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Hokies Report: Blacksburg prepares to say goodbye

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Hokies Report: Blacksburg prepares to say goodbye

Check back every Wednesday for the Hokies Report to get all the biggest Virginia Tech headlines for each week, a recap of last week's game and a look ahead at next week's contest.

Virginia Tech 5-5, (3-3) in the ACC

In the news

Bucky Hodges named semi-finalist for Mackey Award: At 6 feet seven inches, Bucky Hodges is tough to defend and the nation has taken notice. On Monday it was announced that Hodges was one of eight finalists for the John Mackey Award which is awarded annually to the most outstanding tight end. With 27 catches on the season, Hodges is actually on pace for fewer than the 45 he had last season. He has also hauled in five touchdowns this season giving him 12 for his career. Hodges is now tied for the third most touchdown catches ever by a tight end in ACC history which is incredible considering he is a redshirt sophomore.

GameDay acknowledges Beamer: Despite an impressive push from the Virginia Tech faithful, ESPN's College GameDay will not be in Blacksburg for Frank Beamer's last home game on Saturday. The crew did, however, issue a response to the #GameDay4Frank movement:

Uniform news: Virginia Tech will wear black jerseys for Saturday's home game and retro throwback jerseys for the season finale against Virginia. Here's a look at the black jerseys:

Each helmet will have the number 25 on the side of it, the number Beamer wore as a player for Virginia Tech.

The team will also wear special helmet stickers for both games as you can see from the picture. The sticker depicts Beamer after the win over Boston College in 1999 which sealed the team's undefeated season.

RELATED: Bruce Allen pays tribute to Frank Beamer

Last week's game: 23-21 win at Georgia Tech

Read the recap of the game here.

After spotting Georgia Tech 14 points, Virginia Tech clamped down on defense and did not allow another touchdown. A horrendous interception by Brewer almost gave the Yellow Jackets the win, but in the end, the Hokies pulled out the victory and came one step closer to bowl eligibility.

Travon McMillian further established himself as the feature back with 135 yards and two touchdowns, but it was not a great night for Brewer. In addition to the interception, he threw for only 178 yards.

You can't take too much from this game given that Georgia Tech is only a 3-7 team and that Bud Foster has had success against the triple option in his career. If you're hoping this signals a turnaround for the defense, that would be premature. Still, holding Georgia Tech to only 161 rushing yards and 14 points is a good sign.

Next game: Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina, Sat. 12:00 p.m. ET

Preview

Virginia Tech has won four of their last five games against North Carolina, but the team the Hokies will face Saturday appears to be the best of the Larry Fedora era.

In a division in which one team rarely seems to establish itself as the clear team to beat, North Carolina has done so this season with a 9-1 record going 6-0 in the conference after rolling through Pittsburgh, Duke and Miami.

You know what the Hokies are playing for this weekend, but North Carolina has plenty to play for as well as a win will clinch their spot in the ACC championship game.

Setting all the fanfare aside, Virginia Tech is in for a tough game. North Carolina boasts the second best offense in the conference behind only Clemson. Slowing down a middling Georgia Tech is one thing, the Marquise Williams led Tar Heels are something else entirely. With Williams at the helm, the Hokies will face yet another mobile quarterback which of course is something they have struggled immensely with.

It also doesn't help that North Carolina is taking good care of the ball. The Tar Heels have not turned the ball over in their last three games. In their season-opening loss to South Carolina, three interceptions from Williams proved to be critical. He has only thrown four interceptions in the nine games since then.

The result? North Carolina's offense is rolling and has scored 125 points in their last two games. Foster will have his work cut out for him.

North Carolina can't score, however, if they're not on the field. In addition to having one of the top offenses in the conference, they also have the ACC's worst rush defense allowing 206.1 yards per game. The way to beat UNC is to keep running the ball and running the clock. This is the clear formula, but so far no one has been able to take advantage. This will be a huge game for McMillian.

The emotions will run high in Lane Stadium as Beamer takes the sidelines for the final time in Blacksburg. Will that fuel the Hokies to the upset win?

