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College Football Week 10 What to Watch: The Hokies will test their luck against the Irish

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College Football Week 10 What to Watch: The Hokies will test their luck against the Irish

Virginia Tech heads to Notre Dame, Virginia looks to regain first in the Coastal Division, Maryland hosts a tough Michigan team and Navy meets UConn for the last time as conference foes.

Here is a breakdown of all the local action.

Navy at UConn

When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Pratt & Whitney Stadium, East Hartford, Conn.
How to watch: ESPN2

With UConn on its way out of the AAC, this promises to be the last matchup between these two teams for the foreseeable future. The Huskies are just 6-26 in Randy Edsall's second stint with the Huskies and earned their first FBS win in two years Saturday against UMass.  Navy, meanwhile, is in the running to win its division with a 6-1 record, 4-1 in conference.  Because of the nature of the program, there are not many teams Navy can play in which they will hold a distinct talent advantage, but this is one of them.

Anything can happen in college football, but Navy's triple-option attack should have little trouble shredding UConn's 102nd ranked rushing defense. Edsall will probably still find a way to earn multiple bonuses in this game though so at least there's that.

Maryland vs. No. 14 Michigan

When: 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: Maryland Stadium, College Park, Md.
How to watch: ABC

Maryland was throttled by Minnesota last week and now return home to face a Michigan team that seems to be peaking after a big win over Notre Dame.

Read the full preview here.

Virginia Tech at No. 16 Notre Dame

When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Ind.
How to watch: NBC

Quarterback Hendon Hooker will play Saturday against Notre Dame after a bye week allowed him time to get healthy. Virginia Tech is 3-0 since Hooker took over as the starter, but Saturday's game against Notre Dame will be his biggest test yet as the Irish are easily the best opponent on Virginia Tech's schedule this season. 

Virginia at North Carolina

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
How to watch: ACCN

With a win over Duke, Virginia took sole possession of first place in the ACC Coastal. A loss to Louisville last week dropped them back into a tie. Now again they face a team they sit tied with in the standings looking to reclaim their lead atop the division.

The offensive line has been atrocious of late for Virginia which has forced the ball in the hands of star quarterback Bryce Perkins far too much. The offense is looking at a situation in which it cannot establish the run, but cannot give Perkins enough time to effectively pass the ball. That leaves the star quarterback susceptible to too many hits and it could cost them. This offense would collapse without Perkins under center.

North Carolina should offer the Cavaliers a chance to get the ground game going, however, with the 73rd ranked rush defense in the nation.

Game of the week: No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 6 Florida

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
How to watch: CBS

The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is one of the best rivalries in college football and it's an important one too with both teams battling for supremacy in the SEC East. The winner of this game is almost a lock to win the division.

Heading into this season there are not many who would have thought Florida was close to catching Georgia. Now over midway through the season, the Gators have had the more impressive season with a win over Auburn and their only loss coming on the road at LSU. Georgia was stunned by South Carolina which now leaves quarterback Jake Fromm and the Bulldogs in a position where they will need to reassert their dominance over the division.

Not only is first place in the division on the line, but so too is both team's College Football Playoff hopes. A two-loss team has never made it to the playoff and that is unlikely to happen this year for a team that is not going to even win its division.

On NBC Sports Washington

Georgia Tech vs. Pitt

When: 4:00 p.m., Saturday
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington Plus

Other local teams

Old Dominion at Florida International, 12 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Liberty at UMass, 12 p.m. Saturday
Georgetown vs. Colgate, 12 p.m. Saturday
Hampton vs. Presbyterian College, 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Howard vs. North Carolina Central, 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
VMI vs. Western Carolina, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Towson vs. Delaware, 2 p.m. Saturday
Norfolk State vs. Morgan State, 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Stony Brook vs. Richmond, 4 p.m. Saturday

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VCU forward Marcus Santos-Silva declares for 2020 NBA Draft

VCU forward Marcus Santos-Silva declares for 2020 NBA Draft

In this time of mass quarantining, live sports have come to a standstill across the country, but that hasn’t stopped college basketball’s offseason from churning along.

Players across the nation are deciding where they want to play next season, and the latest impactful player to take a step toward next year is VCU’s Marcus Santos-Silva.

The junior forward announced on his Instagram his intentions to enter the 2020 NBA Draft.

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It’s not yet clear how limited the NBA’s draft preparation will be as a result of COVID-19, but Santos-Silva does mention in his announcement that he will be maintaining his college eligibility in case he decides to return for his senior season.

Santos-Silva came off the bench his freshman season, but has started all 64 games in the last two years for VCU. As a junior, he averaged 12.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in 27.2 minutes.

He does all of his damage close to the rim, as he has yet to attempt a three-point shot in his college career.

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How Howard University coach Larry Scott is leading his team from home

How Howard University coach Larry Scott is leading his team from home

Starting any new job can be stressful, but starting it under a COVID-19 outbreak? A whirlwind.  

That’s exactly how Howard University’s new head football coach, Larry Scott, describes it.  

“You take the job beginning of February and ask yourself, what all has to be done?” Scott said. “And you go, ‘Everything.’”   

And yet you can’t do anything outside of your home. 

Scott is challenged with trying to change the culture of a team that finished the 2019 season 2-10, seventh in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He’s had to evaluate his roster, hire a new coaching staff, and hopefully bring in the right recruits.  Seems impossible, but Scott sees it completely the opposite.  

“It’s all about people, it’s all about building a strong connection within a team,” Scott said.  “Thank god I had some really good strong relationships with some coaches that I have worked with and admired from afar."

Scott coached under Dan Mullen at the University of Florida and Butch Jones at the University of Tennessee, learning leadership skills he has relied upon while installing his own system at Howard -- especially during this trying time.   

“It actually plays well into the whole concept -- football is still about people and how you make them feel,” Scott said. “Trust factors are built though connections.” 

Howard’s football team holds position meetings two times a week, staff meetings once a week, and uses Zoom to communicate with players daily.  Scott held his first full team meeting on Monday using Microsoft Teams while his strength and conditioning coach sends out daily workouts via Twitter challenging players to find creative ways to stay in football shape.  

Full-body workouts can be better than weights. Packing a book bag or finding water bottles can substitute creativity when the normal tools are not available. It’s about taking ownership of your body, when no one is telling you what time to be in the gym or standing over you counting reps.   

But all that is expected for a football team. Scott is also holding meetings that involve the full academic staff.  

“We have a plan for how we’re attacking academics and our online classes,” Scott said.  

A big part of that are talks on shifting the grade system to pass-fail concepts and where to accept letter grades. Scott wants his players to keep their scholarships and stay eligible. If they don’t keep their studies up, all the training in the world won’t matter. There is no football. Not even when football returns.   

For Scott, the cool thing about communicating all this to young men, is just that. They’re young. The virtual world is more their reality than any previous generation. They order all their food through Uber Eats. They have endless apps on their phones. They can adapt because technology lets them. And in so doing they help their coach adapt, too, during tough times. Together, when they finally return to the field, Scott believes they’ll all have a deeper appreciation for college football. 

“It’s kind of fun entering into their world into how they see things and view things and being able to still reach them and relate to them and teach them on a level that is expanding our mind,” Scott said. “It’s still about seeing young people find ways to have success, create avenues of opportunity.”   

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