the Tigers have that never-say-die attitude needed to claim the conference crown. After falling short in 2009, Clemson claims their first ACC title since 1991.

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Posted on: October 16, 2011 6:25 pm
 

ACC poll reactions, Week 7

Posted by Chip Patterson

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the ACC fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches)

8/8. Clemson

 Those who have been claiming this could be a special year for Clemson football received some great support from the Tigers' come-from-behind performance.  Entering as a touchdown favorite over their division rivals at Maryland, Clemson sputtered and found themselves facing an 18-point deficit.  Only one other time in program history (1992 against Virginia) has a Clemson team come back from an 18+ point deficit to win.  Saturday's game was the perfect example of the type of loss that has frustrated Clemson fans for the last two decades.  A talented roster with conference title hopes shows up flat and gets stunned in a game they should win.  That script was shredded by Sammy Watkins' school-record 345 all-purpose yards, keeping this new group of young Tigers undefeated and in the Top 10. 


16/14. Virginia Tech

After turning the corner against Miami, the Hokies continued to improve their offensive execution against a relentless Wake Forest defense.  After falling behind 14-0 early, Logan Thomas battled Virginia Tech back into the game and pulled away late with a 38-17 victory.  Thomas and star running back David Wilson combined for 524 all-purpose yards of offense, gashing an undersized Demon Deacons squad and controlling the pace of the game deep into the final quarter.  As usual, Frank Beamers squad has bounced back from an early loss and is playing some of their best ball in the conference season.  With Georgia Tech's loss, the Hokies are back in the race to defend their ACC Coastal Division crown.

20/19. Georgia Tech

Last week the Yellow Jackets got their first scare, and failure to improve on the offensive mistakes led to their first loss a week later.  Georgia Tech has slowly regressed as the season has progressed, and now Paul Johnson needs to find a way to re-focus this team.  Injuries on defense left Georgia Tech vulnerable to a physical Virginia rushing attack, and the Cavaliers exposed a uncharacterstic lack of physicality along the Tech offensive line.  Georgia Tech's fast start will give them one more chace in the eyes of the voters, but another performance like Saturday's loss to Virginia could drop them from their brief stay in the polls.

Others receiving votes: Wake Forest continues to collect some momentum from voters, even in their losing effort to Virginia Tech.  Despite suffering a loss at the hands of Miami, North Carolina still saw some action from the coaching poll voters.  The coaches/SIDs also showed some respect to Mike London and Virginia, who received a few votes in their poll.

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Posted on: October 16, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 5:01 pm
 

ACC Winners and Losers: Week 7


Posted by Chip Patterson


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Sammy Watkins

Best freshman in the game? Best freshman in the game.

With 345 all-purpose yards, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins broke C.J. Spiller's single game school record. Spiller re-wrote most of the offensive record book for the Tigers, and seven games into his collegiate career Watkins is already making a dent. The special teams play may become a non-factor as teams learn to kick away (as they did with Spiller), but there is just not an answer for a player of Watkins' caliber and potential at this point in the ACC. The freshman's combination of physical attributes and understanding of the game have been well documented, mostly by his coaches. Swinney started singing his praises days after his arrival on campus in the offseason, and never has his ability come in handy more than in leading the Tigers' greatest comeback in program history. Clemson still has plenty of challenges left between now and their ultimate goal of an ACC title, but I struggled to find a newcomer that has made a more significant impact on his team than Watkins.

LOSER: Clemson's not-so-kind reputation

Until proven otherwise, the Tigers' comeback has silenced Clemson's "watch them pull a Clemson" critics. The Tigers have started plenty of seasons with a talented roster that wows fans and experts alike, only to fall to an opponent they should defeat. Saturday night in College Park was the perfect opportunity to "pull a Clemson." But thanks to outstanding play of Boyd, Ellington, Watkins, and enough plays by the Brandon Thompson and the defense; they pulled a 2011 Clemson. The 2011 Clemson is an act that is not so dissimilar from a 2010 Auburn. They just find a way to win. Expecting a similar result to the Tigers' national title run is outrageous. But expecting a comparable finish (ACC title and BCS bowl win) might not be so crazy at this point.

WINNER: Jacory Harris

The oft-criticized Harris has been silencing the nay-sayers with his most recent performances against two talented defenses. Ever since halftime of Miami's loss to Virginia Tech, Harris has been sharp and on point with his delivery. Against North Carolina on Saturday, Harris got off to a fast start thanks to big plays from Allen Hurns and Tommy Streeter. The senior signal-caller torched North Carolina's secondary for 233 yards in the first half, a new career high. But even with an impressive production, the most important improvement has been his lack of turnovers. Harris' most frequently detrimental fault has been his tendency to misread a route and toss the ball to the opposing defense.

