Posted on: September 6, 2010 10:44 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 10:59 pm

Tyrod Taylor limps off field following 2 pt try

Posted by Chip Patterson

At times Monday evening, Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor has simply willed the Hokies back into the game.  When Taylor limped off the field following a failed 2 point conversion, Hokie fans became very nervous very quickly.

Taylor was scrambling around a collapsing pocket to try and put the Hokies up by a field goal and was brought to the ground as he got rid of the ball.  Taylor got up on his own, but was obviously limping on his way back to the sideline.

Thankfully, it turns out that Taylor was just cramping.  He is active on the sideline and appears that he will not miss any time.  It has been an issue for both teams, with Boise State also having players miss snaps for cramps. 

Taylor is currently 10 for 12 for 165 yards and two touchdowns through the air and has rushed 14 times for 65 yards.  The Hokies currently lead 27-26 with less than a minute left in the third quarter, but the Broncos are driving.

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Posted on: September 6, 2010 10:00 pm

At the half, Boise's lead suddenly precarious

Posted by Adam Jacobi

After one half of action, we might actually have a ballgame. Boise State leads 20-14, but considering the way the second quarter transpired, the Hokies must be encouraged about their chances of completing the comeback.

Boise State has looked like the better team throughout the first half, mainly because Virginia Tech looked terrible in the first quarter. A botched snap led to a Broncos field goal. A blocked punt led to a Broncos touchdown. Then, multiple penalties on the same play turned a Boise punt from their 48 to a BSU first down on the Virginia Tech 32--that would lead to another Boise State TD. All in the first quarter. Of course, credit must go to Boise State for converting on these opportunities, but it's Virginia Tech's startling ineptitude that led to those opportunities in the first place.

The second quarter featured markedly better play from Virginia Tech, though the Hokies would miss a field goal after making first and goal. They found the end zone twice, both on nice plays by All-ACC tailback Ryan Williams. Moreover, the second quarter featured mistakes by Boise State: the Hokies' second touchdown was set up by a lost fumble by Doug Martin, and the Broncos avoided total disaster when their half-ending punt--a mystifying decision in and of itself--was only partially blocked.  

As for the second half, if Boise State keeps playing more disciplined football than the Virginia Tech, they'll probably win. Kellen Moore has looked good in the first half, and Tyrod Taylor hasn't done much on the ground. If the Hokies maintain their composure and commit fewer mistakes, though, it's anybody's ballgame.

Posted on: September 6, 2010 8:43 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 9:41 pm

Boise State leading Virginia Tech 20-14

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE 9:29 PM ET: Things looked bleak for the Hokies after a missed field goal.  But after recovering a Broncos fumble, Taylor found Ryan Williams wide open from 12 yards out for a touchdown to make this a ball game.  Boise State 20, Virginia Tech 14 0:57 2Q.  

UPDATE 9:04 PM ET: Tyrod Taylor connected with Jarrett Boykin for a 34 yard pass that put the Hokies down at the 1 yard line before Ryan Williams punched in the first score of the game for Virginia Tech.  Interesting note from the Twitter world, Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer has never overcome a deficit of larger than 15.  Boise State 17, Virginia Tech 7 11:44 2Q.  

Virginia Tech has always been known for their ability to change a game with their play on special teams and defense.  Early in the first quarter of their primetime showdown with No. 3 Boise State, the Hokies got their own dose of "Beamer Ball."

Boise State was able to capitalize on a Tyrod Taylor fumble and turn it into a field goal for the first score of the game.  After the next Virginia Tech drive stalled at three and out, the Austin Pettis blocked Brian Saunders' punt and the Broncos recovered at the Virginia Tech 12 yard line.  Broncos' QB Kellen Moore connected with Pettis on second down to extend the lead to ten.

The special teams concerns continued for Virginia Tech.  With less than four minutes remaining in the first quarter, Virginia Tech was flagged for running into the punter on fourth down after holding the Broncos out of field goal range.  Kellen Moore then connected with senior tight end Tommy Gallarda from five yards out.  Gallarda made an unbelievable one handed catch before falling out of bounds that we will likely be seeing for a long time.

