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Offensive struggles doom FSU, LSU and Georgia

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Offensive struggles doom FSU, LSU and Georgia

The three top-five teams that lost on Saturday all had one thing in common.

They left their offense at home.

Florida State, LSU and Georgia combined for a measly 29 points in road defeats over the weekend. That's less than the Seminoles, Tigers and Bulldogs are averaging per game this season - and that includes Saturday's fruitless road trips.

Florida State's offense had powered its 5-0 start, as the Seminoles scored at least 49 points in their first four games.

They haven't even matched that total in two weeks.

After a tough 30-17 win over South Florida, the Seminoles were blanked in the second half of a 17-16 loss at N.C. State that put talk of a national title run on hold.

Florida State wasn't exactly dreadful against the Wolfpack, as E.J. Manuel threw for 218 yards and a score and Chris Thompson ran for 141 yards. But the Seminoles converted just three third downs in 15 tries in blowing a 16-0 lead.

OFFENSE ON PAWS: Even though LSU entered the weekend ranked fourth in the nation, its 14-6 loss at Florida wasn't entirely unexpected.

The Tigers struggled to put away FCS school Towson, and their offensive struggles were apparent from the start against the resurgent Gators.

LSU settled for red-zone field goals of 31 and 21 yards in the first half, and their dominant defense was worn down by Florida's Mike Gillislee. He ran for 146 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns on 34 carries.

Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger completed just 11 of 25 passes, and LSU is now 100th nationally in passing offense.

UGA-LY: Georgia's supposedly potent offense was brought to its knees by South Carolina. The Bulldogs scored 99 points in beating Vanderbilt and Tennessee at home to open league play. But the Gamecocks limited Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray to 11 of 31 passing for 109 yards.

Georgia entered Columbia with the SEC's top offense. The Bulldogs left with a brutal loss, and now they're a game behind the Gamecocks and Gators in the SEC East.

UNHAPPY HUSKERS: Nebraska certainly didn't leave its offense back in Lincoln, scoring 38 points Saturday night at Ohio State.

The Huskers just forgot to pack their black shirts.

Nebraska let the Buckeyes score their most points in a Big Ten game since 1983, as Ohio State pounded the Huskers 63-38. It's the second time this season that the Huskers defense failed them on the road, as UCLA gained a staggering 653 yards in a 36-30 win at the Rose Bowl last month.

EXTRA POINTS: West Virginia's trend of simply outscoring their opponent worked yet again, as Geno Smith threw for four more touchdowns and the Mountaineers survived at Texas 48-45...TCU's offense sputtered without suspended quarterback Casey Pachall. The Horned Frogs lost their first Big 12 home opener to Iowa State 37-23. Cyclones wide receiver Josh Lenz was responsible for all four of Iowa State's offensive touchdowns, catching three and throwing for another...Oregon State's Jordan Poyer is now tied for second in the nation in interceptions with four after he picked off Washington State three times in a 19-6 win. Fresno State's Phillip Thomas has six interceptions to lead the country.

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Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS