Tag:David Wilson
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 11, 2011 10:34 am
 

Keys to the Game: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WILL WIN IF: Logan Thomas performs the way he did against Miami last Saturday. Thomas had struggled with inconsistencies so far in his first year as the Hokies' starter, but his showing against the Hurricanes as good as anyone could expect. The athletic sophomore completed 23 of 25 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns, and the game-winning 19-yard touchdown run to seal the 38-35 Coastal Division victory. Running back David Wilson is a star, and the ACC's second-leading rusher is going to get his yards against most opponents. But Thomas' accuracy through the air now forces opponents to respect the passing game, which in turn also will open things up for Wilson to get even more yards.

WAKE FOREST WILL WIN IF: The Demon Deacons can get an effecting running game going against a thin Virginia Tech defensive front. The Hokies defense has been hit hard by injuries, particularly on the defensive line. It showed late in the game against Miami as Lamar Miller took over for the Hurricanes in the fourth quarter, collecting all 90 yards on the way to Miami's final touchdown. Wake Forest running back Josh Harris is fresh off a 100-yard performance against Florida State, and backup Brandon Pendergrass has been effective in short yardage situations. The Hokies back seven is well coached and will be less likely to bite on many of the trick plays, so a solid rushing attack will be needed to keep them honest.

X-FACTOR: The Virginia Tech defense and special teams failed to force a turnover against Miami on Saturday. It is the first time the Hokies have not done so in a game since Oct. 16 of last season. Interestingly enough, the opponent on that day was the Demon Deacons. Saturday also marked the end of a 12-game steak of intercepting the opposing quarterback. Thankfully Logan Thomas put together that memorable performance, and the Hokies were able to win on the final drive. With so much of Wake's offensive success relying on quarterback Tanner Price, getting an interception or two to kill drives and rattle the sophomore's confidence could go a long way in keeping the Hokies in the ACC title hunt.

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Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 1:26 pm
 

ACC poll reactions, Week 6

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

Clemson got their first big scare of the season on Saturday, with Tajh Boyd leaving the game after falling awkwardly thanks to a hit from Boston College defensive end Max Holloway.  Backup quarterback Cole Stoudt was able to enter the game and help the Tigers hold on to the win, and the good news is Boyd is expected to not miss much, if any, playing opportunities.  The sophomore quarterback is a breakout star in Clemson's new offense, and having him in the game is key to the unit operating at full potential.  If Boyd is able to compete at 100% after straining his hip, the Tigers' will be in a position to continue their quest for an ACC Atlantic Division title.

12/12. Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets looked shakier than usual against Maryland, but held on to a three score lead in the fourth quarter to win 21-16.  Paul Johnson was cricital of his team's offense after the game, citing a lack of "continuity" as a reason for their struggles.  The team looked out of rhythm, but leading the Coastal Division and sitting at 6-0 does wonders for maintaining your status in the polls.  Georgia Tech will get healthier defensively heading into this week's game against Virginia, and we have all seen the potential of that offense when things are clicking.

19/17. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech bounced back from their disappointing loss to Clemson in the conference opener with a trilling 38-35 shootout victory over Miami.  For one game, the story of the Hokies' offense was not running back David Wilson.  Tyrod Taylor was on the Hokie sideline, and with his mentor watching sedshirt sophomore Logan Thomas put together the most memorable game of his young career.  Thomas completed 23 fo 25 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns.  Most importantly, on 4th and 1 Thomas took the ball in his hands with intentions to dive for a first down with less than a minute remaining.  When he looked ahead after faking the handoff to Wilson, there was a giant gap and Thomas ran 19 yards for the winning touchdown.  "Enter Sandman" blared through Lane Stadium, and Virginia Tech was back on track.   



Others receiving votes:
North Carolina
and Wake Forest both received some attention from the voters this week after picking up victories this weekend.  The Tar Heels escaped with an ugly 14-7 victory over Louisville to improve to 5-1, while the Demon Deacons make their first splash near the Top 25 after knocking off Florida State 35-30.  The Seminoles, ranked No. 23 last week and as high as No. 5 earlier in the season, did not receive any votes in either poll. 

