January 04, 2008

The Kansas Jayhawks Are Your 2008 FEDEX Orange Bowl Champions!!

MIAMI, Fla. - In a game that saw a role reversal of sorts, the Kansas Jayhawks silenced the critics as they triumphed over the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2008 FEDEX Orange Bowl by a score of 24-21.

Virginia Tech is known for their stout defense and outstanding special teams, but tonight it was the Jayhawks turn to show off in those two areas. Kansas recorded three interceptions on defense, but were even better on special teams converting on a fake punt pass as well as blocking a crucial field goal.

"Our special teams were overlooked," said Jayhawks head coach Mark Mangino. "From the outside, the media just didn't pick up on the type of success that we've had on special teams."

Coming into the game all of the talk was about Kansas' offense versus Virginia Tech's defense, but that wasn't the case when the players took the field as the Jayhawks defense, behind Orange Bowl MVP Aqib Talib, wreaked havoc on both Hokie signal callers. Talib made the biggest play of the game in the first quarter as he intercepted Tyrod Taylor's pass and returned it 60 yards for the game's opening score.

We saw a lot of outs on film," said Talib, "and Coach had us in the call where I was able to jump any route. So I just kind of slowed down in my back‑pedal and he ran the out; and the quarterback was a little late on the throw and he threw me the ball."

The one bright spot for Virginia Tech was its rushing attack as Branden Ore had only his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season accumulating 116 yards on 23 carries, but because of the fourth quarter deficit the Hokies had to go away from their ground attack and put in the air, playing right into the Jayhawks hands.

The Hokies gave some hope to the fans when they cut the Kansas lead to only three points with three minutes remaining, but the Jayhawks recovered the onside kick and a couple first downs later, they had the victory.

Jayhawks quarterback Todd Reesing needed only two words to describe Kansas' remarkable run this season and almost flawless record of 12-1. "It's ecstasy."

January 03, 2008

Virginia Tech Gets Another Shot

MIAMI, Fla. - On fourth-and-one at the Tech 22-yard line, Kansas decided to go for it, but was unsuccessful as the Hokies batted the ball out of the air, giving themselves another opportunity to try and put together a scoring drive as Tech still trails 24-14 with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.

Huge Mistake by Tech Gives KU 24-14 Lead

MIAMI, Fla. - Tech's defense had been outstanding in the second half, but it was the offense that turned the ball over on a Sean Glennon interception resulting in an easy one-play touchdown drive as KU quarterback Todd Reesing ran it in from two yards out to give the Jayhawks a 24-14 lead with a little under 11 minutes remaining in the game.

Another Three-and-Out for Kansas

MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech's defense has continued their strong second half performance as they forced another three-and-out from the Jayhawks offense. All of the momentum is on Virginia Tech's side, so we'll just have to wait and see if Tech can turn that into points and possibly their first lead of the game on this next possession.

Trick Play Helps Jayhawks, But Hokies Defense Stands Strong

MIAMI, Fla. - On fourth down at midfield, KU coach Mark Mangino out-Beamered Tech coach Frank Beamer as the Jayhawks went for a fake punt pass which was successfully converted. On the very next play, KU quarterback Todd Reesing threw a bullet to receiver Dexton Fields putting the ball at the Tech one-yard line. However, penalties killed the Jayhawks as they garnered a personal foul penalty and then a holding penatly on back-to-back plays giving them a second and goal all the way back at the Tech 29.

Reesing then threw a perfect pass, but right to a Virginia Tech defender as the Hokies seem to have figured out this potent Jayhawks offense here in the second half. The Jayhawks still hold a slim 17-14 lead, though, as the third quarter has come to an end with Virginia Tech driving.

Crazy Play Results in Huge Gain for Hokies But Kansas Responds with Blocked Field Goal

MIAMI, Fla. - After Hokies quarterback Sean Glennon threw a prayer up to Eddie Royal causing the ball to bounce around, Virginia Tech tight end Greg Boone took the ball off of the bodies of Royal and two Kansas defenders resulting in an unprecedented catch and another huge play for the Hokies early on in the second half.

However, the Jayhawks special teams came up with a huge play as they blocked the short field goal attempt by Jud Dunlevy to maintain their 17-14 lead.

Momentum Has Definitely Shifted the Hokies Way

MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech defensive tackle Carlton Powell slammed Todd Reesing to the ground for a sack and Vince Hall nailed running back Jake Sharp well short of the first on third down as the Hokies seem like a completely different team after the second half whistle. We'll have to see what adjustments Mangino and the Jayhawks now try to make as the Hokies look like the more confident team out there now.

Hokies Come Out Strong in Second Half

MIAMI, Fla. - After the Hokies defense stood strong and forced a punt, Eddie Royal pitched the punt return to Justin Harper and on the reverse, Harper returned it 84 yards for the touchdown as Virginia Tech closed the gap to 17-14 and sent all the momentum to the boys in the orange and maroon. Let's see if this is the spark that gets the Hokies up and playing like their true selves. Kansas and quarterback Todd Ressing need to respond now as the crowd which is heavily favored towards the Hokies is starting to get louder and louder.

Hokies Get on the Scoreboard Right Before Half

MIAMI, Fla. - After Kansas went up 17-0 on a Todd Reesing touchdown pass, the Hokies drove down the field and running back Branden Ore capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run to cut the Jayhawks lead to 17-7 with under two minutes left in the second quarter. The Jayhawks ran the clock out and now hold the 10-point advantage as both teams head into the locker room for halftime.

Both offenses seem to be a step faster than the defenses, but Kansas has two interceptions resulting in two scores while Tech has yet to force a turnover; thus the advantage for the Jayhawks on the scoreboard as we enter halftime.

Kansas ' Defense, Not Virginia Tech, Looks Strong Early On

MIAMI, Fla. - After intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon on the first play of the second quarter, the Kansas Jayhawks worked their way into field goal range and Scott Webb converted a 32-yard field goal to give Kansas a 10-0 lead.

Kansas Dodges Bullet

MIAMI, Fla. - After Kansas went on top 7-0 in the Orange Bowl, Virginia Tech drove down the field behind quarterback Sean Glennon, but Jud Dunlevy missed a 48-yard field goal which the Jayhawks returned back to their own 39-yard line.

Kansas Strikes First

MIAMI, Fla. - Kansas All-American Aqib Talib made the first huge play of the game intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor and returning it for a touchdown to put the Jayhawks up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Virginia Tech Fans Are Out in Force

MIAMI, Fla. - The Orange Bowl has just kicked off and you can definitely tell that the Hokies outnumber the Jayhawks in terms of fans. A huge storyline coming into this game was whether or not Virginia Tech middle linebacker Vince Hall would play after sustaining a knee injury in a team event. Well, on the first Kansas possession Hall made his name known making tackle after tackle and showing no ill effects from the knee injury that made him questionable to play in the game.

December 31, 2007

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Wins 23-20

ATLANTA -- In overtime, the Auburn Tigers defeated Clemson 23-20 after quarterback Kodi Burns ran the ball into the end zone from five yards out to win the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

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Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Free Football

ATLANTA -- As the clock ticks down to zero in regulation, the score is tied at 17. Both Clemson and Auburn had chances to win the game in regulation. However, neither offense was able to put themselves in field goal range. In fact, each defense narrowly missed picked off interceptions.

This is the first overtime game in the history of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. So one thing is for certain, the "Tigers" will be making history, one way or another.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn has the Last Chance

ATLANTA -- With 1:32 to go in the game, Auburn has the ball at their own 36 yard line with a chance to win the game in regulation after Clemson went three and out. More to come soon...

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Kodi Burns Brings Auburn Back

ATLANTA -- The majority of the drive saw backup quarterback Kodi Burns in the game, and his quickness helped revitalize the Auburn running game. With 8:27 to go in the fourth quarter, his 15 yard run set up a 1 yard touchdown run by Ben Tate to tie the game up at 17.

The key play on the drive came from Brandon Cox though. On a 3rd and 5 from the Auburn 47, he completed an 18 yard pass to Robert Dunn to the Clemson 35 giving Auburn the key first down.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Critical Mistake by Auburn Leads to Clemson Touchdown

ATLANTA -- Quarterback Brandon Cox threw his first interception of the game and allowed the game's first turnover. The play occurred after Brandon Cox was forced out of the pocket by Clemson defensive end Ricky Sapp. His throw was intended for tight end Cole Bennett, but was deflected by Clemson cornerback Crezden Butler, and then he caught his own tipped ball.

Clemson was able to take ball down the field and punch the ball into the end zone on 4th and goal from the 1 to retake the lead 17-10. With 11:24 to go in the 4th quarter, the game has taken on a much different look than it had in the middle of third quarter.

Clemson's offense has been able to mix the run with the pass effectively, and has stopped Auburn's rushing attack. With Auburn playing from behind now, the game may now be placed on quarterback Brandon Cox's shoulders for Auburn.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Clemson Ties Game

ATLANTA -- At the start of the fourth quarter, Clemson place kicker Mark Buchholz hit a 22 yard field goal after Clemson's Cullen Harper was stopped at the five yard line on a third and goal play from the two yard line.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Defensive Struggle Through Second Half

ATLANTA -- Auburn is controlling the tempo of the second half. The Tigers have failed to pick up a first down in five straight possessions. In the third quarter, Auburn has outgained Clemson 121-9 in total yardage.

Both teams have turned back to their strengths on offense to move the ball. While Auburn's rushing attack has been effective in the early going in the second half, Clemson's passing attack has not done much as quarterback Cullen Harper has been under pressure for much of the half and his receivers are just not getting open.

Even with Clemson's inability to move the ball, the score is still just 10-7 in Auburn's favor, and they have been able to gain the field position advantage via special teams after a 59 yard punt by Jimmy Maners put Auburn inside of their own 5 yard line.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Strikes First in 2nd Half

ATLANTA -- On the first drive of the second half, the Tigers drove the ball down the field and scored on a 22 yard pass from backup quarterback Kodi Burns to freshman running back Mario Fannin.

Burns rolled to his right on the play hitting Fannin in stride on a crossing route over the middle, and ran untouched into the far corner of the end zone to give Auburn a 10-7 lead early in the second half.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Half Time

ATLANTA -- Clemson leads at the end of the first half 7-3. The difference in this ball game was one play. C.J. Spiller's 83 yard touchdown early in the second quarter is the only offensive spurt that this game has seen.

While both teams have been able to drive the ball into the opponent's territory, neither side has been able to turn those drives into points. Clemson place kicker Mark Buchholz is 0-2 missing field goals from 45 and 53 yards each.

Auburn place kicker Wes Byrum is 1-2 with made field goal attempt from 38 yards out, and a miss from 45 yards out.

Clemson's offense has turned a complete 180 from their play calling during the season. After relying so heavily on the pass during the season, Clemson's offense has made every effort to move the ball down the field on the ground. Clemson has a much more balanced attack as they have run the ball 15 times for 141 yards, while passing the ball 16 times for just 37 yards.

Auburn has also had opportunities to score as their passing game has been effective. Quarterback Brandon Cox is 13-22 on the game for 111 yards. On the ground, Auburn has been somewhat less effective as they have only 36 yards on the ground.

Neither team has been able to play to their strength in the first half, which is the most likely reason for the 7-3 score. It will be interesting to see what each team does to make adjustments. Will each offense continue with what plays are working best for them right now, or will they try to go back to their strengths?

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Stumbles

ATLANTA -- After Clemson was able to score their first touchdown of the game, Auburn responded by driving the ball to the 28 yard line in Clemson territory.

On a key 3rd and 3 at the 28, Auburn running back Ben Tate had a hold up the middle on a dive play, but stumbled on his own falling short of the first down.

On the next play, place kicker Wes Byrum missed a 45 yard field goal wide right in essentially the same location that Clemson place kicker Mak Buchholz did. The score is still Clemson 7-3.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Clemson Growls Back

ATLANTA -- After both offenses stalled for the majority of the first quarter, Clemson hit a home run on a 2nd and 5 play from their own 17 yard line.

On a delayed draw play up the middle, running back C.J. Spiller ran straight into the line, but was not taken down. After bouncing back to the outside, Spiller sprinted down the near sideline past the Auburn defense to give Clemson their first lead of the game 7-3.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Buchholz Wide Right

ATLANTA -- After Clemson drove the ball inside the Auburn 30 yard line, they were unable to put points on the board as placekicker Mark Buchholz's kick missed wide right. The score is still Auburn 3-0.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: More On Scott

ATLANTA -- Clemson defensive tackle Dorrell Scott has a high right ankle sprain and he is listed as questionable to return to the game.

UK wins second straight Music City Bowl

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Andre Woodson threw four touchdown passes, Rafael Little had 202 all-purpose yards and the University of Kentucky won its second straight Music City Bowl, this time over Papa Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles 35-28.

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UK creating some space

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As bad as they've played, Kentucky is taking control of the Music City Bowl.

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Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Pounces First, Clemson DT Scott Injured

ATLANTA - After a key 28 yard pass from Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox, the Navy blue clad Tigers were able to push the ball inside the Clemson 20 yard line. However, they were able to go no further and ended up kicking a 38 yard field goal to take the early 3-0 lead.

To add injury to insult, Clemson just suffered a major blow as defensive tackle Dorrell Scott was cut down to the ground by an illegal chop block from behind. He walked off of the field, favoring his right knee, with the help of two Clemson trainers.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Tiger Brawl

ATLANTA - The ACC and SEC are getting together once again on New Year's Eve in Atlanta as the 9-3 Clemson Tigers face off against the 8-4 Auburn Tigers.

Clemson comes into tonight's contest winning five of their last six contests including a win over their in-state rival South Carolina 23-21 on a late field goal.

While Auburn struggled early on in the season with a 1-2 record in their first three games. However, Auburn finished strong in SEC play with key wins at Florida and at home against their in-state rival Alabama.

For Auburn, this game comes down to stopping the ACC leading passing attack that Clemson will throw at them. Defensive end Quentin Groves will be the key to putting pressure on Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper.

