NCAA

Boise State tramples the Cavs: 5 takeaways

boise.jpg

Boise State tramples the Cavs: 5 takeaways

There will be no September upset this year for the Cavaliers as Boise State trampled Virginia 56-14. The Broncos added yet another Power 5 program to their list of notable wins as they took an early lead and ran with it.

Here are five takeaways from the tough loss for Virginia: 

Early mistake: The national spotlight was on Charlottesville, the crowd was rocking, the team was pumped and in an instant it all changed. Boise State set the tone from the very first play and they never looked back.

Virginia started on offense after returning the opening kickoff to the 27. Matt Johns dropped back on the first play from scrimmage and was pressured almost immediately. As he was getting pulled down, he tried to throw the ball away but it fell right into the hands of defensive tackle Justin Taimatuia who took it 21 yards untouched into the end zone.

It was one of two interceptions returned for a touchdown by Boise State on the night.

No quarterback likes getting sacked, but it's important for quarterbacks to know when to throw the ball away and when they need to just take the sack. That play gave the Broncos an early lead and really took some of the energy out of the stadium. If you want to pull off an upset at home, you need the crowd.

Johns is not an inexperienced quarterback anymore, he should know better. That was an inexcusable mistake.

RELATED: CAA triple-header

An offensive offense: Virginia had a downright ugly game on offense. They managed only 273 yards of offense and 120 of those yards came on two long scoring plays. Virginia had a whopping 40 yards on the ground for the entire game.

The team's top offensive weapons just were nowhere to be found. Canaan Severin had only 34 receiving yards and Taquan Mizzell had 2 rushing yards.

The Cavaliers really struggled to stay on the field because they had little success on first and second down. Virginia faced 12 3rd-and-longs (eight yards or more) in this game as they continually got behind the chains. They only were able to convert four of them into first downs.

They needed more success on first and second down to give themselves a chance at converting and keeping their offense on the field.

Another freshman QB: A non-conference schedule that includes UCLA, Notre Dame and Boise State is about as tough as it gets. You would think that facing two freshman quarterbacks would have given Virginia at least a chance to pull off an upset given the strength of their defense. Instead those two quarterbacks were the ones who torched the Hoos the most.

First there was Josh Rosen at UCLA and on Saturday there was Brett Rypien.

Boise State's starting quarterback Ryan Finley suffered a broken ankle last week giving Rypien only one week to prepare. He was expected to split time with Thomas Stuart, but Stuart only took a handful of naps as Rypien quickly showed he was more than capable of taking over this offense and tearing apart the Virginia secondary.

Rypien finished with 321 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Lopsided turnover margin: The turnover discrepancy for Virginia has gone from a concern to downright ridiculous. The Cavaliers once again failed to collect a single turnover. Now four games into the season, Virginia still has not forced a single takeaway. At some point, you would think they would get one by sheer dumb luck, but it hasn't happened.

This is a problem made worse by their own turnovers. Virginia gave the ball away to Boise State five times in this game, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns.

Turnovers are critical and successful teams are able to force takeaways. Virginia is not 1-3 just because they played a tough schedule, they are 1-3 because they were not able to force opposing offenses into mistakes.

Thorpe shows flashes: One of the few brights spots for Virginia was T.J. Thorpe who showed the explosiveness the Cavaliers were hoping to see from him this season.

Down 17-0 in the first, UVa faced a 3rd and 10 and desperately needed a big play to stay in the game. They got one from Thorpe.

Johns took the shotgun snap and threw it up just in time to avoid the pressure to Thorpe who had a step on cornerback Jonathan Moxey. Moxey tried to push him out of bounds, but Thorpe managed to tiptoe on the sidelines and avoid a tackle from the Bronco's safety as he pulled away for the touchdown.

There were several plays in which Thorpe looked a step ahead of Boise's corners, but the one touchdown pass was his only catch of the night.

It may not have paid off against Boise, but defenses will have to account for the deep ball threat Thorpe poses which should mean more room for Canaan Severin.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Hokies Report: Hokies look to avenge last year's upset

The 6 craziest things that happened in Week 7 of the college football season

usatsi_13502849.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

The 6 craziest things that happened in Week 7 of the college football season

Four teams dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten, Louisville's coaching staff is way too intense, everyone from the state of Michigan is an embarrassment and yeah, Oklahoma and Texas still don't like each other.

Here are the six craziest things that happened in Week 6.

Unbeatens beware

Four undefeated teams suffered their first losses of the season this week as the College Football Playoff Grim Reaper began to rear his ugly head.

The most significant loss was that of Georgia at home to division rival South Carolina and it became evident at the end of the game that neither team wanted to win. I mean, why else would Will Muschamp call for a 57-yard field goal attempt in a tie game with 40 seconds left on the clock and with Georgia having all their timeous left? Why else would Georgia take itself out of field goal range with an illegal shift right before the end of regulation? The Gamecocks had a chance to win after recovering a fumble on the first overtime, but a botched field goal kept the game alive. South Carolina would kick a field goal in the second overtime and a missed field goal by Georgia would give the Gamecocks the win.