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Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 1:26 pm
 

ACC poll reactions, Week 6

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

Clemson got their first big scare of the season on Saturday, with Tajh Boyd leaving the game after falling awkwardly thanks to a hit from Boston College defensive end Max Holloway.  Backup quarterback Cole Stoudt was able to enter the game and help the Tigers hold on to the win, and the good news is Boyd is expected to not miss much, if any, playing opportunities.  The sophomore quarterback is a breakout star in Clemson's new offense, and having him in the game is key to the unit operating at full potential.  If Boyd is able to compete at 100% after straining his hip, the Tigers' will be in a position to continue their quest for an ACC Atlantic Division title.

12/12. Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets looked shakier than usual against Maryland, but held on to a three score lead in the fourth quarter to win 21-16.  Paul Johnson was cricital of his team's offense after the game, citing a lack of "continuity" as a reason for their struggles.  The team looked out of rhythm, but leading the Coastal Division and sitting at 6-0 does wonders for maintaining your status in the polls.  Georgia Tech will get healthier defensively heading into this week's game against Virginia, and we have all seen the potential of that offense when things are clicking.

19/17. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech bounced back from their disappointing loss to Clemson in the conference opener with a trilling 38-35 shootout victory over Miami.  For one game, the story of the Hokies' offense was not running back David Wilson.  Tyrod Taylor was on the Hokie sideline, and with his mentor watching sedshirt sophomore Logan Thomas put together the most memorable game of his young career.  Thomas completed 23 fo 25 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns.  Most importantly, on 4th and 1 Thomas took the ball in his hands with intentions to dive for a first down with less than a minute remaining.  When he looked ahead after faking the handoff to Wilson, there was a giant gap and Thomas ran 19 yards for the winning touchdown.  "Enter Sandman" blared through Lane Stadium, and Virginia Tech was back on track.   



Others receiving votes:
North Carolina
and Wake Forest both received some attention from the voters this week after picking up victories this weekend.  The Tar Heels escaped with an ugly 14-7 victory over Louisville to improve to 5-1, while the Demon Deacons make their first splash near the Top 25 after knocking off Florida State 35-30.  The Seminoles, ranked No. 23 last week and as high as No. 5 earlier in the season, did not receive any votes in either poll. 

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Posted on: October 9, 2011 2:46 am
Edited on: October 9, 2011 3:15 am
 

ACC Winners and Losers: Week 6



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: Logan Thomas

The struggles of the Virginia Tech offense and sophomore quarterback Logan Thomas were well documented after the 23-3 loss to Clemson a week ago. But Thomas absolutely silenced his critics with a near-perfect performance in the 38-35 win over Miami on Saturday. With 2010 ACC Player of the Year Tyrod Taylor watching from the sidelines, Thomas did his best Taylor impression orchestrating a game-winning touchdown drive in the final minutes of the game. Thomas may have capped his memorable night with a 19-yard touchdown rush to win the game, but it was performance through the air that showed the most improvement. Thomas completed 23 of 25 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions against a Miami back seven with NFL-caliber talent at nearly every position. The young quarterback had shown flashes of potential, but not quite put it all together until Saturday's victory. If Thomas can replicate that kind of production, the Hokies may not be as far removed from division contender status as we thought.

LOSER: Miami's defense

Miami defense - For the first time all season, the Hurricanes did not turn the ball over once on offense. Jacory Harris and Lamar Miller had the offense humming in the second half against Virginia Tech, giving the defense an opportunity to win the game in the final minutes. The unit has become significantly thinner in recent weeks, particularly with the loss of seniors Ramon Buchanan and Marcus Forston to season-ending injuries. That lack of depth showed late in the game, with the Hurricanes defense a step slower all over the field as the Hokies stormed back and won the game on a 19-yard Logan Thomas run up the middle.

WINNER: Wake Forest, your new ACC dark horse

With a 3-0 conference record, the Demon Deacons are tied with No. 8 Clemson and No. 13 Georgia Tech as the best team in the ACC. A national ranking may arrive for Jim Grobe's squad on Sunday, but the team's arrival as a contender was made on Saturday with the victory over Florida State. Sophomore Tanner Price and Josh Harris were impressive against a talented Seminoles defense, but the play of Wake's defense has changed the team's outlook in conference play. Nearly the entire starting lineup was part of 2010's disastrous 1-7 ACC record, but the unit is back and playing at an unexpectedly high level. Grobe is notorious for being tagged as a "player development" coach, but 2011's team might be another one of those squads that keeps that reputation going. The unit forced five Florida State turnovers on Saturday, picking off both Clint Trickett and EJ Manuel two times each to set up a short field for Price and the unpredictable spread offense. There are plenty of challenges left on Wake's schedule, including next week's contest against Virginia Tech, but the similarities that some have drawn to the 2006 team don't seem to be that radical.