On the offensive side off the ball, Auburn will most likely keep the ball on the ground to keep Clemson's offense on the sidelines. Look for tailback Brad Lester to get many touches in this game.

For Clemson, the offense will need to keep the pressure off of Cullen Harper by allowing their stellar running back tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller to get going.

On defense, Clemson's front seven is the key to their success. Clemson will be without the services of their two star linebackers in Tremaine Billie and Nick Watkins. Replacements Scotty Cooper and Kavell Conner will be tested early and often during the course of this game.

UK takes lead

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- UK just took a 21-14 lead over Florida State with 6:49 left in the Music City Bowl.

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Fresno State wins H-Bowl

BOISE, Idaho — This time the lame duck coach didn’t walk off the blue turf at Bronco Stadium with a win for a going-away present.
Fresno State spoiled Georgia Tech's Jon Tenuta’s head coaching debut — and last game with the Yellow Jackets — with a 40-28 victory in front of a pro-Bulldog crowd on a bitter-cold day.

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FSU and UK tied at 14 at half

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- So far, this Music City Bowl hasn't been music to anyone's ears.

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Fresno State wins H-Bowl

BOISE, Idaho — This time the Lame Duck coach didn’t walk off the blue turf at Bronco Stadium with a win for a going away present.
Fresno State spoiled Georgia Tech’s Jon Tenuta’s head coaching debut with a 40-28 victory in front of a pro-Bulldog crowd on a bitter-cold day.

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This is some bad football

NASHVILLE, Tenn -- FSU started the bad football off by missing a 51-yard field goal.

Then UK running back Rafael Little fumbled for the second time of the day giving the Seminoles the ball back at the 27-yard line.

Five plays later, the Seminoles were stopped on 4th-and-1 at the one-yard line.

Still, it got worse. UK quarterback Andre Woodson just threw an interception, the pass was lobbed from the back off the end zone and was a jump ball for three FSU defenders. Preston Carter was the lucky recipient, and he took the ball back 24 yards for a touchdown.

Wait, it got worse. Carter got a personal foul for diving into the end zone.

It got even worse. His teammate, Derek Nicholson, threw the flag on Carter's penalty at the official. Thanks to the two penalties, FSU kicked off from the eight-yard line.

FSU and UK are tied at 14 with just over three minutes left.

It wasn't pretty...

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- ...but it worked.

UK went back on top midway through the second quarter when Woodson hit wide receiver Stevie Johnson on a 13-yard touchdown pass. Woodson was hit on the play, and the ball wobbled into Johnson’s arms. Johnson made two players miss after the catch on his way to the end zone.

UK leads 14-7 with 8:15 left in the game.

FSU scores

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Somehow, Florida State is tied with Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

After UK scored to go ahead 7-0, the Seminoles punted, but FSU redshirt freshman quarterback D'Vontrey Richardson caught the punt as it neared UK returner Rafael Little, moving UK up 15 yards. The Cats marched deep into FSU territory and appeared headed to a 14-0 lead, but Little fumbled and FSU took it past midfield. The 'Noles scored four plays later to tied the game up.

UK was a few plays away from being up 14-0, but now FSU is tied with the Cats, miraculously, with 1:49 to go in the first quarter.

Johnson just watchin for now

BOISE, Idaho — Former Navy coach Paul Johnson was recently hired to take over the Georgia Tech football program. Today, however, the Johnson is just watching the Yellow Jackets play Fresno State in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl.
Running back Jonathan Dwyer scored from two yards out to cut Georgia Tech's deficit to 34-21 with just over 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

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Fresno State, Georgia Tech trade TDs to open second half

BOISE, Idaho — Fresno State's Clifton Smith sprinted for a 43-yard touchdown run to open up the second half and Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer ran for a 36-yard touchdown on the ensuing possession to cut Fresno State's lead to 27-14 at the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl.

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FSU muffed punt

NASHVILLE, Tenn -- Given the turmoil Florida State has endured over the last few weeks, the last thing FSU needed was to get off to a slow start.

But slow start they did. Punt Graham Gano fumbled the snap at the FSU 49. He gather the ball, but kicked it into UK safety Roger Williams. The ball went out of bounds, and UK recovered at the 25-yard line. The Cats scored five plays later on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Andre Woodson to Jacob Tamme.

The crowd is overwhelmingly blue, but they didn't get loud until the blocked punt. Now they're rocking, and the Noles better start rolling or they could find themselves in a big hole.

With 10:39 to play in the first quarter, UK leads FSU 7-0.

Music City Bowl pregame

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville or Catsville? Sure it's lame, but it's true. UK probably had 60 percent of the fans in the stadium for last year's game against Clemson, and that ratio seems to be about the same this year, if not more.

The obvious storylines for today's game:

1. How will FSU handle the suspensions of the 36 players who were involved in the academic scandal? By game time, it figures to have no effect. Pregame though, FSU looks like a high school team with only 30 players.
2. Rich Brooks and Bobby Bowden: friends, and coaches, forever. They are two of the most experienced, and most respected, coaches in the nation.
3. UK has 16 seniors playing in their final game. Those seniors, including quarterback Andre Woodson, running back Rafael Little, wide receivers Keenan Burton and Stevie Johnson and linebacker Wesley Woodyard, have been instrumental in turning the program around.
4. FSU has been to 26 straight bowl games. UK has been to two. Going into the game, that won't seem to matter too much because both teams need wins so bad for this year and next year.

It should be fun in Nashville. Keep in mind, UK beat Tommy Bowden's Clemson team in last year's Music City Bowl. With a win, the Cats will go to 2-0 against the Bowden family in Nashville

Freno State adds to lead

BOISE, Idaho — Fresno State quarterback Tom Brandstater hit tight end Drew Lubinsky from 3 yards out to give the Bulldogs at 17-7 lead late in the second quarter.
The play was highlighted by running back Clifton Smith's 36-yard catch and run, in which Smith broke three tackles.

Fresno State takes lead in second quarter

BOISE, Idaho — Fresno State running back Clifton Smith scored from 6 yards out to give the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead with 10 minutes, 55 seconds remaining in the first half.
The crowd here at Bronco Stadium is definitely pro-Fresno State, with many Boise State fans holding allegience to the WAC.

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It's cold on the blue today

BOISE, Idaho — As kickoff nears for the 10th edition of the Humanitarian Bowl here, stocking hats, gloves and bulky winter coats are neccessities for the expected sell-out crowd of 30,000 at Bronco Stadium to watch Fresno State (8-4 overall, 6-2 WAC) take on Georgia Tech (7-5 overall, 4-4 ACC).
It's cold here on the blue turf.

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December 29, 2007

POST-GAME WRAP

SAN FRANCISCO - Mike Riley always seems to come up with the right game-plan in bowl games.

In this case, it was pretty obvious. Friday night at AT&T Park, Riley improved his postseason record at Oregon State to 4-0, as the Beavers beat the Maryland Terrapins 21-14 in an ugly - and at times, unwatchable - Emerald Bowl.

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December 28, 2007

BEAVERS WIN 21-14

SAN FRANCISCO - Final score here from AT&T Park: Oregon State beats Maryland 21-14.

I'll be back after post-game interviews to wrap this baby up.

WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE LEFT

SAN FRANCISCO - The Terps had their best drive since the first quarter, but it went for naught.

Kicker Obi Egekeze shanked a 32-yarder wayyyyyy wide left.

Like the rest of this game, it was ugly.

BEAVERS TAKE THE LEAD

SAN FRANCISCO - Oregon State has its first lead of the game.

Mike Riley finally came to his senses and let Yvanson Bernard take him to paydirt - kinda.

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WHO'S STILL WATCHING?

SAN FRANCISCO - Is anyone still watching this game?

If you happened to flip channels or take a bathroom break or a run to the store, you haven't missed anything. And that's no joke.

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BREAK OUT THE PONCHOS

SAN FRANCISCO - The Maryland fans have stuck out a little more now - no, not because they're being louder; they broke out the color-coded ponchos.

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14-14 AT HALFTIME

SAN FRANCISCO - It's only fitting that this game is tied at halftime because neither team deserves to be winning.

Neither Mike Riley nor Ralph Friedgen can be too happy about that second quarter, which featured a combined five turnovers and some horrible decision-making.

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ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

SAN FRANCISCO - A couple more minutes and a couple more turnovers.

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TURNOVER CITY

SAN FRANCISCO - In a span of two minutes and two seconds, there were three turnovers.

Two fumbles by the Beavs, one interception by the Terps.

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WELCOME HOME

SAN FRANCISCO - The California kid is having himself one heck of a first quarter.

Maryland's quarterback Chris Turner has 154 passing yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, the latest a 63-yarder to Darrius Heyward-Bey.

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(NOT SO) SPECIAL TEAMS

SAN FRANCISCO - Oregon State has just tied it at 7-7 and it has Maryland's Adrien Moten to thank for that one.

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TERPS STRIKE FIRST

SAN FRANCISCO - Well that's quite a way to start a ballgame.

Maryland's opening drive went 80 yards on 11 plays and lasted 4:39. It was capped off by a 9-yard touchdown pass by Chris Turner to receiver Isaiah Williams.

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CHAMPS SPORTS POSTGAME

ORLANDO, Fla.- It's not hard to see why these two teams don't lose games by a lot of points. The Spartans were never out of this game, and the Eagles were never fully in control- but tonight, Michigan State got a little taste of what Virginia Tech, Clemson, and other ACC powerhouses had to deal with this season. The Eagles, without the standard heroics of quarterback Matt Ryan, pulled off a 24-41 defeat of Michigan State to finish the season 11-3 while extending the nation's longest active bowl winning streak to eight.
"It was big to get 11 wins," said Eagles head coach Jeff Jagodzinski after the game. "To get double-digit wins is hard in any league, and to get 11- we haven't done that at BC since 1940."
Then, there's the whole bowl-streak thing, too.
"You never want to be the team to end the streak," said BC safety Jamie Silva. "Being here on the sidelines and playing for five consecutive wins is something real special."
There were obstacles to overcome on both sides: the Eagles' running game was relatively ineffective, and it took them some time to get into any kind of a rhythym in terms of the passing game. On the Spartans' side, they came out of the gates much more fired up than BC, but it was hard for them to sustain a consistent and effective level of play. Particularly, Brian Hoyer could not keep his composure, throwing four interceptions in key spots for Michigan State while accumulating just 131 yards.
Still, Spartans first-year head coach Mark Dantonio was far from disappointed with his team's effort.
"The one thing I asked our team to do was look in the mirror at the end of the day and do the best we could," he said after the game. "[I wanted us] to hang together and press together and we did that, and we never stopped playing.
"I hope our players understand that the difference between winning and losing is so small that if you blink, you miss it."
While former Heisman candidate Matt Ryan didn't really come alive until the second half, he produced when it counted- he has a knack for doing that. His 68-yard touchdown completion to Rich Gunnell (138 yards) sealed the game for BC, and he somehow finished with a respectable 250 yards.
However, the Player of the Game was not on offense; to nobody's surprise, it was Eagles safety Jamie Silva, one of the 17 BC fifth-year seniors who did not want his last memory as a member of this team to be tarnished by a loss. His two first-half picks saved his team at least 10 points, which certainly came in handy at the end of the fourth quarter, when the Eagles had their backs against the wall.
Like many Boston College football games this season, this one came down to one or two key plays, and it was never over until the final second ticked off the clock. This team has a flair for the dramatic, and fortunately for them and their eight-game bowl winning streak, the Eagles managed to pull it off again.

8 IN A ROW

ORLANDO, Fla.- With 48 seconds remaining, Ryan rushes for the QB sneak on 4th & 1 from the 20. It's in the bag. May the nation's longest bowl winning streak live on. Most Valuable Player award goes to Mr. Silva.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
FINAL

O-V-A

ORLANDO, Fla.- Michigan State, first play of the drive... Can you guess what happened? Interception, Paul Anderson. BC takes over at the Spartans' 29. Four picks on the night for Mr. Hoyer.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
2:23 remaining in 4th quarter

NOW OR NEVER

ORLANDO, Fla.- After Matt Ryan fumbled then recovered on third down at the 44, Johnny Ayers punts the ball away with 2:45 remaining. Hope the Spartans have been practicing those two-minute drills.

BIG STOP FOR BC

ORLANDO, Fla.- Another big third-down stop for BC. Now all the Eagles need to do is manage the clock and hold on to the ball.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
4:25 remaining in 4th quarter

UNDER REVIEW

ORLANDO, Fla.- After a bomb from Brian Hoyer to Devin Thomas was ruled incomplete (receiver caught the ball out of bounds), Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio challenges the ruling on the field, and... the ruling on the field stands. "The ball was being bobbled before posession was gained."

Michigan State 21, BC 24
4:41 remaining in 4th quarter

Maryland vs. Orgeon State - Pregame Notes

SAN FRANCISCO - Welcome to tonight's live coverage of the Emerald Bowl, a game featuring Maryland (6-6, 3-5 ACC) and Oregon State (8-4, 6-3 Pac 10). We're about 15 minutes from kickoff here at AT&T Park, which isn't your typical (or for that matter, preferred) bowl game stadium. The San Francisco Giants play here, and other than tonight's bowl game, it is pretty much only used for baseball.

Something tells me Barry Bonds will not be making a guest appearance here tonight...

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UH OH FOR EAGLES

ORLANDO, Fla.- The Eagles go three-and-out on the next drive: three passing plays, three incompletes. Johnny Ayers punts and Devin Thomas fumbles the recovery, losing 11 yards for his team and setting up a drive from the seven.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
5:14 remaining in 4th quarter

THE WAR ISN'T OVER

ORLANDO, Fla.- Quick turn of events: on 1st & 10 from the 45 on the clock, Matt Ryan is sacked by Greg Jones, then fumbles. The ball is picked up by Oren Wilson on the 37, where the Spartans take over- and they only need 32 seconds to score. For the first time since the first drive of the game, Brian Hoyer connects with Deon Curry for a touchdown pass, and Michigan State picks up the two-point conversion on a pass to Kellen Davis. With 6:04 left, the Eagles need to make something happen to protect this lead.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
6:04 remaining in the 4th quarter

DONE DEAL?

ORLANDO, Fla.- This one is pretty much over. The Spartans, facing 4th & 1 from the BC 43, went for it. Hoyer, facing pressure from Nick Larkin, backpedaled all the way back to his own 40 and was forced to throw it away. BC takes over on the Michigan State 43 with 7:17 remaining.

SUPER RICH

ORLANDO, Fla.- Rich Gunnell came up with another game-changing touchdown pass from Matt Ryan, this one being a 68-yarder to give the Eagles a 24-13 lead. Seeing as Michigan State hasn't been able to score a touchdown since the first drive of the game, the Eagles should have this one in the bag, barring a complete defensive collapse.

Michigan State 13, BC 24
9:21 remaining in 4th quarter

DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE

ORLANDO, Fla.- Big third-down stop for the Eagles to close out the third quarter: with Michigan State driving and facing 3rd & 6 from the 48, the Eagles forced a punt.

Michigan State 13, BC 17
End of 3rd quarter

AKINS PLAYS SILVA

ORLANDO, Fla.- It's too familiar for the Spartans now: first play of a drive, another pick by a member of the Eagles secondary. This time, Kevin Akins was the antagonist, picking off Hoyer and setting up BC at the 28. But another three passing plays came up empty, and the ball was out of Aponavicius' field goal range, so BC was forced to go for it on fourth down and got nothing. Michigan State takes over on the 26.

B-ROB MISSING

ORLANDO, Fla.- Boston College wide receiver Brandon Robinson has been MIA this half, raising suspicions that he's done for the night with an injury- perhaps an aggravation of the broken foot that sidelined him earlier in the season.

RYAN ROLLING

ORLANDO, Fla.- Do the Eagles finally have the passing attack going? It sure seems that way. In a drive that started at their own 20, the Eagles called seven consecutive passing plays- and capitalized on a pass interference call on Ross Weaver- to get themselves to the Michigan State 11-yard line, but they had to settle for a 28-yard Steve Aponavicius field goal. Still, for the first time all night, Matt Ryan looked like he had established an offensive rhythym, so this bodes well for BC.

Michigan State 13, BC 17
5:10 remaining in the 3rd quarter

SPARTANS STRIKE FIRST

ORLANDO, Fla.- BC needs to find a way to stay in this game without Jamie Silva- especially because the Spartans are quickly realizing that the Eagles cannot stop the run, so there's no need to go airborne anymore. After BC couldn't score on the first drive of the half, the Spartans ran all over the BC defense, accumulating 30 yards on the ground and three straight first downs. The tandem of Jehuu Caulcrick and Javon Ringer powered Michigan State into the red zone, but the Spartans couldn't get a touchdown out of a 1st & goal situation from the nine. Instead, they settled for a 23-yard Brett Swenson field goal to pull within a point.

Michigan State 13, BC 14
8:21 remaining in the 3rd quarter

HALFTIME: BC LEADS, 14 TO 10

ORLANDO, Fla.- Somehow, the Eagles came out of this half with a lead- but none of it can be attributed to their offense. BC's defense- namely, safety Jamie Silva- is keeping them in this game right now. Michigan State, despite being without two key defensive players, doesn't look like it's having any trouble making Matt Ryan uncomfortable and the pass rush is proving extremely effective.
The Eagles came out looking very confused and extremely- bored? Michigan State got a touchdown in the first two minutes on a Brian Hoyer pass to Kellen Davis, and BC was forced into a three-and-out. Matt Ryan could not find his receivers, and the offensive line wasn't holding up for him. The Eagles looked even worse in their second possession, when two consecutive penalties crushed any hopes they had of a scoring drive. But the momentum shifted when Silva recorded his first interception, which he returned the 38-yard line. But BC came up empty and had to punt- again.
The Eagles defense continued playing damage control for the offense, recovering a fumbled snap at the Michigan State 11-yard line on the next play, which finally set the Eagles up for a score: a short pass from Ryan to tight end Jon Loyte.
BC got into a groove after that, holding the Spartans scoreless on their next drive and then scoring for the second consecutive drive. This time, Ryan connected with Rich Gunnell for a 29-yard hookup with just under nine minutes remaining in the half to take a 14-7 lead.
The special teams woes for the Eagles continued later in the quarter, when a Johnny Ayers punt went just 12 yards and allowed the Spartans to take over at the Eagles' 30, but BC's defense held Michigan State to a field goal. On the Eagles' next drive, Ryan stumbled again, throwing a pick to Eric Gordon- but up popped Silva on the very next play, trading an interception for an interception. He singlehandedly saved the Eagles at least 10-maybe 14-points in the half.
Ryan finished the half with just 115 passing yards, and leading rusher Andre Callender had just 16. Rich Gunnell came up big again with 55 yards for the Eagles, while on the Spartans' side, QB Brian Hoyer had just 47 yards and two picks.
Obviously, this hasn't been an offensive battle. Neither teams' gunslingers played particularly well, and the defenses are holding down the fort for both sides. In the second half, Ryan and Callender need to get their acts together; Michigan State needs to maintain the defensive pressure they displayed in the first half. It's a close game now, and it should stay that way into the next period.

THE SILVA SHOW

ORLANDO, Fla.- Just when BC seems to have its act together, the momentum swings back to the Spartans when Eric Gordon picks off Matt Ryan on 3rd & 2 with a minute and a half left in the half. But on the next play, Silva comes up huge and registers his second pick of the game, then struts out of bounds. You wonder why the kid is an All American; he may be singlehandedly keeping BC in this right now.

Michigan State 10, BC 14
1:24 remaining in 2nd quarter

SPECIAL TEAMS WOES REAR UGLY HEAD

In a mess of a play following a BC three-and-out, normally solid Eagles punter Johnny Ayers muffs one, which sails out of bounds at the BC 30. Luckily for the Eagles, Michigan State must settle for a 37-yard field goal by Brett Swenson to pull within four.

Michigan State 10, BC 14
2:17 remaining in 2nd quarter

MAYBE BC FANS DO TRAVEL

Despite the fact that Boston College didn't sell all of their allotted tickets for the game, the Eagles' side of the stadium seems pretty packed. Maybe the BC fans are just quieter than Michigan State fans.

FLYING HIGH

ORLANDO, Fla.- BC opens the second half with a great drive, spearheaded by Ryan's passing game. With Callender getting virtually no yardage, Ryan had to resort to his receivers- and his own legs. On 2nd & 11 from the Eagles 47, Ryan rolled to his right and, facing an open field, ran for a gain of 12. Five plays later, he connected with as-of-late-superstar receiver Rich Gunnell for a 29-yard bomb of a touchdown pass to lift the Eagles to a 14-7 lead. BC is in the zone now, and the Spartans look lost.

Michigan State 7, BC 14
8:54 remaining in the 2nd quarter

SHOWING A LITTLE LIFE

ORLANDO, Fla.- All-American safety Jamie Silva provides a small spark for the Eagles when he picks off Brian Hoyer in the end zone on third & 8 from the 19-yard line. He returned it up the sideline to the 38, but the tandem of Ryan and Andre Callender got nothing on the next possession. Three-and-out, Michigan State ball again. The Eagles need to get something going on offense or this could be a long night for them and their defense.

NO FOCUS

ORLANDO, Fla.- BC continues to look sloppy: after stopping the Spartans on fourth down and taking over at their own 35, the Eagles suffer back-to-back penalties (intentional grounding on Ryan, false start on Gosder Cherilus) which leaves them with a 2nd-and-long situation at their own 26. Ayers punts it away two plays later.

Michigan State 7, BC 0
6:49 remaining in the 1st quarter

SPARTAN POWER

ORLANDO, Fla.- So much for coming out fired up: after kicker Steve Aponavicius submits a rare great kick, the Eagles' lackadaisical defense allows a 79-yard return to Devin Thomas, which sets up an 18-yard touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer to tight end Kellen Davis within the first two minutes of the game. Matt Ryan comes up empty on the Eagles' first drive and BC is forced into a three-and-out. The Spartans appear much more pumped up than BC.

Michigan State 7, Boston College 0

BATTLE OF THE FANS

ORLANDO, Fla.- As the buses made their way into the Citrus Bowl, there appeared to be about five times as many Michigan State fans present than Boston College fans. Then, during warm-ups, every time the Spartans stepped on or off the field, the crowd erupted; when the Eagles emerged later, they got booed. This could end up seeming like a Michigan State home game, which surely will not do much to dispute the notion that the Eagles don't get better bowl bids because their fans don't travel well.

Champs Sports Bowl Preview

ORLANDO, Fla.- No, the Champs Sports Bowl isn't a BCS bowl, and there may not appear to be much on the line for Boston College (11-3) or Michigan State (7-5), but there is. The Eagles boast 17 fifth-year seniors who will enter today's match-up looking to get a win out of their last college football experience; the Spartans are heading into their first postseason appearance in four years. There's no "We wish we were somewhere else" mentality at the Citrus Bowl today- both of these squads are playing to win.
The Eagles, who finished second behind Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, are favored by 4 1/2, due in large part to their bona fide superstar of a quarterback, Matt Ryan. Heralded to be the best available quarterback in the 2008 NFL Draft, Ryan has been the backbone of the Eagles offense this year, and through injuries and disappointments, he has had an unfair load of expectations resting on his shoulders- but he has handled them remarkably well, throwing for 28 touchdowns and accumulating 4,258 yards on the season. Offensively, the other major factor in the Eagles' success has been in the hands of running back Andre Callender. While Ryan is capable of lighting up the field with his passing game, the Eagles will also need to establish the running game as early and as often as possible in order to put up major points. And, for a little extra motivation, with a win today Boston College will extend the country's longest active bowl winning streak to eight.
Michigan State finished eighth in the Big 10 and won just three conference games, but the Spartans lost all five of their games by a combined 28 points. First-year coach Mark Dantonio achieved success in terms of merely getting his team to the postseason, but suspensions will doubtlessly hurt the Spartans in Orlando. One of their most significant defensive players, leading pass rusher Jonal Saint-Dic, was ruled academically ineligible for today's game, and linebacker SirDarean Adams was axed due to suspension. Not only does Michigan State have to find away to stop Matt Ryan, but now they have to do it without the guys who gave them the best shot at doing so. Still, this game figures to be a close one, and most likely an offensive battle.

December 01, 2007

Tech Goes Up

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Eddie Royal's __-yard touchdown reception from Sean Glennon - Glennon's third scoring pass of the game - has the Hokies up seven, 23-16, with 7:12 left to play in Jacksonville.

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Fifteen Minutes to Miami

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - After a scoreless 3rd quarter that saw just 91 yards of combined offense for both teams, the ACC Championship game will be decided by the final quarter with the score still tied 16-16.

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Halftime in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - It's been a back and forth half in Jacksonville, and it ends the way it started: tied up, at 16-16.

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First downs proving key

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan and BC have been moving the ball all game, but it's been a differential on third down that has kept the game close.

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Tech Ties It Up

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Another Sean Glennon touchdown, an ACC Championship game record, tied the game up heading into halftime.

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Ryan TD, but Beamerball picks up 3

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan might not be the fastest quarterback in the country, and not even the fastest on the field today, but he may be the toughest. Ryan's 16-yard touchdown scramble through several Tech defenders was his second rushing touchdown on the season.

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Tech Strikes Back

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Virginia Tech got back within three points, 10-7, thanks to a 5-yard fade from Sean Glennon to Josh Morgan, his second touchdown in an ACC Championship game.

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Finally, a field goal for BC

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Steve Aponavicius connected on his second field goal attempt from 37 yards after a 43-yard BC drive that included a scrambling play by Matt Ryan to convert a fourth down.

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Silva Steal

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - In what looked more like a basketball steal than a play on the football field, BC safety Jamie Silva stole the ball out of quarterback Tyrod Taylor's hands and returned it for a slam dunk 51-yards into the end zone.

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Beamerball Strikes Early

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan completed five of his first seven to drive BC down to the Tech 18 yard line, but BC's kicking woes continued with a blocked Steve Aponavicius kick. Beamerball struck again, with Nekos Brown blocking his second career kick.

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Orange Bowl berth at stake in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Five weeks ago, Boston College's Matt Ryan broke the hearts of Hokie Nation with two touchdowns in the final 4:11 of a rain-soaked game in Blacksburg, Va.

Fast forward to sunny Jacksonville, Fl. today and the same two teams are back for a rematch in the ACC Championship game.

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November 11, 2007

Maryland-Boston College post-game wrap

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - It was a tombstone game for the Maryland football team.

No, not one signifying the death of the Terrapins' season. Instead, the win over No. 8 Boston College means the Terps get to add another tombstone outside of their practice field, a tradition everytime Maryland beats a top-10 team.

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November 10, 2007

Final score: Maryland 42, Boston College 35

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Final score: Maryland 42, Boston College 35. Talk about a shocker.

The yellow-jacketed security guards were no match for the herd of students rushing the field to celebrate with the Terrapins.

Continue reading "Final score: Maryland 42, Boston College 35" »

BC scores; too little, too late?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Boston College has scored, to cut its deficit to 14.

But you have to wonder, with just 7:26 remaining, is there enough time for the Eagles to score twice, while stopping Maryland.

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Who are these Terps?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland, with its 4-5 record, 1-4 conference record and season-long offensive slump, has exploded.

And that is an understatement.

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Speedy turtle gives Terps bigger lead

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Da'Rel Scott, Maryland's fastest player, just took a screen pass 57 yards on the first play of the Terps' latest drive.

The Terps now lead 34-21 and are completely outclassing Boston College, from offense to defense to coaching.

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He's having a Goode game

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Jason Goode is having the best game of his life.

The senior tight end caught his second touchdown pass of the night, adding on to his career high of receptions (six and counting...).

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Eagles soar into lead

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Boston College put together its best drive of the game, which culminated in a three-yard touchdown pass.

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Upset alert at halftime

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - OK, now we're officially on an upset alert, as Maryland has taken a 20-14 lead over No. 8 Boston College into halftime.

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Ratings dud? Ha!