Florida also dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten, but that game was going to knock someone off as both the Gators and LSU were undefeated heading into Death Valley on Saturday.

Temple handed Memphis its first loss of the season in an afternoon tilt on Saturday and Wake Forest was also upset at the hands of Louisville who marched into the Demon Deacons’ home field and put up 62 points.

On a related note, the Orange Bowl has to be rooting so hard for Clemson to not make the playoff this year, or the ACC is going to send a mediocre team into one of the best bowl games in the country.

Only 12 undefeated teams remain at the FBS level after this week's action.

Louisville’s defensive line coach needs to chill

Mark Ivey is the defensive line coach at Louisville. To say he is intense would be putting it mildly.

The commentators laugh at how “fired up” the coaches are, but there are several moments in there where it is hard to tell if they are just super pumped or if people players are trying break up a legitimate fight.

Maybe trying to relive the glory days of your playing career during warmups is a bad idea.

Every player from both Oklahoma and Texas was given an unsportsmanlike penalty during the pregame

Oklahoma and Texas is one of the most storied rivalries in college football, even if we have no idea what it’s supposed to be called anymore. The Red River Shootout? The Red River Rivalry? The Red River Hootenanny? The Red River Hullabaloo?

Tensions were high for this game which led to a scuffle during pregame.

More than one.

Realizing that they were losing control of the game before it even started, the referees assessed every player on both teams an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Fun fact, in college football a player is ejected after their second unsportsmanlike penalty in a game so every player was one flag away from getting the boot.

In the end, only one player was ejected and that was for targeting. No one else received a second unsportsmanlike penalty and Oklahoma went on to beat Texas 34-27.

This season could not get any more embarrassing for Michigan

Jim Harbaugh: “Hold my beer.”

The Wolverines won on the road at Illinois on Saturday by a comfortable-looking margin of 42-25. That score, however, does not reflect the nearly epic collapse Michigan faced in the second half.

Jim Harbaugh and Co. jumped out to a 28-0 lead on the Illini before Illinois could even get on the board. Illinois, led by a backup quarterback, managed to score the next 25 points, trimming the lead down to just three early in the fourth quarter. From there, seeing their season was about to collapse in such an epic way woke Michigan back up. The Wolverines went on to add two extra touchdowns to their score while Illinois was shutout the remainder of the game.

Michigan’s quest to prove why they do not deserve to be a ranked team continues next week at Happy Valley where the Wolverines will take on Penn State.

Mark Dantonio answers a “dumbass” question with a dumbass answer

Speaking of disappointing football teams in the state of Michigan, let’s now move on to Michigan State. The Spartans stink on offense as was evident in their 38-0 loss to Wisconsin. In three losses this season, Michigan State has a combined 17 points. That’s bad. What’s worse is the fact that they were bad on offense last year as well, but virtually nothing was done to improve the offense as head coach Mark Dantonio returned the entire offensive coaching staff, but with changed titles and duties.

So now after a humiliating blowout loss in which the offense was made to look as inept as ever, it is fair to wonder if perhaps not making any changes on offense was a mistake. At least most people would think it was fair.

When head coach Mark Dantonio was asked whether his decision on the offensive staff in the offseason was a mistake, here was his response:

Dantonio is absolutely right. That is a “dumbass” question because we all know the answer is yes, it was a mistake, it is going to cost Michigant State its season and not doing anything about it makes him look bad. But go ahead, keep turning your frustrations on the media. That ought to help the offense.

Tennessee becomes the last Power 5 team to earn an FBS win

If you had to guess who the last Power 5 team to earn an FBS win this season was, who would you guess? Kansas? Oregon State? Illinois? One of the other perennial cellar-dwellers?

Nope, you’re all wrong. The answer is Tennessee.

The Volunteers actually won a game against a team with a pulse on Saturday, earning the ugly 20-10 win over Mississippi State. It still counts though proving that there really is no such thing as an ugly win, just an ugly season.

Tennesse improved its record to an impressive 2-4, a fact that right now is prompting every football fan in the south to stand up and spontaneously chant “S-E-C! S-E-C!”

Prior to Saturday, Tennessee’s only win of the season was against FCS Chattanooga. Yes, the Volunteers have losses to Florida and Georgia, both impressive teams. They also have losses against Georgia State and BYU so no, Tennessee is not simply a victim of the brutal SEC schedule.

Week 7: Virginia, Maryland suffer reality checks

terps-purdue-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Week 7: Virginia, Maryland suffer reality checks

Virginia has looked like the front-runner in the Coast Division all season. That may have changed on Friday after a tough loss at Miami. Also, if you thought Josh Jackson did not add all that much to Maryland's offense, you thought wrong. That was made clear in Saturday's blowout loss to a bad Purdue team. Virginia Tech continues to try to turn things around with a new quarterback, Navy earned a key conference win and Penn State and Iowa continue to ruin football for everyone.

Here’s a recap of the week’s local action.