LOSER: Florida State's offensive line

There are a lot of aspects to Florida State's team that aren't going as planned, but the struggles of the offensive line can be blamed for many of the most glaring problems. The Seminoles were one of the most productive rushing teams in the conference in 2010, and now the running backs have become a non-factor against quality opponents. The line is not opening up the lanes, and the backs are not finding their holes. The inability to rush the ball has now begun to have an increasingly negative effect on the passing game, as Florida State's opponents treat them as a one-dimensional team. The unit entered the season dealing with injury issues, and has continued to search for a working rotation. Getting EJ Manuel healthy brings 2011's best rusher back to the lineup, so that should be a start. But the line has to improve if Florida State wants to try and make the most of the season after this three-game losing streak.

WINNER: Clemson's winning streak

The Tigers improve to 6-0, even losing Boyd to the strained hip. Luckily the Tigers had built a lead at the time of the starting quarterback's injury, so Cole Stoudt's job was not too difficult. But considering how much time Boyd spent mastering the intricacies of Chad Morris' system in the offseason, it has to be comforting for Tigers fans to know that Stoudt can keep the machine moving forward while under center. If Stoudt gets the start against Maryland next week, there will be some drop-off. But after seeing the freshman move the ball against Boston College's defense, head coach Dabo Swinney was able to get some comfort in Stoudt's ability if Boyd is unable to play. Rushing Boyd back and/or causing further injury would be the worst possible situation for the undefeated Tigers, and if there is any question regarding Boyd's health the Tigers should be able to continue performing at a high level with Stoudt.

LOSER: Georgia Tech's ability to close out opponents

Georgia Tech was not a loser on Saturday, but they took a step back with yet another poor defensive showing in the fourth quarter. In their three ACC contests combined, the Yellow Jackets have given up 48 fourth quarter points, while only allowing 31 points in the first three quarters of play. The reasons seem to be different every time, but the result is always the same. Against Maryland, it was allowing backup quarterback C.J. Brown and Davin Meggett to establish a powerful downhill running attack. Against N.C. State it was soft coverage and lack of focus with a big lead. The Yellow Jackets are 6-0 and sitting on top of the ACC standings, but they might not be so lucky if they let another opponent climb back into the contest late.

WINNER: Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown

Maryland's inconsistencies and offensive struggles since their opening night win have been well documented, but a quarterback change in the loss to Georgia Tech introduced a new aspect to the offense. Sophomore quarterback C.J. Brown took over for 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien in the second half, and led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to bring the Terps back into the game against the Yellow Jackets. Brown presented a new rushing threat for the opposition, and was able to get an effective read game going with running back Davin Meggett. The backup quarterback finished as the game's leading rusher, thanks in large part to a 77 yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Brown struggled mightily trying to move the ball through the air, but he at least presents offensive coordinator Gary Crowton the option of possibly using a two-quarterback system to keep opposing defenses on their toes. Imploring the two quarterback tactic can be toxic to a team in certain situations, but at 2-3 Maryland needs something to jump start the sputtering offense.

LOSER: This Clemson fan

Tajh Boyd's hip was not the only Clemson thing slightly out of place on Saturday. CBSSports.com's Adam Jacobi pointed out this lost soul from the Michigan-Northwestern game.





WINNER: N.C. State CB David Amerson

N.C. State's sophomore cornerback was responsible for two of the Wolfpack's four interceptions in the second half against Central Michigan. After the Chippewas came out firing and took an early lead in Raleigh, N.C. State's defense answered with big stops and turnovers in the second half while the offense piled on the points and N.C. State picked up a much-needed bounce back win after dropping two straight.

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Posted on: October 8, 2011 7:31 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 21 Virginia Tech 38, Miami 35

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WON. The showdown of the ACC's two leading rushers lived up to the hype on Saturday, but it was the performance of Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas that gave Virginia Tech the 38-35 victory over Miami in Blacksburg.