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Who thinks ABC was among those crying after Florida State knocked off BC last weekend? I sure do.

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What the heck is going on over here?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Apparently both defenses didn't feel like showing up for the first hour of this game.

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Not exactly a Hesiman kind of pass...

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Eagles QB Matt Ryan inexplicably threw a pass right to Maryland defensive lineman Dre Moore deep inside Boston College territory.

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All squared

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland's defense held Boston College, but a roughing the punter penalty gave the Eagles a second chance.

And Heisman hopeful Matt Ryan took advantage - Ryan needed just five plays to get the Eagles on the board.

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Terps strike first

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - No one saw this coming. Maryland just drove 76 yards in 2:10 to take a 7-0 lead on No. 8 Boston College

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An ominous sign

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Uh oh.

If there were ever a foreshadowing incident, it just happened during the pre-game introductions.

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If only BC hadn't lost last week...

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Greetings from Byrd Stadium, on the campus of the University of Maryland. We're about 60 minutes away from kickoff between the No. 8-ranked Boston College Eagles (8-1, 4-1 ACC) and Maryland Terrapins (4-5, 1-4).

It's too bad BC lost last week or else it'd likely be No. 1 with a victory here tonight, given Ohio State's loss today. All that would have done is add to the Boston-area's stranglehold on the professional sporting world as we know it.

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November 04, 2007

Dashed hopes for BC, big win for FSU

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - For 59 minutes, Chestnut Hill felt like Blacksburg. Boston College was down ten and the ball was in Matt Ryan's hands.

First, a one yard touchdown to Ryan Purvis. Then, Ryan took control of the offense at the BC seven-yard line, the rain-soaked fans in Alumni Stadium almost assuming their quarterback would pull out a victory like he had done against Virginia Tech.

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November 03, 2007

BC not saying die

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - If Matt Ryan is starting his comeback again this week, he's doing a bit early. Ryan connected with Ryan Purvis on a 1-yard touchdown after a 48-yard pass to Rich Gunnell put BC at the 6-yard line.

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Bowden goes big

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - So much for playing it safe. With a three point lead, Bobby Bowden let Drew Weatherford loose, and two plays later his quarterback repaid him with a 42-yard touchdown to Da'Cody Fagg.

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Back within three

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - A 38-yard pass from Matt Ryan to Brandon Robinson set up BC at the 6-yard line, but the Eagles could only get a field goal out on their third trip to the red zone.

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Getting tougher for BC

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Gary Cismesia turned excellent field position into a 6-point Seminole lead with a 30-yard field goal. A BC punt from the goal line put FSU on the 40-yard line, and Cismesia converted after a short drive.

Another Missed Field Goal

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - We've had four field goal attempts and three misses, the latest a 47-yarder wide left again off the foot of FSU's Gary Cismesia.

The kickers appear to be the one's most affected by today's wet and windy weather, as the gusts continue to play with the ball. They also might be this game's most important players, as it looks like neither offense is ready to take over this game.

Matty Ice strikes back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Note to BC opponents: don't go up 10-0 on the Eagles.

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Another Ryan INT

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Maybe Matt Ryan is waiting more late-game heroics, but he hasn't done much to justify his Heisman trophy candidacy or BC's No. 2 ranking, throwing his second pick of the game, this one to FSU's Tony Carter.

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Nothing pretty in Boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - For the second time in two weeks, Boston College will have to overcome a scoreless first half to keep its No. 2 ranking.

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FSU on top

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The BC defense was the first to crack, and Drew Weatherford took advantage.

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And Now...Wide Right

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Minutes after Florida State missed a field goal wide left, BC's Steve Aponavicius returned the favor, mirroring FSU's miss by hitting a 32-yarder wide right.

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Wide Left

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The Seminoles had a chance to go up on No. 2 Boston College, but their history of errant field goal attempt.

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Sloppy start in Boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The weather is already getting to both teams in Boston - even the Heisman trophy candidate.

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Wet and Wild

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Last week, Matt Ryan led Boston College to a stunning rain-soaked win in Blacksburg. This week, he'll need to fight through more heavy rain, high winds, and temps dropping into the 30s if he hopes to keep No. 2 BC's ACC and national championship hopes alive against Florida State.

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October 27, 2007

Cavaliers Bow Out to Bowens

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia has been finding ways to win all season. For seven straight games the Cavaliers somehow pulled out one game after another with an NCAA-best five wins of six points or fewer.

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Sewell Out

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jameel Sewell was knocked out at least temporarily and Peter Lalich was forced to take over at quarterback for Virginia. The Cavaliers trail by five and N.C. State has the ball with 6:42 remaining.

Bowens, Bowens, Gone

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Donald Bowens is having the game of his life after bringing in his second long touchdown of the game. Bowens went up and got a 30-yard bomb from Daniel Evans to wing the lead back to the Wolfpack with 7:37 remaining. Bowens, a sophomore, had the best game of his career last week with five catches for 93 yards against East Carolina. Well, he's nearly doubled that. Bowens now has 10 catches for 174 yards and two scores and is the reason the Wolfpack might pull off this upset.

All is Forgiven

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Ras-I Dowling atoned for his lone mistake of the game with a crucial interception. Dowling, who has tied a school record with five pass breakups, was the man who jumped offsides to negate a fumble recovery on a recent kickoff. But with N.C. State driving into Virginia territory, Dowling jumped the route and picked off Daniel Evans at the 15.

That Was the Kicker?

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Hey Donald Bowens, you just got ... JACKED UP! By the kicker! Chris Gould leveled Bowens with a crunching hit on the kickoff, that flattened Bowens and sent the ball flying out of bounds. The Wolfpack caught a break as that was their second return. They coughed up the first, but Virginia was offsides on the kick and the fumble was negated. And just as ESPNU showed a recap of all the Virginia close victories, the Wolfpack are on the move.

Cashing In

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia finally took advantage of its excellent field position and took its first lead of the game with 13:12 remaining. But the drive was buoyed by a gutsy 4th-and-1 call by Al Groh. Instead of settling for a 33-yard field goal and slicing the Wolfpack lead in half, Groh decided to go for it. Out of the shotgun, Jameel Sewell faked a hand-off right and dashed to the opposite sideline for an 11-yard gain and a new set of downs. Mikell Simpson fought into the end zone from five yards out for the go-ahead touchdown on the very next play. Can the Cardiac Cavs hang on for their fourth consecutive fourth-quarter comeback victory?

Close Call

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Punt returner Darrell Blackman just nearly got burned on one of the most colossal brain-lock plays you'll see. Blackman ranged back to about the 2 to field a punt and then muffed it into the end zone. He barely broke the goal line to escape the safety but fumbled on his way down. Fortunately for the Wolfpack, they were able to recover on their own 2. Daniel Evans was able to move State out from the goal line with yet another completion to Donald Bowens. There's been an offensive stalemate for most of the quarter, but Virginia owns the field position battle. It might be only a matter of time before the Cavaliers break through.

Turf Toe

RALEIGH, N.C. -- So much for a home-field advantage. N.C. State halfback Jamelle Eugene was in the clear for a 39-yard touchdown run when he tripped himself and fell to the 2. With the lines stack on a third-and-short, Eugene crashed into the line, bounced it outside and picked up a downfield block for what seemed an easy touchdown. But the stumble proved costly as a false start and a couple incompletions later, the Wolfpack were forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal and a six-point lead.

Scoring Barrage Closes the Half

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Where did this come from? After both teams seemed to apply a gameplan of churning out long, pounding scoring marches N.C. State and Virginia put their offenses into hyper-drive to finish the half. The teams combined to score three touchdowns in the final 3:04 as both teams ran the 2-minute drill to perfection.

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Anything You Can Do

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Daniel Evans is starting to emerge as a solid quarterback option for N.C. State. The junior just guided the Wolfpack 75 yards in just 1:33 to emphatically respond to the Virginia touchdown drive. Evans looked poised and calm and had little trouble finding his receivers. The big play was another deep ball to Donald Bowens, setting up a 25-yard touchdown reception by Koyal George.

Can You Dig It

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia simplified its offense and Jameel Sewell has the Cavaliers moving. The quarterback orchestrated an efficient 6-play, 62-yard scoring drive to get the Cavaliers back into it. After his second interception led to an N.C. State field goal, Sewell calmly dinked-and-dunked Virginia down the field, scoring the touchdown on a shovel pass to tailback Mikell Simpson from 12 yards out. With the touchdown, Virginia pulls to within three with under three minutes to go in the half.

Sewell Flustered

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jameel Sewell has yet to find his rhythm under center for Virginia. The quarterback has fumbled two snaps and has now thrown two costly interceptions. The first led to North Carolina State's lone touchdown. The most recent one took points off the board for Virginia as they were well within field goal range when he threw the pick. If Sewell doesn't settle, then the Wolfpack can key in on the run game.

New Favorite

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Donald Bowens is listed fourth on the North Carolina State depth chart among receivers, but he's quickly becoming Daniel Evans' primary target. The Wolfpack just completed a 13 play scoring drive (resulting in a field goal) in which three of the four completions went to Bowens. Another two incompletions were in his direction. And oh yeah, Bowens snared the 40-yard bomb to open the scoring.

End of 1

RALEIGH, NC. -- It's been a grinding first 15 minutes. Virginia played the first quarter very conservatively -- refusing to look downfield after an early interception. N.C. State has taken its shots but Daniel Evans has been unable to feel comfortable in the pocket as the Virginia pass rush has put pressure on him throughout. But Evans has held his own and has the Wolfpack driving in Virginia territory.

Virginia on the Board

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia responded to North Carolina State's touchdown with a pounding 14-play, 71-yard scoring drive that chewed up 5:47 off the clock. The drive didn't include receivers at all -- every play was either a run or a pass to a back or tight end. But the march stalled at the 6 and the Cavaliers were forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal. Wolfpack lead, 7-3.

Quick Strike

RALEIGH, N.C. -- There was a quick role reversal as N.C. State used a turnover to jump to a 7-0 lead over Virginia in just 2:30. Cavalier quarterback Jameel Sewell, who fumbled on the first play of the game, threw a terrible interception into triple coverage to set up the Wolfpack in Virginia territory. Three plays later Daniel Evans found Donald Bowens deep down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown.

Where Is Everybody

RALEIGH, N.C. -- For whatever the reason (possibly the rain?) the playing field is colorless. The logo in the middle and writing in the end zone -- normally red and white -- are completely devoid of color. As kickoff approaches the stands are nearly as bad. Fans are still trickling in, but there are empty seats everywhere. And this is Homecoming weekend in Raleigh.

Pack Set to Host Cavs

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October 26, 2007

Boston College Avoids Jinx of BCS #2, Wins 14-10

BLACKSBURG, Va – For 56 minutes of the game between Boston College and Virginia Tech Matt Ryan looked less than Heisman worthy.  But with 4:16 on the game clock and his team down 10 points he engineered two touchdown drives to steal a victory from the Hokies in Lane Stadium.

“Wow! How about that guys?” said Eagles coach Jeff Jagodzinski of the victory. “It was something else. Probably the best win I’ve ever been around.”

Tech took the lead in the second quarter on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Sean Glennon to Eddie Royal.  The Hokies added a field goal in the third to stretch the lead to 10.

The game looked all but locked up in the fourth quarter when Tech’s D.J. Parker picked off Ryan with six minutes left to play.  But the Eagles would not go away and on their next possession Ryan drove his team 92 yards for the score.

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October 25, 2007

Ryan Wills BC Past Hokies in Final Seconds

BLACKSBURG, Va - Down two scores with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Boston College’s Matt Ryan picked the right time to start playing like a Heisman candidate.  First he engineered a two minute, 92-yard touchdown drive to bring the Eagles to within three points. BC recovered an onsides kick attempt and Ryan went back to work.  Like clockwork he continuously put the ball in his receivers’ hands for first downs, punctuating the game with a third down touchdown pass to Andre Callender with just eleven seconds on the clock.

Final Score: Boston College 14, Virginia Tech 10

More on this game after the post-game press conference.

Penalty Leads To Another Hokie Score

BLACKSBURG, Va – A questionable pass interference call at the five-yard-line negated an interception by Boston College’s Jamie Silva. Both he and Virginia Tech’s Josh Morgan battled on the ground while the ball was in flight, but it was unclear who initiated the contact.

Tech capitalized on the play by moving into field goal range and trusting Jud Dunlevy’s leg to a 44-yard field goal.  The kick was true and the Hokies go up by a score of 10 to 0.

Scoring Drive: 5 plays, 55 yds, 44yd FG, TOP 3:14

Puntfest 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va – The first half offensive struggles for Boston College continue into the second as the Eagles turn the ball over on their opening possession. Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers dove in front of a Matt Ryan pass, intercepting the ball at the BC 42-yard line.

Tech could not capitalize on the opportunity and went three and out on its next possession. From there neither team has been able to mount much offense.  It’s been a battle of field position all night with both sides accounting for 14 punts so far.

On a side note, the rains have subsided considerably to a light mist.  The field itself appears to be in good shape.

Fumbled Snap  Leads To Missed Opportunity

BLACKSBURG, Va – Boston College squandered a fumble recovery in Tech territory by attempting to go for it on fourth and 15.  Coach Jeff Jagodzinski rolled the dice and came up short as the Tech defenders burst through the line, forcing Matt Ryan to throw the ball away.  Had the Eagles elected to kick, Steve Aponavicius would have been called on to kick a 41-yard field goal.  His career long is 45 yards.

The Hokies go into the half leading by a score of 7 to 0.  This snaps a 53-game steak for Boston College of scoring in the first half.

Halfitme Stats
Passing

  • VT – Glennon: 7-12, 66 yds, TD
  • BC – Ryan: 9-21, 54 yds

Rushing

  • VT – Ore: 9 att, 58 yds
  • BC – Whitworth: 3 att, 18 yds

Receptions

  • VT – Royal: 2, 29 yds, TD
  • BC – Loyte: 2, 8 yds

Hokies Strike First

BLACKSBURG, Va –   Just when it looked like Virginia Tech’s offensive line issues were settled, lineman Ryan Shuman went down in the second quarter with a leg injury.  On the very next play quarterback Sean Glennon was sacked while attempting to hand the ball off.