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Cavaliers Report: Avoiding costly mistakes

2019 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship: Bracket, schedules, teams

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USA TODAY Sports Images

2019 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship: Bracket, schedules, teams

All of a sudden, we are down to four.

The NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals are set, with Penn State, Yale, Virginia, and Duke fighting for the title.

The semifinals will be played on Saturday, setting the stage for the National Championship on Monday.

Here is everything you need to know.

What schools are playing for the NCAA Men's Lacrosse title?

The four schools remaining are Penn State, Yale, Virginia, and Duke.

Penn State faces Yale in the first semifinal, with Virginia and Duke clashing in an ACC battle for a spot in the National Championship.

When are the NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals and final?

The first semifinal matchup is on Saturday, May 25, at 12:00 p.m. The second semifinal will take place roughly 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game, with an anticipated start time of 2:30 p.m. 

The National Championship will be held on Monday, May 27, at 1 p.m.

Where can I watch and live stream the NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals and final?

All three games will be aired on live television on ESPN2.

Each game is available for stream on WatchESPN.

How did each team get here?

The No. 1 overall seeded Penn State Nittany Lions have cruised into the Final Four. They defeated Loyola (Md.) 21-14 in the quarterfinals after beating UMBC 25-10 in the first round. Penn State has lost just one game all season and should be the favorites to take home the title.

In one of the best games of the tournament, Yale narrowly edged University of Pennsylvania 19-18 in the quarterfinal for the opportunity to face Penn State in the semifinals. Yale defeated Georgetown in their opening game of the tournament.

In a controversy game-tying goal with just seconds remaining, Virginia edged out Maryland 13-12 in overtime for a spot in the semifinals. They cruised by Robert Morris, 19-10, in their first-round matchup.

The third one-goal victory of the quarterfinals belonged to Duke, who defeated Notre Dame 14-13 in the quarterfinals. The Blue Devils have been tested throughout the tournament, as they just slid by Richmond, 12-11, in their opening matchup.

If the past couple rounds are any indication, his weekend should bring exciting lacrosse for everyone.

Terrapins get huge commitment from 7-foot-2 internet phenom Chol Marial

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Screenshot: Courtside YouTube

Terrapins get huge commitment from 7-foot-2 internet phenom Chol Marial

The Maryland Terrapins just added a huge piece to their 2019 recruiting class. Literally. 

The Terps officially signed 7-foot-1 center Chol Marial (AZ Compass Prep, Chandler, Arizona), the team announced Monday. 

Depending on who you ask, Marial is either a three-star, 210-pound or a four-star, 220-pound recruit (247Sports, ESPN), but he's unquestionably taller than seven feet. He also has a 7-foot-11 wingspan that Maryland coach Mark Turgeon expects will make him "an excellent rim protector."

"I've watched Chol the last three years and I can't say enough about him as both a person and a basketball player," Turgeon said in a release from Maryland, which lists Marial at 7-foot-2 and 230 pounds. 

"One of the top players in his class when healthy, Chol's tremendous size and length make him an excellent rim protector. Chol possesses a humble demeanor and a strong work ethic that will fit well with our family. We can't wait to have him in College Park and look forward to helping him reach his dreams."

Originally from Rumbek, South Sudan, Marial moved to the U.S. as a middle-schooler in 2014. He also previously attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

ESPN ranks Marial as the No. 2 center in Arizona and the No. 14 center nationally, while 247Sports says he's No. 6 and No. 26 in those two respective categories.

He visited Maryland on April 26, according to 247Sports, and also received offers from Georgetown, Florida State, Arizona State, Iowa, UConn and West Virginia.

"I want to thank Coach Turgeon for giving me this opportunity," Marial said in a release from the school. "Coach Turgeon and I have gotten along really well and I really enjoyed spending time with the rest of the coaching staff and players. Bruno Fernando and I have similar backgrounds and I saw how much he improved as a player at Maryland. I'm looking forward to getting better every day and playing for Terp Nation."

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