HOW VIRGINIA TECH WON: Virginia Tech's defense kept Miami in check for most of the first half, but the lack of depth played a factor late in the game as Miami began to rack up the rushing yards. Lamar Miller finished the game with 166 yards, but it was not enough to overcome Thomas and David Wilson. After struggling against Clemson, Thomas played close to a perfect game against Miami. The sophomore completed 23 of 25 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground he rushed 11 times for 28 net yards, but it was his second rushing touchdown - a 19 yard read up the middle - that won the game for Virginia Tech.

WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: Lamar Miller picked up all 90 yards of Miami's final scoring drive with 2:51 remaining. But Thomas picked apart the Hurricanes soft coverage and David Wilson tore through running lanes to move the Hokies into scoring position. With the game on the line on 4th down and 1, Thomas faked give to Wilson and took off up the middle towards the end zone. The entire Miami defense had committed to Wilson, and Thomas crossed the goal line untouched.

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: Rejuvenation. After the 23-3 loss to Clemson, many felt the Hokies had been "exposed." Logan Thomas' performance was a complete 180 from that loss, and should give the young quarterback a huge confidence boost heading into a suddenly important road test against Wake Forest next week.

WHAT MIAMI LOST: The Hurricanes could have walked out of Lane Stadium with a come-from-behind victory to ignite a turnaround in Miami's season. The Canes once again will look back on this game and be frustrated by the penalties, picking up 9 for a total of 84 yards. The mental mistakes have plagued them all season, and in games as close as this every single yard matters.

THAT WAS CRAZY: The Virginia Tech - Miami series dates back to their days in the Big East, and there have been many memorable defensive battles between the two teams. This was not one. Both teams combined for 1,0001 total yards of offense, and the star running backs lived up the hype with Miller (166 yards) and Wilson (128 yards) providing electrifying runs in the fourth quarter shootout.

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 2:41 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 6

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom. 

This is a bit of a bizarro week in your college football diet, as most of the big games on Saturday will be taking place earlier in the day while our nighttime offerings lack some of those bolder flavors we all love. But that's fine, because with some of the entrees you'll be served during the day, you might not have enough room for that 32-ounce steak once dinner comes around.

Though hopefully you have room for one of those steaks at breakfast.

BREAKFAST

#3 Oklahoma vs. #11 Texas - ABC 12pm ET

This is a pretty wonderful way to start the day, isn't it? There are a lot of great rivalries in the world of college football, and this one has to be considered one of the best. For years the winner of this game basically helped decide who was going to win the Big 12, and it will go a long way in deciding the conference champion again this year. Also, Texas finds itself ranked near the top ten once again after a terrible 2010 season, and while things seemed to have turned around in Austin, this game will be the first real indication of how far the Longhorns have come. - Tom Fornelli 

#13 Georgia Tech vs. Maryland - ESPNU 12pm ET

The Yellow Jackets keep scoring in bunches and riding their offense to methodical wins, while Maryland desperately is trying to put the pieces back together following a pair of home losses.  The Terps offense finally got back in a groove against Towson, particularly getting a boost from the return of wide receivers Quintin McCree and Ronnie Tyler.  Maryland's high-tempo offense must keep drives alive in order to give their defense time to rest on the sideline.  Additionally, the defense must get stops on third down or Georgia Tech will slowly wear down Maryland on both sides of the ball.  Let's casually call this one "The Friedgen Bowl" since former Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen said he "could care less about Maryland" and "is flying a Georgia Tech flag now." - Chip Patterson

North Carolina vs. Louisville - ESPN2 12pm ET

Louisville's offense is struggling, averaging less than 20 points per game and ranking dead last in the Big East.  The matchup against North Carolina's talented front seven will provide plenty of work for the Cardinals inexperienced offensive line.  Louisville's greatest strength on defense might be their secondary, but this Tar Heels team has become uncharacteristically run-heavy.  The emergence of Gio Bernard has changed the face of the offense, as the redshirt freshman will look to continue his streak of 100+ yard games to four.  Something that hasn't been done by a North Carolina running back since Ethan Horton in 1984. - CP