Instead of folding under the pressure, Glennon responded by connecting with former Westfield High School teammate Eddie Royal for an eight yard touchdown.  Royal dragged a foot as he stretched his body over the left sideline to make the catch.  Officials conferred before signaling the score.  Replay did not provide enough evidence to overturn the call.

The Hokies are 120-29-1 under Frank Beamer when scoring first.

Scoring Drive: 16 plays, 91 yards, TOP 7:13
VT 7
BC 0

Noise Not A Factor?

BLACKSBURG, Va – Boston College Coach Jeff Jagodzinski claimed that the noise would not be a factor in tonight’s game.  Still, the Eagles were forced to burn a timeout on its first possession to avoid a delay of game penalty.

Despite torrential rain, the stands look about 95% full.  Nearly everyone in the stands is sporting some sort of wet weather gear with the majority of them in bright orange.

Neither team has been able to get much going to far with Virginia Tech punting twice and Boston College nearly having passes intercepted on both of it’s drives.

Continue reading "Noise Not A Factor?" »

Glennon Starts For The Hokies Amidst Downpour

BLACKSBURG, Va - The rains are still coming down as both teams take the field.  Virginia Tech doesn’t think that field conditions will be an issue tonight.  Worsham Field consists of 4,600 4x4 foot trays sodded with Bermuda grass above an asphalt surface.  Irrigation lines and a vacuum surface beneath the field can shuttle away up to 16 inches of water per hour.  The system has been proven in worse conditions, holding up well in the 2003 matchup against Texas A&M during Hurricane Isabel.

Redshirt-junior quarterback Sean Glennon led the Hokies’ first drive of the game, filling in for the injured freshman Tyrod Taylor.  Tech gained fouryards before going three and out.

Glennon started all of 2006 for the Hokies and was the starter at the beginning of this season before being pulled in week two against LSU.

In limited action this season Glennon has completed 48 of 76 passes for 583 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

BCS Battle in Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG, Va – The Hokies play host to the Eagles tonight in a waterlogged Lane Stadium.  The rains have been coming down for the past 24 hours and it doesn’t look like things will dry up any time soon.

Boston College (7-0, 3-0 ACC) comes in ranked no. 2 in the BCS while Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0 ACC) sits at no. 8.

Traditionally, the Hokies have owned Thursday night games on ESPN, racking up 13 wins in 15 appearances. Boston College accounts for the two losses, including last year’s 3-22 debacle in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Virginia Tech leads the series all-time with nine victories in 13 games.

Continue reading "BCS Battle in Blacksburg" »

October 13, 2007

Five straight over ND...now, is BC legit?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Head coach Jeff Jagodzinski had just watched his team win its fifth straight game against Notre Dame and its seventh this season. But apparently no one wanted to talk about his Boston College Eagles.

"How about some questions about our guys?" Jagodzinski said, after answering five straight questions about Notre Dame players. "Our guys played pretty good tonight."

Continue reading "Five straight over ND...now, is BC legit?" »

Touchdown, then not, for Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Having a first down and a fourth-down touchdown called back on back-to-back plays is never easy. But for Notre Dame it may have ended any chance of upsetting No. 4 BC.

Continue reading "Touchdown, then not, for Notre Dame" »

I-90 Awash in Maroon and Gold

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Boston College fans, far from fanatics, are notorious for showing up late in the first quarter, if at all, for never traveling to bowl games, and for general lethargy when it comes to putting effort into supporting its perennially successful athletic program.

But if there's one game you can guarantee every Boston Irish Catholic is willing to get up for, its Notre Dame.

Continue reading "I-90 Awash in Maroon and Gold" »

Irish holding on to hope

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Some silly BC penalties and a big fourth-down conversion have Notre Dame within reach of BC, despite a 13-point deficit. Evan Sharpley has looked solid aside from several dropped passes, and now has ND threatening.

Gamecocks Hold On

Continue reading "Gamecocks Hold On" »

Another Missed Opportunity

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- UNC just dropped another touchdown. This time the culprit was Greg Little, on a crucial fourth down from the South Carolina 11. T.J. Yates lofted a lovely touch pass to the corner but Little was too late finding the ball over his shoulder and couldn't reel in the catch. UNC has now dropped two balls that could've been touchdowns. Inexcusable for a team looking for an upset.

Maybe Too Much

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Offensive coordinator John Shoop turned away from the Yates-to-Nicks tandem to once again reach into his bag of tricks, and this time he got burned. On the USC 25, Yates took the snap and flipped to Joe Dailey, the one time quarterback at Nebraska. Dailey promptly threw a pick to Emanuel Cook who returned it to midfield. Of course, Chris Smelley turned around and threw an interception of his own and UNC is now back in the red zone. Seemingly every play now warrants an update. Halfway through the fourth, and UNC is threatening to draw within a score.

More breathing room...for now

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Matt Ryan connected on three passes, including a heave while being decked that barely fell into the arms of Kevin Challenger, who snuck in to put BC up 27-14.

Continue reading "More breathing room...for now" »

Showing Some Guts

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- With fourth and two on their own 36, the Tar Heels showed little hesitation in going for it and keeping the pressure on the Gamecocks. Coach Butch Davis' gamble paid off, with T.J. Yates hooking up with Hakim Nicks for a 27-yard gain -- UNC's longest play from scrimmage all game. North Carolina now deep in USC territory. The Ole Ball Coach might be getting nervous.

No. 4 in Trouble

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Three minutes ago, Boston College looked like it would be the sixth team this season to hang a lopsided loss on Notre Dame. But with 8:52 left, an interception returned for a touchdown has the Irish right back in it.

Continue reading "No. 4 in Trouble" »

Sharpley in, ND gets in end zone

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - One Jimmy Clausen second-half pass was enough for Charlie Weis. The coach put in backup Evan Sharpley and all of a struggling Notre Dame offense was downright efficient on a 64-yard drive, ending in a 19-yard pass to Asaph Schwapp.

Continue reading "Sharpley in, ND gets in end zone" »

Hold Off The Celebration

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Just when it appeared that South Carolina was going to cuirse along to a 21-3 victory, the Tar Heels showed they're going to make the Gamecocks earn it. In spite of a sprained ankle, Hakim Nicks returned to the game and made a catch on his first play back. But it was Greg Little who found the end zone in the first minute of the final quarter. On third and 10, Little caught a short pass over the middle, made one man miss and then dragged another Gamecock as he dove into the end zone. But the Tar Heels botched the snap on the PAT, so USC now leads 21-9. Three-and-out for South Carolina (including two sacks and a delay of game penalty). Student section going bonkers. Don't switch to the other USC game just yet...

Callender for Heisman?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - There was some enthusiasm in Notre Dame Stadium as the second half began. A BC three-and-out. A poor punt. All the Irish needed now in this battle of Catholic colleges was an offensive resurrection and maybe an upset of No. 4 BC would not be out of the question.

One tipped pass later, and that hope is fading.

Continue reading "Callender for Heisman?" »

Coming Out of the Half

Continue reading "Coming Out of the Half" »

No Surprises in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - After BC linebacker Jolonn Dunbar leveled a sliding Jimmy Clausen, Charlie Weis was livid. "How could there not be a penalty on a hit like that? What play was the ref watching?"

Sadly for Weis, those aren't the only questions he needs answered after a first half that saw his team held to just 79 yards and fall down 13-0.

Continue reading "No Surprises in South Bend" »

USC 21, UNC 3

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Just when it appeared the defenses were settling in, South Carolina drove for a touchdown to give the Gamecocks a 21-3 advantage as the game heads into halftime. Punt returner Captain Munnerlyn evaded a couple tackles and sped to the outside to break off a 38-yard return to put USC in Tar Heel territory. USC made the drive interesting, converting a fourth-and-inches by just the nose of the ball, but Chris Smelley threw his third touchdown of the half. With the Gamecock defense holding strong, it might be an insurmountable halftime lead for the seventh-ranked team.

Knee Leads to TD

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It started with a knee, and it ended with an inch.

Those were the odd bookends to BC's latest touchdown drive, putting the Eagles on top of Notre Dame 13-0.

Continue reading "Knee Leads to TD" »

Kicking Woes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - One of the biggest wins in BC history - not to mention the biggest losses in Irish history - came on the foot of BC kicker David Gordon when he knocked through last-second field goal to knock of No. 1 Notre Dame in 1993.

But the kicking game isn't working quite as well for the Eagles today.

Continue reading "Kicking Woes" »

O-Line U Coming Back

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Matt Ryan is the star, the running backs have piled up huge numbers so far, and the defense has given up almost nothing.

The unsung heroes thus far have been the five guys up front for the BC offense. Matt Ryan has rarely had a Notre Dame defender within two yards of him, and the holes in the running game have been gaping.

Continue reading "O-Line U Coming Back" »

Off the Finger Tips

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- No sooner do I say the Tar Heels let an opportunity slip through their fingers does wide receiver Brandon Tate drop a potential touchdown. Tate, whose blazing speed makes him a game-breaker mainly on special teams, split the USC secondary and was wide open, but couldn't reel in a deep bomb from T.J. Yates. The Tar Heels were forced to punt, but they kept the pressure on USC, falling on a fumble in their red zone. But the Tar Heels were unable to capitalize, first committing a holding penalty and then throwing a gift-wrapped interception to safety Darian Stewart on third down. UNC needed to come away with points to cut into the 11-point deficit, instead the Gamecocks now have the momentum.

Signs of Life from Tar Heel Defense

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Just when it looked like the Tar Heels had no answers for the Gamecock attack, the defense came though with a big stop. With USC marching into Tar Heel territory, freshman tackle Marvin Austin burst through the line, forcing Chris Smelley into an intentional grounding penalty. On the next play, defensive end E.J. Wilson jumped the screen but dropped a gimme INT that wwould've left him with nothing but open field ahead. A golden opportunity literally slips through the Tar Heels' fingers.

The Stats Lie

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Take a quick glance at the stat sheet and they wouldn't neccessarily bear out a 14-0 South Carolina advantage after one quarter. UNC holds a 7-6 advantage on first downs and also held the ball more than twice as long as the Gamecocks, possessing the ball for 10:18. The Gamecocks are by reputation a quick-starting team, but their defense might start wearing down if these early trends continue.

Record Snapped

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Senior placekicker Connor Barth just missed wide left on a 49-yard field goal attempt, ending a school-record streak of 19 straight made field goals. Barth hadn't missed since the 2005 season.

Continue reading "Record Snapped" »

Quick start for BC

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - BC fans worried about a letdown for the No. 4 ranked Eagles got some early relief in the form of a 52-yard run and a quick 6-0 start.

Continue reading "Quick start for BC" »

A Sign of Things To Come?

It was an inauspicious start for North Carolina as its first two plays went for negative yards and was greeted each time with an uproar of applause. The Tar Heel defense did manage to match with a 3-and-out of its own. The home crowd responded with its own defeaning cheers, maybe galvanized to match the Gamecock supporters. There seems little doubt both crowds will make their presence felt throughout. The real question is now, when will the Tar Heels manage an offensive play for positive yards? So far they're 0 for 6.

Revenge in South Bend?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - In 1993, a last-second Boston College field goal ended then-No. 1 Notre Dame's undefeated season. In 2002, BC came into Notre Dame stadium against yet another undefeated Irish squad, then ranked No. 4, and handed the Irish a 14-7 loss.

But in 2007, it's Boston College that is ranked No. 4, is undefeated, and comes into South Bend as 12 point favorites.

It goes without saying that the Irish would love to return the favor today that the Eagles have handed them so many times in the past.

Continue reading "Revenge in South Bend?" »

Border Rivalry Revived

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- As North Carolina and South Carolina renew a border rivalry that had laid dormant for 16 years one of the large questions that looms is just how significant a home-field advantage the Tar Heels will hold. UNC (2-4) will need every edge possible if it hopes to spring an upset on the seventh-ranked Gamecocks (5-1) but it remains to be seen how friendly the Kenan Stadium crowd will be today.

Continue reading "Border Rivalry Revived" »

September 29, 2007

Down goes Bama

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The cheers rained down from one side of the stadium as the other was sprinkled in crimson and teal specks. After Florida State recovered an onside kick with 59 seconds remaining ensuring its victory, the Seminoles fans screamed in unison, “Bobby Bowden”.

Continue reading "Down goes Bama" »

...And Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It's almost certain that when Greg Schiano took over this Rutgers program, he envisioned it one day being talked about amongst the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

He may have even wanted it in the worst way...and on Saturday afternoon, that's exactly how he got it.

Continue reading "...And Rutgers" »

Seminoles strike

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, it's always about the turnovers.

Continue reading "Seminoles strike" »

Fourth quarter program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, Nick Saban always talks about his fourth quarter conditioning program.

Continue reading "Fourth quarter program" »

Cheer The Turtle: Maryland Takes Down Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. You know that scene in Animal House where Bluto stands up and gives the impassioned speech about how it's not over until they decide it is (including the immortal question about whether it was "over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?").

I definitely have visions of it on a Saturday like this one.

West Virginia, dead.
Oklahoma, dead.
Texas, dead.
Rutgers...

OK, well, they're not dead, of course, but their hopes of an undefeated season are. The part of that that happened at Rutgers Stadium was a 34-24 win by Maryland over the No. 10 Scarlet Knights.

Continue reading "Cheer The Turtle: Maryland Takes Down Rutgers" »

A Prince Hall sighting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - He has been in Nick Saban's doghouse all season,

Continue reading "A Prince Hall sighting" »

Let's Go, Chop Chop

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It comes down to this.

Lattimore is stopped for no gain on fourth and a yard, and Rutgers takes over at its own 25 (thanks to unsportsmanlike conduct after the play), with 2:34 to score and win or tie.

Looks like we're in for quite a finish at Rutgers Stadium.

Finally, a touchdown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, we have an offensive sighting, finally.

Continue reading "Finally, a touchdown" »

Yeesh

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - What a half.

Continue reading "Yeesh" »

One Stop, One Score

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - 4:41 and three points stand between Rutgers and the likes of Oklahoma, West Virginia and - in all likelihood, Texas.

A one-yard Ray Rice touchdown run has the Scarlet Knights within 3 at 27-24.

Continue reading "One Stop, One Score" »

Turn, Turn, Turn

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Chris Turner has come up huge today for the Terrapins with Jordan Steffy down.

A huge completion to LaQuan Williams on third and 12 put Maryland on the Rutgers 2, and Keon Lattimore all but walked into the end zone from there.

Maryland 27, Rutgers 17.

Continue reading "Turn, Turn, Turn" »

Triple-Wide

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Egekeze misses again, from 37 yards, and Rutgers will start from the 20.

If the Scarlet Knights can come back again in this fourth quarter and win this game, the kicking game will certainly be a major topic of conversation around College Park.

In the meantime, it's still Maryland 20, Rutgers 17.

More Trouble For Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Mike Teel threw his first interception of the day, and the Terrapins are driving once again.

Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights are without junior safety Glen Lee, who was injured on a third down play.

It's going to be a long afternoon, folks...as it has been around the country.

Happy Feet

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Maryland retakes the lead on a 37-yard field goal by Egekeze, as the junior seems to have shaken off his two missed kicks from the first half.

Continue reading "Happy Feet" »

Getting His Kick(s)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Obi Egekeze has gotten the monkey off his back.

While some might have expected Ralphi Friedgen to treat the red zone as four-down territory after Egekeze's two missed field goals in the first half - one of which, admittedly, was a 51-yarder - the junior from Augusta, Ga., connected on a 26-yard field goal to tie this game up at 17.

Continue reading "Getting His Kick(s)" »

QB controversy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, fourth times a charm for the Seminoles.

Continue reading "QB controversy" »

Offensive futility

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Well, Jimbo Fisher was one of Nick Saban's first choices to join his staff as offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Continue reading "Offensive futility" »

How Quickly Things Change

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - And here I was thinking my halftime comments would be about Rutgers' hopes for a comeback.

Not that he knows I'm here, or knows I exist, but I'll bet Ralph Friedgen was thinking something similar.

Continue reading "How Quickly Things Change" »

Giving "Two-Minute Drill" A New Meaning

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - So apparently, it was a two minute drill after all...for the whole team.

After a three-and-out by the Rutgers defense, Teel and company come back out on the field and go 69 yards in three plays, run in a mere 23 seconds, and a Teel-to-Underwood touchdown pass has Rutgers up 17-14.

It's halftime in Piscataway, and we've got a halftime update coming up.

Momentum Swing

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - How about a one-minute drill?

The Terrapins are still up, but the mood has definitely turned.

After the second missed field goal of the day by Obi Egekeze, Mike Teel directs the Rutgers offense in a beautiful execution of the two-minute drill, culminating in a 20-yard pass to Tim Brown for the touchdown.

Maryland 14, Rutgers 10.

Continue reading "Momentum Swing" »

Slipping Through Their Fingers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Two fumbles in short succession have the Scarlet Knights in trouble.

The first one cost the Scarlet Knights seven points already, as on third and 8, Jordan Steffy finds Darrius Hayward-Bey for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and it's now 14-3 Maryland.

Then after, Mike Teel found Kenny Britt for a 24-yard pass to put the Scarlet Knights at midfield, Ray Rice fumbled on the next play and the Terrapins are driving again.

Continue reading "Slipping Through Their Fingers" »

Watch Out

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - If the unexpected winds up happening at Rutgers Stadium, this will have been one of the warning signs.

Continue reading "Watch Out" »

Ball-In'

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - We have a "Ball game" on our hands, ladies and gentlemen.

Senior Lance Ball runs 19 yards into the end zone, and Maryland is up 7-3 with 13:02 left in the first half.

Continue reading "Ball-In'" »

No-Fear Turtles

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - You can say this about Maryland thus far. They've come to New Jersey without a hint of fear.

However, no fear means no points, thus far.

Continue reading "No-Fear Turtles" »

Welcome to the River City

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Supposedly Jacksonville is the River City.

Continue reading "Welcome to the River City" »

Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing...For Now

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Keon Lattimore has shown himself to be more than capable of holding his own next to Rice, with some big runs on Maryland's first drive, but so far, it's all for naught.

Continue reading "Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing...For Now" »

A Fair Beginning

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - A pass interference call put Rutgers in the red zone - although really, the whole stadiuum is a "Red Zone" - but a key run-stuffing of Rice on first down threw off the Scarlet Knights' scoring drive, and Rutgers winds up settling for a 29-yard Jeremy Ito field goal.

It's a 10-play drive for 68 yards, taking 4:03 off the clock. A solid start for the home team.

Dodging the Bullet

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - So much for relying on Rice early.

Continue reading "Dodging the Bullet" »

R U Ready

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Good afternoon from Rutgers Stadium, where the No. 10 Scarlet Knights are getting ready to kick off against Maryland. The Scarlet Knights are looking for a 4-0 start heading into next week's Big East opener against Cincinnati, while the Terrapins are looking to shake off last week's collapse against reigning ACC champion Wake Forest.

A few thoughts as we get ready to go here in Piscataway...

Continue reading "R U Ready" »

September 21, 2007

'Canes throttle Aggies 34-17

MIAMI - A couple of late scores couldn't pull Dennis Franchione's Texas A&M Aggies out of the hole they dug themselves in the first half, falling to a resurgent Miami Hurricanes 34-17.

An offensive explosion, uncharacteristic of the 'Canes (3-1), helped them control the game, as A&M (3-1) never really got out of the gate, falling behind 24-0 at the half.

"That was a big victory for us," said Miami Head Coach Randy Shannon. "It was an opportunity to bounce back from earlier this season and play a good opponent in Texas A&M."

The Aggies, known as an offensive team, were outgained 402-240 in total yards, and most of that came late in the second half. A&M had only 38 yards of offense at the half.

"Kyle did a good job giving us the best opportunity to win, but it was a team effort," Shannon said.

The lack of performance by the Aggies was exacerbated by the sparkling performance of Miami's offense, that 420 yard output falling just short of the season high, 429 against Florida International.

Ultimately, the stats tell the story, the story of a game that many thought to be a blowout, but not in the way it wound up going. Miami gets the signature win they've been waiting two years for, and Texas A&M gets more questions about exactly what kind of program they are.

"We just got beat," said Franchione. "Got beat by a better team."

PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Kyle Wright - It'll be a new feeling for Wright, receiving accolades rather than criticism. But going 21-of-26 for 275 yards and two touchdowns will usually lead to a victory. His passes were sharp, and while some of his deep balls were underthrown, they connected, and it led the team to victory. Normally I would be harsh on the fumble caused by Wright's careless ballhandling, but the guy had a pretty good day, so I'll lay off...this time.

PLAY OF THE GAME:
The fumbled kickoff return by Cody Wallace near the end of the first half. A squib kick by Miami, just trying to kill the clock, the offensive lineman returned the kick, and promptly coughed it up. While it only led to a Francesco Zampogna field goal, it was totally representative of A&M's ineptitude.

NEXT UP:

Miami (3-1) gets nine days off before hosting Duke (1-2), who just won their first game in over two years last weekend over Northwestern. Likely not heavy lifting, their first conference win if everything goes as planned.

Texas A&M (3-1) will welcome Baylor (2-1) to Kyle Field next Saturday, looking to improve their record and start their conference schedule on the right foot.

September 20, 2007

Off to the field...

MIAMI - I'm heading downstairs to gather quotes for the final recap, so stick around...I'll be right back!

Shameful playcalling by Franchione

MIAMI - Texas A&M is on the board, the score now 31-3. Yeah, they kicked a field goal down 31-0. How could Dennis Franchione make that play call? In the words of Herm Edwards, you play to win the game.

That move makes no one happy. 'Canes fans are upset because they wanted the shutout. Aggie fans are upset because their coach wussed out and cut the lead from 31 to 28. Franchione isn't doing anything to cool his seat off; in fact, he's just throwing gasoline on the fire.

Heading for the exits...

MIAMI - The rout has been on for a while now, but that last touchdown pass from Kyle Wright to Chris Zellner sealed it for a lot of A&M fans. That section of the stadium, opposite the student section, has emptied very quickly in the last five minutes.

They might have left for A&M's lone highlight; Aggies inside the five.

An interesting sight

MIAMI - I must admit that I took a short trip away from my computer just now, venturing down into the sea of humanity that is the student section.

I've been down there in that crowd before. I've cheered and stomped my feet as loud as anyone. But I must say that the section is crazier than I've ever seen it. It's like Mardi Gras down there. The fans are finally being rewarded with entertaining play.

Trust me, you can't begin to pick up the energy that is being admitted from that corner of the stadium. I thought I knew what it would be like; I had no Idea.

One wheel falls off...Two wheels fall off

MIAMI - The only accurate description for the mood at the Orange Bowl tonight is shock and elation. No one can remember when Miami has put up such a dominating performance. A shut-out of a great offense throughout the first half, a great aerial attack for the 'Canes, and turnover after turnover after turnover. Certainly not what I expected when I walked into the OB tonight.

All you need to know about this game:

TOTAL YARDS: Miami 190-Texas A&M 39

It's pretty clear-cut what both teams have to do for the second half. For A&M, they just have to stop screwing up. No more fumbles; it's not raining here yet. Try to get something going through the air. Stop Miami's offense.

For the 'Canes, just look at the first-half tape, and do that again. Save it, and watch it next week. And every week for the rest of the season. This is the kind of team Miami fans have been waiting for since a crushing loss at home against Georgia Tech in 2005. They look impeccable.

A passing game? What's that?

MIAMI - A three-yard run by Javarris James capped another impressive drive for the Hurricanes, with Kyle Wright going downfield, hitting Sam Shields for a 53-yard completion.

Miami has looked more solid tonight than they have all seasn, including games against Marshall and Florida International. Still plenty of time for both teams, but A&M will want to make something happen on this drive, and stop stalling on the UM 40-yard line. Field goals are awfully long from that point.

UPDATE 8:50

...and they make something happen by thorwing in interception to Colin McCarthy. Not the right direction, fellas.

Miami draws first blood

MIAMI - An 18 play, 80 yards, 8:51 drive, capped off by a 7-yard direct snap run to Graig Cooper. The concensus in the press box? The best drive the 'Canes have had in years. That was a drive highlighted by big plays made by Kyle Wright. The run was pretty well wrapped up by A&M, Wright just made the plays when they were needed.

Questionable attendance

MIAMI - It's a little bit odd, the stadium is a lot more empty at this point (less than 10 minutes before kickoff), than I would have expected. It is important to remember that this is Miami, and people tend to run a little late, but even the A&M section is filled with odd holes.

The student section is also a little empty too, which is even more odd, because there's been more buzz for this game since the FSU game last year. I was expecting the section to fill very quickly, and while it's still jammed, some of the less choice seats are still available. Lets just assume for now everyone's still tailgating outside.

Just annonced, Martellus Bennet will be swinging over to the other side of the line when he lines up at tight end tonight. Not earth-shattering news.

Weather report for tonight's kickoff:
86 degrees
Partly Cloudy
52 percent relative humidity
Winds South 9 mph

The OB's the place to be

MIAMI - Greetings and salutatins football fans! It's good to have you here on Run and Shoot, as we're about to share one of the most unique experiences in college football; a night game at the Orange Bowl, as the Hurricanes welcome the Aggies of Texas A&M.

While the stadium and the team have seen better days, there's nothing quite like night games here. With the lovely skyline behind the east endzone, and a light breeze swirling in from that side, games here at night just always seem to have a little extra pizzazz. That's definitely something this team will miss with the move to Dolphin Stadium next year. The sunset over the Everglades is gorgeous, the humidity has given way, and it's exactly what Miami football should feel like.

But, the stadium doesn't play a snap for either team, so I'll stop blabbering about it and get to the breakdown. Shall we?

This is a match-up of two very similar teams. Teams who have the talent, but have always been tabbed as underperformers over the years. Some say A&M Head Coach Dennis Franchione's seat may be warming, as the Aggies are perrenially good, but not great. A prime-time non-conference win would go a long way in soothing the fan base.

For the 'Canes, it's a very odd time. Head Coach Randy Shannon will be at the helm for his fourth game tonight, hoping to keep Miami away from another 2-2 start. Shannon's position is completely opposite from Franchione's; new job, lowered expectations, and promise for the future. Fans are waiting for the big, "we're back," kind of win, a la UCLA in 1998.

Will it come tonight? Not if A&M's backfield has anything to do with it. The dynamic duo of Mike Goodson and Jorvorskie Lane have returned this year, and the dual threat of Stephen McGee's arm and legs will prove tricky for a Miami defense looking to recapture their magic.

Miami not without a thunder and lightning combination of its own, with sophomore Javarris James and freshman Graig Cooper bring electricity to the running game not seen at Miami since Frank Gore left for the pros. Ever since Cooper's first game against Marshall, where he ran for more than 100 yards, he's been the talk of the town.

The QB situation is Miami's prevailing weakness, as Kyle Wright will take the snaps, returning to his starting position after losing his job to junior Kirby Freeman coming out of camp. Freeman's completion percentage was near 40 percent during his time, and Wright quickly took his spot back. His performance has been marginally better, highlighted by an 80-yard pass play to Lance Leggett last week against FIU, adding some sparkle to an otherwise lackluster performance.

Despite being the favorite, Miami faces an uphill battle (they got three points from Vegas for playing at home; it's a pick-'em). If they want to win, they have to lock down in the secondary, rush using the tandem, and make some kind of magic through the air. If they don't, the Aggies will head back to College Station with a very valuable W.

Stay tuned for more updates and observations as they develop. Welcome to the OB, baby!

September 13, 2007

A Devine Victory For WVU

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- He was immortalized on YouTube, this high school phenom out of North Fort Myers High School in Florida.