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Posted on: September 6, 2010 7:13 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 7:14 pm

Navy falls a yard short against Maryland

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Navy teams of late have lived and died by the running game.  The triple option offense has been the Midshipmen's bread and butter, and on Monday afternoon against the Maryland Terrapins, it just wasn't enough.

Down three with 37 seconds left in regulation, Navy decided to go for the win on fourth and goal.  Quarterback Ricky Dobbs kept the ball on what looked to be a routine read option and was stopped in his tracks just inside the 1 yard line.  The play was reviewed, but instant replay only confirmed what the naked eye saw, and Dobbs just didn't have enough.

Left with only one timeout, all Maryland has to do is avoid getting a safety to walk out of the in-state battle victorious.  A win that could cool down the seat underneath head coach Ralph Friedgen, at least for the moment.
Posted on: September 6, 2010 6:25 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 6:55 pm

FedEx Field sold out for Boise St.-Virginia Tech

Posted by Chip Patterson

We are almost done with the first weekend of college football, and you have to be pretty pleased with what you've seen.  We've had blowouts, upsets, close games, and one heck of a hail mary.  But arguably the most anticipated game was held for Monday night. 

With the NFL taking the night off before the season, Boise State and Virginia Tech will get the primetime treatment on national television for the first matchup of the season between two top ten teams.  

The game will be on the supposedly "neutral" FedExField, the home of the Washington Redskins.  But being just a short drive away from Blacksburg, VA and across the country from Boise, the game will be far from neutral.  In fact, it was announced Monday the game is a sellout.

"This match-up will highlight two college football powerhouses, and it is one of the most important out of conference games for each school as they compete to reach the National Championship game this year," Redskins Chief Marketing Officer Mitch Gershman said.

  "Tonight's sold out game is a tremendous financial success for the colleges, and a full house always guarantees an exciting football experience for the fans.  We look forward to bringing more high profile college football match-ups to FedExField in the coming years," Gershman said.

These early season non-conference games between elite teams has given a lot of meaning to a weekend that historically is mostly filled with blowouts by teams who have scheduled a cupcake to start the season.

These games are also great for the programs, raising status in the eyes of recruits and giving the team a chance to prove themselves on the national stage.  Oh yeah, revenue generated for the program doesn't hurt either. 

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 5:23 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 7:21 pm

GOATs and Goats, Week 1

Posted by Adam Jacobi

GOAT*: Denard Robinson. Michigan's electric quarterback Denard Robinson thrilled fans at the Big House, completing 19 of 22 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 197 more yards and another score. Robinson even shook off a third-quarter hip injury, returning after just one series. Robinson's performance was downright seismic: it likely drove backup Tate Forcier to transfer, and it's the type of on-field brilliance around which Heisman candidacies are built. Of course, it was against UConn, and Michigan will not play UConn for every game; if they did, Jim Delany would be fired immediately. But it's hardly a guarantee that Terrelle Pryor can outperform Robinson over the course of the season, and last we checked, Terrelle Pryor was basically the nation's best Heisman candidate coming into week 1.

Goat: Mike Pouncey. Florida's season debut against Miami University--the one that's in Ohio, mind you, and went 1-11 last year--was almost a disaster of the highest order. Yes, Florida won 34-12, but that was a rather deceptive final score--Florida converted a 4th and 21 touchdown near the end of the game to push the margin to 22, and Miami was within 9 points in the 4th quarter (and that's without scoring a single touchdown).

Don't let the 34-point tally fool you: Florida struggled mightily on offense, and the primary culprit was Mike Pouncey, who had moved from guard to center to take over for his brother Maurkice, a first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers this spring. Pouncey was an unmitigated disaster at center: ESPN announcers counted over a dozen botched snaps, usually out of the shotgun, and the dropped snaps usually killed whatever momentum Florida was trying to sustain against a young but aggressive defense.

Pouncey's unlikely to last more than one more game at center; if he even makes it to the South Florida game, it's because his inevitable replacement needs another week to work on his timing with QB John Brantley. But Pouncey's struggles were some of the worst we've ever seen from a center, and Urban Meyer has never been patient with ineptitude from his players.

GOAT: Jack Crowe. The Jacksonville State Gamecocks pulled one of the most unlikely upsets in years with a 49-48 comeback stunner at Ole Miss, and for head coach Jack Crowe, the irony must have been delicious. 18 years ago, Crowe was on the other end of the "I-AA team beats SEC team" when his Arkansas Razorbacks were upset by the Citadel, 10-3. Crowe was fired just the next day.

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt probably won't suffer the same immediate indignity as Crowe did 18 years ago, mainly because I-AA teams are far more capable of beating their I-A opponents than 18 years ago, when these types of games were such mere formalities en route to 60-point margins that they didn't even count toward bowl eligibility. But this loss--especially after Jeremiah Masoli was granted eligibility the day prior--may prove fatal to Nutt's career in Oxford at season's end.

Goat: the Oklahoma secondary. Any talk of Oklahoma as a national title contender should be tabled indefinitely, if the Sooners's disturbing 31-24 victory over Utah State is any indication of how they'll perform this season. The USU Aggies--generally considered a middle-of-the-road WAC team--rode a 341-yard, 2 TD performance by quarterback Diondre Borel to rack up 421 yards of offense. The Aggies even had the ball in Oklahoma territory midway through the fourth quarter, but the Sooners defense stiffened and pushed USU back to the 33 before the Aggies missed a 50-yard field goal. Still, this is Utah State we're talking about here.

Oklahoma has Florida State coming to Norman next week, and while it's not like Christian Ponder's about to throw 4 TDs in a half again like he did to Samford this week, it sure seems like he's going to find a porous secondary to shred--not the stout defense that typifies a BCS champion. So, Sooners. It's either shut down Ponder or watch your title dreams get eaten by scorpions. No pressure.

*Greatest Of All Time, natch.

Posted on: September 5, 2010 12:04 am

North Carolina almost pulls miracle comeback

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Is it possible for both teams to lose a game? LSU fans would probably argue yes after the Tigers' wild 30-24 survival against North Carolina. The decimated Tar Heels failed to convert a fourth down with under two minutes left, only to force a fumble on a game-clinching first down for LSU. With 1:08 left and no timeouts left, T.J. Yates drove UNC to the 5-yard line with 6 seconds left.

Alas, two throws into the end zone fell incomplete, the second bouncing off Zack Pianalto's hands as time expired. Both Yates and announcer Brent Musberger both thought there was some pass interference on the final play, and um, they kind of hand a point. It was the type of contact that doesn't always get called on the last play of a game (unless it's the 2003 BCS Championship, anyway).

So North Carolina comes away from the game 0-1 and still wondering when their 15 players will be declared eligible, while LSU gets a win but has even more reason to resent Les Miles and his offense than before (which, after the first half, seemed impossible). Fun times all around!

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Posted on: September 4, 2010 11:39 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 11:44 pm

North Carolina not going away quietly

Posted by Adam Jacobi

After LSU took a 30-10 lead into the locker room at halftime, it would have been easy to write off the Tar Heels' chances in the second half. Depleted on defense and inconsistent on offense, North Carolina looked like all they wanted to do was just get out of town with some pride intact.

And yet, T.J. Yates and the Tar Heel offense have come alive in the fourth quarter. They converted a 97-yard touchdown, then drove down for another touchdown with under three minutes to go. 30-10 becomes 30-24, and all LSU needed to do is recover an onside kick.

Alas, UNC recovered, and now they're in LSU territory and driving. Hang on tight.

UPDATE: On fourth down, T.J. Yates was sacked on a corner blitz and fumbled. Game, LSU... except the Tigers fumbled with 1:08 to go. Anything can happen,

Category: NCAAF
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