LUNCH

#1 LSU vs. #17 Florida - CBS 3:30pm ET

What happens when a Honey Badger smells blood? We may find out when Tyrann Mathieu and the rest of the LSU defense hosts a Gator attack missing John Brantley and still licking the wounds from its strangling at the hands of Alabama. Whatever hope Florida has will rest in their defense shutting down the Bayou Bengals' power-running game, but the return of the bruising Spencer Ware from a hamstring problem won't help them. - Jerry Hinnen [Video Preview]

#20 Kansas State vs. Missouri - ABC 3:30pm ET

Raise your hand if you thought before the season started that Kansas State and Missouri would be pegged as a game appearing on a national network during the middle of the season. Okay, now put your hand down, liar. Missouri has been a bit up and down this season as James Franklin has grown accustomed to filling Blaine Gabbert's shoes, and he doesn't have the easiest defense to go against this week. Then there's Kansas State which has caught just about all of us by surprise so far this year, as Bill Snyder has once again lifted this program back into Big 12 contention. - TF

#21 Virginia Tech vs. Miami - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

Both of these teams need a win if they plan to contend with Georgia Tech for the Coastal Division title, but neither team has put together a truly impressive performance that makes me think they could.  It will be a chance for both teams to prove (to themselves, really) that they belong at the top of the ACC.  Miami has been wildly inconsistent on both sides of the ball this season, but get a huge boost with preseason all-conference safety Ray-Ray Armstrong returning from suspension.  The Hokies' offense will need more than David Wilson to beat the Canes, and that responsibility falls on quarterback Logan Thomas.  Thomas' development has taken longer than some expected, but this would be a great time for him to grow up and lead VT to a huge home win over their longtime rivals. - CP

Penn State vs. Iowa - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

This has been a rather one-sided affair over the last decade or so, but give Iowa-PSU credit: the games are generally exciting, with six of the last 10 meetings featuring either single-score margins or a 4th quarter lead change. Expect more of the same this week, with Iowa bringing the conference's most prolific passing game (seriously) to town and Penn State hoping to turn their offensive fortunes around against a surprisingly green Hawkeye defense. - Adam Jacobi

DINNER

#10 Arkansas vs. #15 Auburn - ESPN 7pm ET

Last year's meeting produced an SEC regulation-time record 108 points, and judging by Tyler Wilson's 500-yard passing day last week (and Texas A&M's 381 yards rushing), Arkansas looks ready to do their part for a repeat performance. But this time, the Tigers have to hope their improving defense can keep them out of a shootout--a struggling passing game has Gus Malzahn's unit leaning heavily on Michael Dyer and ground-out first downs. - JH

Northwestern vs. #12 Michigan - Big Ten Network 7pm ET

If it weren't for that Russell Wilson fellow over in Madison, this game might feature the best two QBs in the conference, as Dan Persa leads the Northwestern charge against visiting Denard Robinson and the Wolverines. Persa shined in his first week back from that Achilles injury last year, but missed the last few minutes for precautionary reasons after an awkward tackle. Can Northwestern make headway against a newly re-energized Michigan defense, or will the Wolverines keep rolling along? - AJ

#7 Stanford vs. Colorado - Versus 7:30pm ET

Colorado isn't terribly good this season but the Buffaloes are rebuilding their program under new head coach Jon Embree and do have several weapons Stanford has to contain. The Buffs are 36th in passing offense and sophomore Paul Richardson is averaging 95 yards receiving a game. As always though, the reason to tune into this game is Heisman candidate Andrew Luck and a balanced attack that can beat you through the air or on the ground. Plus, you never know when something like this is going to happen and make you say wow. - Bryan Fischer

#14 Nebraska vs. Ohio State - ABC 8pm ET

Before this season, this game looked like the second half of a brutal conference opening for Nebraska. Wisconsin held up its end of the bargain last week by beating the Huskers 48-17, but Ohio State is hardly the challenge it used to be without Terrelle Pryor and a host of other stars. If Nebraska's going to show it belongs among the Big Ten elite, it has to bring the pain against a reeling OSU ballclub this week. - AJ

LATE NIGHT SNACK

BYU vs. San Jose State - ESPNU 10:15pm ET

Not exactly a marquee matchup, I know, but it's football and it's on your television. Plus, aside from getting pasted by Utah a few weeks ago, BYU hasn't played a game this season that didn't come down to the final minutes, so the possibility of some midnight HAM is totally in play here. - TF
 
 
 
 
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