Miami 17, Virginia 9

The good

While the Cavaliers’ offense struggled in this one, the defense was tremendous and kept Virginia in it. After giving up 78 yards to Miami in their first possession, UVA held the Hurricanes to just 33 yards, no point and six punts on their next six drives. The defense began to bend late as Miami earned 147 of its 265 total yards and 10 of its 17 points on the final two drives. Still, Virginia’s defense clearly did enough to win this game.

The bad

It’s time to be concerned about the Cavalier’s rushing offense. Virginia was held to just 74 yards on the ground with its best rusher, Wayne Taulapapa, getting just 27 yards on eight carries. Once again, too much was asked of Bryce Perkins who attempted 42 passes and finished with 17 carries including five sacks.

In the past two games, Perkins has attempted 85 combined passes as UVA has failed to establish any semblance of a run game.

The ugly

Just how bad was the offense on Saturday? The Cavaliers got inside Miami’s 30 six times in the game and managed only three field goals. Perhaps the most indicative drive of the game came in the fourth quarter when Joe Reed set up Virginia in Miami territory off a 72-yard kickoff return. UVA would ultimately settle for a field goal off a drive that lasted seven plays and gained a grand total of zero yards (not a typo).

Star cornerback Bryce Hall also suffered a leg injury in the second quarter and had to be carted off. Hall elected to forego the NFL draft for a year in order to return for his senior season. It would be devastating if he suffered a major injury as a result. It would also be a huge blow to the secondary if he was lost for any significant time.

Purdue 40, Maryland 14

The good

Dontay Demus has established himself as the go-to receiver regardless of who is under center. With Tyrrell Pigrome in at quarterback, Demus caught 10 passes for 105 yards.

The bad

Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer threw for a whopping 420 yards and three touchdowns, both career-highs according to the AP. In the battle of the backup quarterbacks, Pummer certainly outplayed Pigrome who looked overmatched.

The ugly

A Purdue offense that ranked 129th in the nation with 50.8 rush-yards per game managed to double that for 127 rushing yards. That came off of 37 attempts so it is not as if the Boilermakers were great on the ground, but they were able to move the ball more efficiently than they should have been able to do.

Virginia Tech 34, Rhode Island 17

The good

The Hokies offense is definitely playing with some momentum after the quarterback switch to Hendon Hooker. Hooker passed for 261 yards and three touchdowns. DeShawn McClease also continued to establish himself as the team’s premiere back with 124 yards on just 12 carries.

The bad

Once again Virginia Tech struggled to put away an opponent. Despite all the good stats and the final score, Rhode Island stayed with Virginia Tech for much of the game, pulling to within three points in the third quarter before the Hokies pulled away.

The ugly

Virginia Tech will be without Reggie Floyd for the first half of next week’s game against North Carolina after he was ejected for targeting for a hit on Isaiah Coulter in the fourth quarter. That could be a key ACC matchup if the Hokies want to climb back into contention for the division.

Penn State 17, Iowa 12

The good

In a game with little offense to speak of, Noah Cain managed to find some room to work with, rushing for 102 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. His touchdown proved to be the game-winner.

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley threw an interception in the fourth quarter and Cain put the finishing touches on the 35-yard touchdown drive. That made a 10-6 game 17-6 and really put things out of reach.

The bad

The offense is always ugly when these two teams meet. Never forget the 2004 matchup that resulted in a 6-4 win for the Hawkeyes. This game felt like a tribute to that monstrosity.

One of the few offensive highlights of the night came off an unreal catch by Iowa’s Brandon Smith late in the game in which he victimized Penn State cornerback John Reid.

Sorry, Reid. You are going to be seeing yourself in that highlight for a long, long time.

The ugly

During pregame warmups, Penn State players wore shirts saying, “Chains, Tattoos, Dreads, & WE ARE.” The shirts were worn in support of teammate Jonathan Sutherland who was sent a letter last week by a Penn State alum critical of his “awful” hair.

“Surely there must be mirrors in the locker room!” the letter said. “Don’t you have parents or girlfriend who’ve told you those shoulder length dreadlocks look disgusting and are certainly not attractive. (sic)”

The shirts were confiscated after warmups reportedly because the players had not discussed their intention to wear the shirts with head coach James Franklin.

Navy 45, Tulsa 17

The good

Navy completely hand-cuffed Tulsa’s offense by allowing them absolutely nothing on the ground. The Golden Hurricane came into Saturday’s game averaging a modest 115.6 rushing yards per game. The Midshipmen limited them to just 69 yards.

The bad

Quarterback Malcolm Perry was critical of his performance after the game as he told reporters, "As far as executing the offense, seeing things clearly, making the right reads, just a little too much indecision. I wasn't too happy with my performance, but of course we got the win. I thought the offense as a whole played really well, so I'm happy about that, but overall, my personal play, I wasn't too pleased."

Perry is probably the only person who thought he had a bad game, however, as he rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns.

The ugly

Tulsa was up 3-0 in the first quarter and looked like they had just scored on a 98-yard touchdown pass from Zach Smith to Sam Crawford. The touchdown was called back, however, after replay showed Crawford had stepped out of bounds before the catch. This could have been a very different game had Crawford stayed in bounds.

MORE NCAA NEWS: