Independence Bowl preview: Hokies offense vs. Tulsa defense


Independence Bowl preview: Hokies offense vs. Tulsa defense

Frank Beamer will coach his final game in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26 against Tulsa. Here's a preview of how Virginia Tech offensively matches up with Tulsa's defense:

Virginia Tech offense national rankings: 64th in scoring offense (29 points per game), 95th in rushing offense (151.33 yards per game), 71st in passing offense (216 yards per game), 96th in total offense (367.3 yards per game)

Tulsa defense national rankings: 120th in scoring defense (38.6 points allowed per game), 119th in rushing defense (238.5 yards allowed per game), 124th in passing defense (293 yards allowed per game), 126th in total defense (531.5 yards allowed per game)

Virginia Tech has not thrived in the Scot Loeffler era offensively, but they should be able to find success against a Tulsa defense that struggled slowing down anyone this season.

Tulsa ranks only ahead of Texas Tech and lowly Kansas in terms of total defense. That's it. This wasn't against a tough schedule either as it came against the AAC. While the AAC may be the best Group of Five conference out there, it's not as if they were playing Baylor every week.

RELATED: Star Virginia Tech cornerback headed to the pros

The best defensive performance from the Golden Hurricane came on Sept. 12 in which they held New Mexico to 390 yards and 21 points. Only twice this season did Tulsa hold opponents to under 400 total yards. Tulsa allowed over 500 yards against seven times this season, including two games in which they allowed over 700 yards (one of which came against Justin Fuente's Memphis).

If you've seen how highly Virginia Tech is favored over Tulsa, this is why. The Golden Hurricane can't seem to stop anybody.

Both Travon McMillian and Isaiah Ford came out and said reaching 1,000 yards this season was a goal. McMillian sits at 961 rushing yards while Ford has 937 receiving yards. Both players should easily eclipse those marks in this game. Tulsa simply does not have anyone on defense good enough to slow down McMillian or cover Ford.

The biggest mismatch here, however, will be Bucky Hodges. Stopping a star running back or wide receiver is one thing, trying to account for one of the best tight ends in the nation is quite another. Hodges presents a measure of versatility Tulsa simply cannot account for.

For those who do not know much about Tulsa, you may look at those defensive numbers and wonder just how Tulsa got into a bowl game in the first place. The Golden Hurricane has relied entirely on its offense to carry them to the postseason. That makes McMillian the key to a Virginia Tech victory. The Hokies will need to be methodical and dominate the time of possession to keep Tulsa's offense off the field. The longer Michael Brewer and Co. have the ball, the more likely they are to score against the Golden Hurricane's woeful defense.

A Virginia Tech offense that has struggled to move the ball consistently all season really should have no trouble against Tulsa. Not only will they be able to put up plenty of points, they also should be able to dictate the pace of play and help their defense by keeping Tulsa's offense on the sidelines.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 'I stuck to my guns' -- Edsall defends Maryland tenure in interview

March Madness 2018: Sweet 16 TV Schedule, Tip times, announcers, how to watch, live stream

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March Madness 2018: Sweet 16 TV Schedule, Tip times, announcers, how to watch, live stream

The first and second rounds of the 2018 NCAA Tournament are in  the books.

We witnessed history, with UMBC becoming the first No. 16 seed in men's tournament history to defeat a No. 1 seed, beating Virginia 74-54.

We saw the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago make a Cinderella run, beating Miami and Tennessee on the final possession.

We saw No. 7 Nevada rally from 22 points down to stun No. 2 Cincinnati.

We saw great games, great finishes and great moments.

But now it's time for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

The madness begins again on March 22, with the Sweet 16 taking place Thursday and Friday, with the Elite Eight taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

Here is a complete listing of TV channels, tip times and game locations.




Thursday, March 22

7:07 pm — No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (South/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
7:37 pm — No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 7 Texas A&M (West/Los Angeles, Calif), TBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson
9:37 pm — No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Kansas State (South/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
10:07 pm — No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Florida State (West/Los Angeles, Calif), TBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson

Friday, March 23

7:07 pm — No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 Clemson (Midwest/Omaha, NE), TBS. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
7:37 pm — No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 5 West Virginia (East/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce
9:37 pm — No. 2 Duke vs. No. 11 Syracuse (Midwest/Omaha, NE), TBS. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
10:07 pm — No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (East/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce



Saturday, March 24

Time TBD — Nevada/Loyola-Chicago winner vs. Kentucky/Kansas State winner (South Regional Final/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
Time TBD — Michigan/Texas A&M winner vs. Gonzaga vs. Florida State winner (West Regional Final/Los Angeles, Calif.), CBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson

Sunday, March 25

Time TBD — Kansas/Clemson winner vs. Duke/Syracuse winner  (Midwest Regional Final/Omaha, NE), CBS. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
​Time TBD —  Villanova/West Virginia winner vs. Purdue/Texas Tech winner (East Regional Final/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce

 WANT MORE COLLEGE HOOPS? Troy Machir is spending all March chatting with some of the biggest names in college basketball. Listen to the March Only Podcast below and be sure to like, rate, share and subscribe on iTunes.

Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

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Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

They said it could not be done, no No. 16 seed would ever beat a No. 1 seed. The odds would be too great and the obstacle too steep.

As we all know, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), just proved that all wrong.


All season the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers dominated their opponents. They dictated pace, held opponents to less than 55 points, and smothered teams by forcing turnovers.

The roles filled on Friday evening and with an up-tempo 74-54 victory, UMBC proved the impossible.

The hardwood is not the only place that UMBC owned last night, they grabbed headlines, attention, and thousands of fans (literally) on Twitter.

Someone grabbed a hold of the UMBC Athletics Twitter account and took the upset by storm.

It all started when Seth Davis poked the bear:

and they were relentless.

Oh yeah, I forgot Seth Davis:

Then they started get snarky and owning everyone:

As someone who graduated from a commuter school, I can relate:

More Seth Davis:

Back to Twitter:

I guess that application wave actually was a thing or people wanted to know what ‘UMBC’ stood for:

Game. Set. History.

Now here come the shots against other schools:

Yeah, don’t jump on this bandwagon Terps fans. Stay in College Park:

I did not take long for other social media icons to start reaching out:

Oh and Seth Davis eventually did apologize:

Started the night at 5,588 and jumped up to 51.7 K. No one cares what you think Steven:

If you liked what you saw thank Zach Seidel, not an intern, not a student athlete who provided those tweets last night.

Zach, you just earned yourself a raise and we’ll see you in the Second Round.