Continue reading "A Devine Victory For WVU" »

Terps start is disastrous

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- A year ago West Virginia stunned Maryland with 28 first-quarter points in a runaway victory. Apparently, nothing changed in a year.
On the first play of the game following a touchback, Maryland quarterback Jordan Steffy fumbled the snap and West Virginia's Johnny Dingle recovered at the Terp 20.
The game was four seconds old.
After stuffing Steve Slaton on the first play following the fumble, Maryland bit on a fake to fullback Owen Schmnitt.
Ooops.l
WVU's elusive quarterback Pat White tucked the ball and snaked his way around left end, cutting left and then right and went into the end zone untouched. That gave West Virginia a 7-0 lead.
The game was 45 seconds old.

WVU-Maryland Pregame

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- For inter-conference opponents who are as familiar with each other as are border rivals West Virginia and Maryland, this game came in with any number of different twists.

Continue reading "WVU-Maryland Pregame" »

September 09, 2007

Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - Defense was supposed to be the story in Saturday night's matchup between LSU and Virginia Tech.

It ended up being only half of the story... the LSU half.

Continue reading "Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7" »

Fans begin to empty as Tigers go up, 41-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - Keiland Williams' second touchdown of the night has begun to send Tiger fans out of the Tiger Stadium and into heavy, post-game traffic.

Williams' 32-yard scamper gave him a new career high of 126 rushing yards. His previous high was a 107-yard performance against Notre Dame in January's Sugar Bowl.

Also setting career highs so far tonight for the Tigers: Matt Flynn with 218 passing yards, Jacob Hester with 81 rushing yards and Brandon LaFell with 125 receiving yards.

September 08, 2007

Not so fast, Hokies...

BATON ROUGE, La. - Just when it looked like Virginia Tech would build some momentum toward a possible comeback, LSU countered with a 6-play, 76-yard drive to push its lead to 34-7 with 2:10 left in the third quarter.

LSU backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux replaced Matt Flynn for one play on the drive and completed a 34-yard pass to wide receiver Early Doucet for the score. The pass was Perrilloux's second touchdown throw of his career.

Hokies finally put points on board

BATON ROUGE, La. - Virginia Tech avoided a shutout by engineering an 8-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

The touchdown was the first points the LSU defense has allowed since the second quarter of January's 41-14 Sugar Bowl win against Notre Dame.

With 4:38 remaining in the third quarter, LSU is up on Virginia Tech, 27-7.

Flynn injured?

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU quarterback Matt Flynn appears to have mildly injured his right ankle on the Tigers' first drive of the second half.

The injury doesn't appear to be too serious, as Flynn took the snaps on eight of LSU's 10 plays on the drive. Sophomore quarterback took the snaps on the other two plays of the drive, which ended in a 27-yard field goal by Colt David that put LSU up 27-0.

Flynn is up and walking on the sidelines, giving no impression that he is done for the game.

Williams highsteps into endzone

BATON ROUGE, La. - One play and 15 seconds.

That's how long it took for things to officially get ugly in Tiger Stadium. LSU running back Keiland Williams took a pitch from Matt Flynn 67 yards into the north endzone and put the Tigers up 24-0 in the process. With LSU's first-half performance tonight and USC being idle this week, LSU as the No. 1 team in the nation seems like it could be a reality come Monday.

Glennon's interception leads to Tigers' field goal

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU safety Craig Steltz picked off Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon's pass to give the Tigers possession for the fourth time in the first quarter. After a short drive, LSU opened the second quarter with a Colt David field goal. Tigers still ahead, 17-0.

Tigers look impressive on opening drive

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU opens the game with a 10-play, 87-yard drive that ate 4:14 off the clock. Running back Jacob Hester scored on a 3-yard run, putting the Tigers on top of the Hokies, 7-0.

Rain doesn't damper spirits in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - A light drizzle has begun to fall from the skies here at Tiger Stadium but as the weather conditions have worsened, the excitement surrounding tonight's contest has increased drastically.

Two Virginia natives skydived into Tiger Stadium about 15 minutes before kickoff, one flying with a Virginia Tech flag while the other descended onto the field with tonight's game ball.

The LSU marching band has taken the field to perform its usual pregame set. In addition to the normal routine, the LSU band performed Virginia Tech's alma mater as a tribute to the lives lost in April's shootings in Blacksburg, Va.

It is believed to be the first time the LSU marching band has performed an opponent's alma mater in Tiger Stadium.

Beamer, Miles tweak lineups

BATON ROUGE, La. - Both LSU coach Les Miles and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer have made last-minute lineup changes for tonight's top-10 matchup.

For the Hokies, split end Justin Harper will start in place of split end Josh Morgan.

On the other side, the Tigers will start Charles Alexander at defensive tackle and Kirston Pittman at defense end. Alexander and Pittman replace Marlon Favorite and Rahim Alem in the starting lineup.

About an hour before kickoff, Tiger Stadium is already starting to fill. The LSU marching band has just entered the stadium, exciting the already rabid LSU student section even more.

Head held low for Tom O'Brien

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - With 10:46 left in the fourth quarter, Tom O'Brien couldn't look up from his play-calling sheet. For close to a minute - and what seemed like an eternity - O'Brien kept his eyes down, his face hidden underneath his white NC State cap.

The 30-10 score on the board that would eventually become 37-17 had much to do with O'Brien's dejected posture, but the mocking noise from the Boston College student section certainly didn’t help:

"Tom O'Brien. Tom O'Brien."

Continue reading "Head held low for Tom O'Brien" »

Somebody Check Harrison Beck's Eyes

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - 316 yards on 25 of 47 passing isn't too bad. It starts to look worse when it comes with five interceptions.

Alumni Stadium is starting to empty - even as the sun sets, it's still pushing 90 degrees - after Harrison Beck's fifth interception, his second in the red zone. Jamie Silva snagged his second pick and appeared to stick a fork in Tom O'Brien's attempt at a happy homecoming.

The Wolfpack won last year's match-up with BC thanks on a last-minute touchdown. It'll take even more of a miracle to come back now.

Picture Perfect

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Touchdown drives don't look much prettier. Matt Ryan was perfect through the air, Andre Callender racked up 61 yards, and L.V. Whitworth finished off the nine-play drive with a goal line score.

Continue reading "Picture Perfect" »

Kicking Woes

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - One thing that hasn't changed under new Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski is that the Eagles can't kick.

Continue reading "Kicking Woes" »

Piling Up

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Boston College may not beat NC State, but the Wolfpack sure seem willing to hand over the victory. If three interceptions in the first half weren't enough, Kevin Challenger forced a fumble on a botched punt, and three plays and 10-yards later Andre Callender was in the end zone to put BC up 23-10 (the extra point was missed - more on that shortly).

There seems to be a feeling in the stadium that the Eagles might be able to step on their former coach's throat right now. BC's defense forced a three-and-out, and appear to have worked out at least some of the first half holes. If Ryan ever gets on track (he's just 3 of 9 in the half), watch out.

Hot and Heavy

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - A trio of Massachusetts' finest escorted Tom O'Brien on and off the field at halftime, shielding him from the audible boos (thus far no projectiles) in the student section. But it's a trio of interceptions that have been the bigger issue today, with NC State's Harrison Beck throwing all three at key times.

With BC up 17-10, this game could go either way. Here are a few things to watch for as we get set to kick off.

Continue reading "Hot and Heavy" »

Three and Out

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Harrison Beck has put up some big passing numbers in the first half. Unfortunately, one of the numbers - 3 - is in the interception category.

All three have come at significant times. The first two led to BC touchdowns - the second returned 14-yards by Jolonn Dunbar - and the latest one was picked off in the end zone by Taji Morris with the Wolfpack in the red zone.

Continue reading "Three and Out" »

Matty Ice Cold

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan - nicknamed "Matty Ice" - looked Heisman-worthy last week with 408 yards and 5 touchdowns against Wake Forest. Today, he's looked downright pedestrian.

Continue reading "Matty Ice Cold" »

So much for variety

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Harrison Beck has thrown for 130 yards. Darrell Blackman has caught 128 of those. It's pretty obvious who Beck's favorite target has been, connecting with Blackman on six of his seven passes, three more than all of last week's game. The six catches put the senior into NC State's top 10 career receivers.

The lone non-Beck to Blackman connection: six yards to Jamelle Eugene.

Turnover City

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - We've got our third interception of the game, and BC has the lead again.

Jolonn Dunbar picked off his first pass of the year and scampered 14-yards untouched into the end zone to put BC up 14-10.

It's a good thing Dunbar got the score, because the BC offense has been stagnant with just 33 yards since its opening scoring drive. Beck has looked sharper than Ryan at times today, but his two interceptions have led to all 14 of BC's points.

O'Brien Strikes Back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Who said Tom O'Brien was conservative? It hasn't shown so far, with two long passes setting up a 2-yard scramble into the end zone by Harrison Beck.

Continue reading "O'Brien Strikes Back" »

Hot in Boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Boston in September is typically full of cool Cape Cod breezes, but not today. The temperature on the field turf in Alumni Stadium at game time topped out at 126.

But the Boston College team may be even hotter than the field.

Continue reading "Hot in Boston" »

Welcome Back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Jamie Silva didn't wait long to get some revenge on his old ballcoach. The Boston College safety picked off Harrison Beck just across midfield and returned it down to the NC State 30. It was Silva's first interception, and the fifth for the Eagles in two games.

Coincidence?

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - As Tom O'Brien led his new team onto his old field, boos and cheers could be heard from a half-full Alumni Stadium (BC fans are notorious for being late). But if the reception from the fans was mixed, the BC marching band got a shot in, "accidentally" marching across O'Brien's path, forcing the coach to zig-zag through.

Coincidence? Maybe.

Continue reading "Coincidence?" »

Look who's back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Players, not coaches, win games. But let’s be honest, the big story line in today’s Boston College vs. NC State match-up – and possibly a big factor in the outcome – is the man coaching his 62nd game in Alumni Stadium, but his first on the visiting sideline.

Continue reading "Look who's back" »

Deacons Want To "Paint It Black"

Continue reading "Deacons Want To "Paint It Black"" »

SEEING "BIG RED"

Continue reading "SEEING "BIG RED"" »

September 01, 2007

One team is ramblin', the other's a wreck

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - We started today's coverage with several questions that have been answered. However, today's 33-3 thrashing of Notre Dame by Georgia Tech has left us with some new ones...

Continue reading "One team is ramblin', the other's a wreck" »

Offense shines, but cornerback makes the difference

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - DeJuan Tribble had just picked off his third Wake Forest pass of the day when his secondary-mate Jamie Silva walked over to the bench, towel in hand, and started fanning Boston College's top cornerback.

The reason? Whether Silva was trying to cool Tribble down or stoke the flames, it was clear to everyone that the All-ACC cornerback was on fire.

Continue reading "Offense shines, but cornerback makes the difference" »

Wake Switches QBs, inches closer

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - Jim Grobe had enough of the red zone interceptions. Out goes Riley Skinner, in comes Brett Hodges.

Continue reading "Wake Switches QBs, inches closer" »

Grade A Choice

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Tashard Choice picked up another 59 yards on the latest Georgia Tech touchdown drive. The drive ended with Choice going up the middle 7 yards for the score. Choice now has 196 yards and 2 TDs on 26 carries.

This followed a three-and-out by the Irish, during which Sharpley was hit hard once on a sack and after he threw on another play. The Irish offensive line is having a lot of problems with Tech's blitzes in particular. It seems like Sharpley is having to dodge three or four guys every time he drops back.

Flutie to _____?

Visions of the Orange Bowl flew into every BC fans head when a trick play saw the ball in receiver Billy Flutie’s hands with the option to throw. But Doug’s nephew couldn’t find a receiver and just took the ball out of bounds.

Irish on the board

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Evan Sharpley started the second half for Notre Dame and was pretty efficient leading the team down the field for what ended up being a disappointing field goal.

Sharpley, when given time, threw the ball well, completing 5 of 6 on the drive. He converted two third downs and a fourth down on the drive. He even completed a pass after fumbling on a fake handoff.

Running the ball still isn't working because Tech is getting great penetration against the Irish line. That's what makes the final play call of the drive so baffling. On 3rd and inches at the 2, Notre Dame handed off to Travis Thomas off tackle and he lost four yards. That play lost yardage the previous two times they ran it on that drive. That forced ND to take the three points.

I expect we'll continue to see Sharpley as long as it's still working.

Georgia Tech right tackle AJ Smith injured his elbow and is out for the game.

Another Ryan TD

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - Where Riley Skinner failed, Matt Ryan thrived. Brandon Robinson snagged an 11-yard pass on the sideline, giving BC its first lead of the game at 28-21 with 7:01 left in the third.

Continue reading "Another Ryan TD" »

BC takes advantage, on top for first time

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - Where Riley Skinner failed, Matt Ryan thrived. Brandon Robinson snagged an 11-yard pass on the sideline, giving BC its first lead of the game at 28-21 with 7:01 left in the third.

Continue reading "BC takes advantage, on top for first time" »

Deja Vu

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - Dejuan Tribble did it again, grabbing his second end zone interception, this one coming on an under thrown third-down pass from the 2 yard-line.

Continue reading "Deja Vu" »

Bennett trying to keep Irish in it

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Taylor Bennett's accuracy issues are keeping Notre Dame's fading hopes alive. When he saw Greg Smith open in the end zone, he got so excited that he overthrew him by 15 yards. That's the second time he's done that today. On the next play, a short pass to a wide open James Johnson only got about 3/4 of the way there.

Tech ended up settling for the fourth Travis Bell FG of the game and leads 19-0.

Ugly half for ND

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - If the first half is any indication, it could be a long year for Notre Dame.

Demetrius Jones was ineffective at quarterback. He only completed 1-3 passes for 4 yards and had only 28 yards rushing on 12 carries.

The switch to Sharpley worked for two plays, which were completed passes for nine yards. After that, he took a beating on some delayed blitzes that the line didn't pick up.

In fact, Jones was under a lot of duress when he tried to pass also. Notre Dame's line is being bamboozled, and sometimes just manhandled by Georgia Tech. The Irish weren't even pretending to mount a passing game in the first half, but the run wasn't doing much either.