But since getting picked off in Miami's 28-24 loss to Kansas State, Harris has been perfect in the interceptions column. Miami could not afford to fall to 0-3 in the conference, and the Hurricanes got the fast start they needed to ensure it didn't happen in Chapel Hill. The win was a huge step forward for first-year head coach Al Golden, and another building block in Jacory Harris' final season with The U.

LOSER: Maryland's confidence

Quarterback controversies, suspensions for team rules, reports of locker room unrest - it's all been present in Maryland's roller coaster start to the Randy Edsall era. As the Terrapins pushed Clemson to the brink and had Byrd Stadium rocking like it was Labor Day all over again, it seemed like all of the issues were evaporating. A win over No. 8 Clemson could have been the jolt of positivity this team in transition has needed, but instead they suffered a deflating loss. Blowing an 18-point lead is no moral victory, and now the onus will be on Edsall to spin this into the best possible learning experience for Maryland. Sitting at 2-4 with plenty of ACC play left, the Terps are now in jeopardy of missing the postseason. Such a finish would not send great vibes through a program looking to rebrand around their new coach.

WINNER: The Mike London Movement


Throughout the offseason, there was a definitive buzz around second-year coach Mike London at Virginia. The former Richmond head man took the job as one of the touted young coaches in the game, but London's fast impact on the recruiting trail raised eyebrows across the nation. After a slow start, the happy feelings of hope around Virginia football seemed to have turned from a bubble to a fizz until the Cavaliers' upset win over No. 12 Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Cavaliers got it done by winning the battle in the trenches, physically dominating the Yellow Jackets on the offensive and defensive line. That physical attitude is embodied in London's steadfast attitude towards his football team, and it showed on the big stage against the undefeated Yellow Jackets. With an off-week to prepare, the Cavaliers entered the game with an unwavering confidence defensively and held Georgia Tech to a season-low for rushing yards and total yards of offense. As the fans rushed the field, London celebrated the big win with his players. This might not be THE year for Virginia, but Cavs fans have to feel like they have found THE coach moving forward.

LOSER: Duke

The Blue Devils walked into a losing situation facing Florida State after three straight losses. After losing three straight games over a four week span, the talented Seminoles roster was angry and looking for redemption. EJ Manuel got his first start since the Oklahoma game, and got to work early with three 50+ yard passes in the first quarter. The junior quarterback finished with 239 yards and two touchdowns on the day, sharing the spotlight with freshman running back Devonta Freeman. The lack of a consistent rushing attack has been the most common criticism of Florida State this season, and Freeman's 109 yard outing led the way for an impressive 242 team rushing yards. Duke never really had a chance against this angry Florida State team.

WINNER: Logan Thomas' maturation

The only for Thomas to follow his 23 for 25 outing against Miami with a game-winning touchdown was to repeat the routine again in a crucial road game against a surging Wake Forest team. Thomas was not as accurate statistically, but he was just as effective in providing the big plays needed for the Hokies to bounce back from an early 14-0 deficit. Star receiver Jarett Boykin was the target of choice for the big redshirt sophomore, snagging in seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown. In addition to his 280 yards and two touchdowns through the air, Thomas once again was a threat on the ground and punched in two goal line scores.

Thomas' maturation as a passer and rushing threat has forced defenses to focus less on running back David Wilson. Focusing less on Wilson is a bad thing, as he demonstrated on Saturday with a 136 yard outing against the Demon Deacons. After another slow start and early season loss, Virginia Tech is hitting their rhythm at the right time. If things continue to progress in Blacksburg, a rematch against the Tigers in Charlotte could be in the cards for Virginia Tech.

LOSER: Bryn Renner

After starting as one of the ACC's most efficient passers, Renner seems to have regressed since starting conference play. There were only eight incompletions on the stat sheet, but the sophomore looked uncomfortable under center against Miami on Saturday. He was uncharacteristically off-target on a few routine throws, and seemed unhappy with his pass protection throughout the entire game. The numbers may look sharp from Saturday's game, but many of the completions were screen passes and check downs to star running back Gio Bernard. Renner knew he was going to face an uphill battle against Miami's defense, now he needs to help his team bounce back on the road against an undefeated Clemson team.

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Posted on: October 15, 2011 9:55 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 19 Virginia Tech 38, WFU 17

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WON. Wake Forest punched first, but the Demon Deacons could not keep the pressure on Virginia Tech and the Hokies battled back for a 38-17 win. Logan Thomas picked up right where he left off in his breakout game against Miami, accounting for four total Hokie touchdowns to lead a potent offensive attack that proved too much for Wake Forest to handle.

HOW VIRIGNIA TECH WON: When David Wilson really gets moving, Virginia Tech establishes an offensive advantage that is hard scheme against. Add a more confident Logan Thomas, who is also a threat on the ground, and the Hokies have recaptured that championship caliber on offense characteristic of the recent Frank Beamer squads. Wilson rushed 17 times for 136 yards and a touchdown while Thomas threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns with two rushing scores to round out another impressive outing. Tanner Price was able to get his yards against a banged up Tech defense, tossing for 254 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but Wake's defense couldn't slow down the Hokies after the first quarter.

WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: The Homecoming crowd lit up after Tanner Price found Cameron Ford in the end zone to cut Virginia Tech's lead to 11 points with just over two minute remaining in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, a penalty set the Hokies back at their own 6-yard line and the Demon Deacons looked poised for a run. But Logan Thomas cooly orchestrated a 14 play, 94 yard drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Davis. The possession ate up 6:15 of game clock and took all the momentum away from Wake Forest.

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: With the Hokies' win and Georgia Tech's loss, the Coastal Division race is officially wide open. The Hokies have put themselves in the best position, already clocking a victory over Miami, and at this point appear to be trending up while the other contenders have more concerns moving forward. Huge road victory for Virginia Tech, and another great confidence boost for Logan Thomas.

WHAT WAKE FOREST LOST: Facing Florida State and Virginia Tech in back-to-back weeks is a daunting challenge for any ACC team. Coming out 1-1 was probably an ideal scenario at the beginning of the season, but after Wake's strong start Saturday's loss felt like a disappointment. The challenge now will be to rally the team and bounce back, with a pair of road games in the weeks ahead against Duke and North Carolina. Wake Forest is still in the hunt for the ACC Atlantic, they'll just need some help now and a big win in Death Valley to claim their second division title.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Wake Forest starting running back Josh Harris was listed as doubtful for Saturday's game after re-aggravating a hamstring injury in the win against Florida State. Harris initially hit the field in sweats, but then dressed out for the Demon Deacons and never saw the field. Harris rushed for 241 yards against the Hokies a year ago in Blacksburg, and could have definitely made a difference on Saturday if he was healthy. Seeing him on the sideline in pads must have been painful for the Wake Forest fans, as they watched the red-hot offense cool off in the second half with no running game to lean on.

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 2:25 pm
 

Hokies lose starting LB for season, DE for game

Posted by Chip Patterson

Virginia Tech may have rejuvenated their hopes to defend their ACC title in a crucial 38-35 last-minute victory over Miami last Saturday. However, the Hokies defense took a couple of losses in the victory - with defensive end James Gayle and outside linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow both leaving the game with injuries.

CBSSports.com's Sean Bielawski reports that Gouveia-Winslow suffered a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot and will undergo surgery next week. The starting linebacker is expected to miss the remainder of the season recovering. Gouveia-Winslow plays the WHIP linebacker position for the Hokies, and is expected to be replaced in the starting lineup by redshirt junior Alonzo Tweedy.  Gayle's injury, not as severe, will apparently hold him back for at least for this week's game.

Gayle injured his ankle in first quarter against the Hurricanes, and defensive line coach Charley Wiles said earlier in the week the sophomore would need to practice this week in order to play against the Demon Deacons.

The school confirmed on Thursday that Gayle will not travel with the team to Winston-Salem this weekend. The Hampton, Va. native has had a breakout season so far on a injury-plagued Hokies defensive line. Gayle is tied for the team lead with 6.5 tackles for loss and has totaled 3.5 sacks in six games of action.

The injuries continue to mount up for Virginia Tech's defense, creating an uncharacteristic weakness in the front seven. As the high-scoring fourth quarter wound down against Miami, it was clear the lack of depth had become an issue for the Hokies. With Wake Forest running back Josh Harris looking to repeat his 241 yard performance from Blacksburg a year ago, defensive coordinator Bud Foster will be counting on the Hokies' underclassmen to rise to the occasion on Saturday.

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Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 1:36 pm
 

Wake Forest leading rusher questionable for VT

Posted by Chip Patterson

Fresh off their 35-30 upset of Florida State, Wake Forest will turn right around for another daunting challenge as they host No. 19 Virginia Tech on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Demon Deacons, they may have to face their second-straight ranked opponent without their leading rusher.

Sophomore running back Josh Harris has been limited in practice this week, recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered in last Saturday's victory. Harris rushed 13 times for 136 yards in the win, his third 100+ career performance. Interestingly enough, Harris' career high came against the Virginia Tech last season in Blacksburg. Harris ran 20 times for 241 yards, but the Demon Deacons lost 52-21 thanks to a strong showing from the Tyrod Taylor and the Hokies' offense.

Speaking to the media on the weekly ACC teleconference, head coach Jim Grobe stressed that he would like to see Harris participate fully in practice before getting back on the field in a game. Backup running back Brandon Pendergrass has been productive as a third-down and goal line back this season, but has only 40 carries total on the season.

Wake Forest (4-1) has never beaten back-to-back ranked opponents, they will kick off against the Hokies at 6:30 p.m. at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com