When the Irish have done some good things, they have shot themselves in the foot to make up for it. The most egregious error was Brown's penalty and ejection after the Irish stopped Georgia Tech on third down. That turned out to be a seven point mistake.

Tech was also very committed to the run early, and that is still the bread-and-butter for the Yellow Jackets. Tashard Choice had 16 carries for 110 yards and a score in the first half and he's been the best player on the field by far. Choice has now gone over 100 yards for the eighth straight game, a Georgia Tech record.

The Jackets will be without safety Joe Gaston in the second half after he went out with an injured hamstring. CB Jahi Word-Daniels left with a head injury and may yet return.

The only thing injured on the Irish sideline is their pride. We'll see what they have in the second half, which will start with Tech receiving the kick.

Trying to get sharper

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Evan Sharpley has entered the game at QB for the Irish with 2:38 to go. Notre Dame wasn't even attempting to mount a passing attack with Jones in the game, but with the two-minute drill on, it was time to switch.

Ejection

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Justin Brown of Notre Dame was just ejected for a blow to the head after the play. Brown, a senior, committed the infraction after the Irish had stopped Tech on a 3rd down play. The guy sitting next to me just said what I was thinking: I wouldn't want to be Brown in practice this week.

Two plays later, Tashard Choice goes around end 22 yards for a TD. GT leads 16-0.

Back to Back Milestones

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - History is being made seemingly every play in Boston.

Play One: Matt Ryan became just the fifth quarterback in BC history to pass 5,000 yards with a 23-yard pass to Justin Jarvis. Even a decent season should put Ryan right behind Doug Flutie and Glenn Foley in BC's all-time passer rankings.

Paly Two: Speaking of Flutie, his nephew Billy Flutie - a converted quarterback - made his first catch as a wide receiver at BC, 9 yards from Ryan.

Virginia Tech Wins, 17-7

BLACKSBURG, Va. - It wasn't pretty, but it'll do.

The Hokies limit East Carolina to 119 yards in the air, Sean Glennon throws for 245 yards and a touchdown, and Virginia Tech battles through an emotional home opener, taking a 17-7 win over the visiting East Carolina Pirates.

Continue reading "Virginia Tech Wins, 17-7" »

My how things have changed

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - With 8:50 to go in the half, Notre Dame has just completed its first pass of the game (on only two attempts). Brady Quinn's records appear to be safe.

Ringing the Bell

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Notre Dame defense stopped Georgia Tech all the way out at the Irish 23, but Travis Bell hit his 3rd FG of the game to make the score 9-0.

In spite of a bad case of greasy fingers, Jones is still quarterbacking the Irish.

Line of the day

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Following the play-by-play on the internet, the last fumble by Demetrius Jones read like this:

"D. Jones rushed up the middle for no gain. D. Jones fumbled. D. Jones recovered fumble and returned for 12 yards"

It was recovered by DJ Jones of Georgia Tech and returned to the ND 45.

A flag on the play was picked up because the ref who threw it meant to throw his beanbag, but grabbed the wrong thing.

And we have controversy...

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - All-American Boston College cornerback Dejuan Tribble made a diving "catch" in the corner of the end zone of a Riley Skinner pass - a play that was confirmed by replay. Tribble stretched out to make the catch, but the ball popped out when he landed on his back in the end zone. It looked good on the replay - though as close to incomplete as you can get - and could be a big play after Wake appeared to have at least 3 points guaranteed on the drive.

Give Credit to the Big Guy

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - The scores keep on coming in Boston, but a lineman deserves the praise on this one.

Continue reading "Give Credit to the Big Guy" »

Getting some answers

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - One quarter in and we're getting some early answers to our questions.

ND starting QB?: Demetrius Jones. He's been the only one out there so far.

Can ND replace other skill position players?: So far, not much happening in the running game and the passing game has been a big zero.

Is the Irish defense better?: It's been a wall from its own 10-yard line in. The other 90 yards are still a problem. Tech has had three series and on the first play of those series, they have a total of 55 yards and five plays of double-digit yardage.

How about Taylor Bennett: He got off to a slow start, but completed three passes on the last drive. He missed two possible TD passes though. One he overthrew badly and one he threw to the wrong guy.

A blocked FG attempt has kept the game 6-0 at the first quarter break.

Passing on passing

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Both teams have decided to stick to the running game so far. Each team has attempted only one pass and neither was completed.

Tech took over at Notre Dame's 48 after a shanked punt and, just like last time, marched right down to the Irish 10 before stalling and kicking a field goal.

Highly touted freshman QB Josh Nesbitt came in for one play on that drive. He faked and handoff and ran up the middle for no gain.

The Yellow Jacket's offense has more a a rhythm so far. Notre Dame is struggling to get anything going and the crowd is pretty much out of the game.

Plenty of offense

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - 15 minutes gone, and it might as well be Tom Brady throwing to Randy Moss up here in New England.

Continue reading "Plenty of offense" »

Who says the ACC has no QBs?

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - After a rough start from BC's Matt Ryan, both he and Wake's Riley Skinner have decided to prove the experts wrong.

Continue reading "Who says the ACC has no QBs?" »

This one counted

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The second time Jones dropped back to pass for the Irish, he panicked in the face of the rush and got careless with the ball. Jamal Lewis knocked the ball loose and Tech recovered at the Irish 32.

Tech RB Tashard Choice went for 22 yards on the first play, putting him over 2000 for his career. He is the ninth Tech RB to reach that mark.

The Irish defense stiffened after that play forcing Tech to settle for a FG and leads 3-0.

Someone behind me is struggling with the "No Cheering in the Press Box" rule. Actually, that implies an effort to comply, which isn't really happening.

One year wonder?

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - Not so fast, says Wake Forest. The Deacons are up 14-0 on Boston College after a methodical 11 play, 67 yard touchdown pass capped by a 5-yard pass to Kenneth Moore.

Continue reading "One year wonder?" »

After further review...

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -The fumble was overturned by replay, so Notre Dame kept the ball, and as expected, Demetrius Jones led the Irish onto the field.

The review gave those of us in the press box to catch the end of the App St-Michigan game. I think the replay ref was watching that game too.

Is there something going on here?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - We're sitting in the press box at Notre Dame completely oblivious to what's going on beyond the glass because we all have our faces pressed into our computers tracking Appalachian State's upset attempt of Michigan. I think this game is about to start, but nobody here cares.

We thought we were about to find out who the Irish QB would be, but they fumbled the kick, so Tech starts at the ND 29.

Well, that was quick

CHESTNUT HILL, Ma. - 13 seconds into the season, ACC preseason player of the year Matt Ryan started his seasons with...an interception returned for a touchdown.

Continue reading "Well, that was quick" »

BUH-Bye

BLACKSBURG, Va. - With 2:31 left in the game, the Hokie Nation can finally breath a sigh of relief.

Patrick Pinkney's pass on fourth down goes incomplete, Virginia Tech takes over at its own 36, and with a 10-point lead, it's time for Virginia Tech to run out the clock.

Continue reading "BUH-Bye" »

More Important Than It Seems

BLACKSBURG, Va. - One of the most important drives of the day for Virginia Tech just ended with a 25-yard punt by Brent Bowden from the 34-yard line.

It may not have put points on the board, but East Carolina's gameplan is history.

Continue reading "More Important Than It Seems" »

More questions than answers

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - With the opening of the 2007 season about an hour away for Georgia Tech and Notre Dame, We find that both teams have a lot more questions than answers right now...

Continue reading "More questions than answers" »

A Little Bit More Like It

BLACKSBURG, Va. - It took 46 minutes and 53 seconds, ladies and gentlemen, but Virginia Tech has its first offensive touchdown of the 2007 season. A 21-yard pass from Sean Glennon to tight end Sam Wheeler and a successful point after by Jud Dunlevy, and it's 17-7 Hokies.

Continue reading "A Little Bit More Like It" »

Fifteen Minutes Of Game

BLACKSBURG, Va. - As the Lane Stadium crowd does the "Hokie Pokey" at the end of the third quarter, it's still a 10-7 game.

Do I spot some white knuckles on those hands that are going in and out and being shaken all about?

Continue reading "Fifteen Minutes Of Game" »

More Of The Same

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Halftime adjustments? What halftime adjustments?

Continue reading "More Of The Same" »

The Sights Of Saturday Morning

While we have a moment or two, here's a little bit of a look at what pregame looks like in Blacksburg.

Continue reading "The Sights Of Saturday Morning" »

Halftime In Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG, Va. - We've got a ballgame on our hands, ladies and gentlemen.

As the ECU Marching Pirates serenade us with "Good Golly, Miss Molly," there are probably more than a few folks saying, "Good Golly" at the game Virginia Tech finds itself in. The Hokies lead 10-7 at halftime, with the only offensive touchdown belonging to the Pirates.

Continue reading "Halftime In Blacksburg" »

Mucho Macho

They've gone and done it now. Brett Clay throws an interception to Victor "Macho" Harris, Harris runs it back from the 17, and dives into the end zone to make it 9-7 Tech, 10-7 after a Jud Dunlevy PAT.

Continue reading "Mucho Macho" »

Pirates Power Through

BLACKSBURG, Va. - East Carolina leads, 7-3, as Chris Johnson finds the end zone on a two-yard plunge 37 seconds into the second quarter.

Continue reading "Pirates Power Through" »

Close So Far

BLACKSBURG, Va. - One quarter is in the books, and Virginia Tech leads, 3-0. The Pirates are driving, though, at the Virginia Tech 14-yard line as the second quarter begins.

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One For One

BLACKSBURG, Va. - It's 3-0 Hokies on the first career attempt by senior kicker Jud Dunleavy, capping a 14-play drive by the Hokies that lasted about six minutes.

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Well Grounded

With a first-time starter under center against the pick-happy Hokie defense, it would appear that Skip Holtz is looking to limit the opportunities to Virginia Tech to add to its best-in-the-nation interception total since 2000.1

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The Bird Is Back

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Good morning from Lane Stadium. In half an hour's time on Worsham Field, the No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies open their season against the Pirates of East Carolina University.

And yes, it is a football game that's being played here today.

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Kickoff soon in Boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - There's a nervous excitement on “The Heights,” Boston College’s suburban campus, as the tailgaters leave their grills behind for kickoff in about 20 minutes. Excitement, because the Eagles have perhaps they’re most talented team since Doug Flutie roamed Alumni Stadium. Nervousness, because today’s opponent isn't the typical opening-weekend pushover, but defending ACC champion Wake Forest.

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July 24, 2007

ACC: Swofford Dishes

PINEHURST, N.C. - The third and final day of ACC Media Days wrapped up here this morning with commissioner John Swofford's annual forum where he touched on a number of subjects pertaining to his league from background checks on officials to the possibility of a plus-1 playoff system being implemented in the not too distant future.

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July 23, 2007

ACC: All Eyes On Virginia Tech

PINEHURST, N.C. - As Frank Beamer made his way over to the round table where he'd be talking for the next hour and a half, roughly 25-30 reporters all waited anxiously, with recorders ready to roll, to hear Beamer's first lengthy response to questions regarding last April's tragedy at Virginia Tech.

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ACC: Bowden's Not Ready To Bow Out Yet

PINEHURST, N.C. - Bobby Bowden has said on more than one occasion that his is his "last shot" at another national championship. The 77-year old College Football Hall of Famer isn't getting any younger and he knows his time is quickly dwindling to reach the top again. But when he says "last shot" Bowden wants to make sure everyone knows he isn't referring to the 2007.

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ACC: Old-School Grobe

PINEHURST, N.C. - With the NCAA set to ban all text messaging Aug. 1, one of today's favorite forms of communication was a hot topic amongst the coaches. Many don't have much of a problem with the NCAA banning it, citing it's a positive for recruits. But many of the coaches, like Wake Forest's Jim Grobe, text messaging never was an issue to begin with.

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ACC: Hokies, Noles The Favorites

PINEHURST, N.C. - The ACC released its "Pre-season Ballot" Monday and while many figured to see Virginia Tech and Florida State atop the Coastal and Atlantic Division respectively, as picked by the assembled media, Bobby Bowden was surprised his Seminoles were picked first.

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ACC: Coaches Turn

PINEHURST, N.C. - After spending the morning and a good portion of the early afternoon on Pinehurst No. 8 where the golf was literally hit or miss depending on your foursome, Day 2 of ACC Media Days is set to begin in earnest at the bottom of the hour when the coaches get to talk.

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July 22, 2007

ACC: Blush of The Irish

PINEHURST, N.C. - The players hastily moved for the exits as things wrapped up at Day 1 of ACC Media Day here. Their media obligations are done as they made the rounds with the print and internet media this afternoon as well as plenty of television interviews to boot.

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ACC: It's Calvin By Choice

PINEHURST, N.C. - Tashard Choice readily admits that losing Calvin Johnson is going to be a big blow to Georgia Tech's offense this upcoming season. More than anyone might realize initially.

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ACC: Fashion Faux Pas

PINEHURST, N.C. - Excuse Derrick Morse for wearing jeans. He wasn't planning on it as the Miami offensive lineman was one of the few players wearing them rather than a pair of khakis here at ACC Media Day. But his reason was a good as any.

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ACC: Slim Eagles

PINEHURST, N.C. - With new coach Jeff Jagodzinski new's offense in Boston College, he's implored his offensive linemen to slim down a little in hopes his zone blocking schemes will work to perfection with a more athletic front five. And so far, from preliminary indications, the big boys up front are doing as the coach wished.

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ACC: The Golf Virgin

PINEHURST, N.C. - Tom Santi will be playing Pinehurst No. 8 Monday during the ACC's scheduled golf outing. And the Virginia tight end is looking forward to playing the venerable course here in this historic part of North Carolina despite the fact that he's never played a full round of golf in his life.

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ACC: As Good As Ever

PINEHURST, N.C. - ACC Media Day kicked off Sunday in this beautiful and historic golf and tennis resort town where the only thing bigger than the mansions lining the local roads was the horde of media blanketing the first of three days of conference's annual summer get-together.

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