NCAA

Week 11: Big blows in the Big Ten, but Bud Foster goes out a winner

Week 11: Big blows in the Big Ten, but Bud Foster goes out a winner

Virginia Tech fittingly put together a dominant defensive performance to send Bud Foster out a winner in his final game at Lane Stadium. Virginia Tech could be on a collision course with rival Virginia who also won on Saturday. While there was good news in the ACC, the news was not as good in the Big Ten where Maryland and Penn State were both handed tough losses.

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

Ohio State 73, Maryland 14

The good

Maryland wasn’t shutout. That’s...something.

The bad

Ohio State was without its best player, defensive end Chase Young. Despite that, the Buckeyes still held Maryland to a single yard of offense in the first quarter and 139 yards for the game. Tyrrell Pigrome and Josh Jackson combined for eight total completions for 77 yards. The Terps were held to 62 yards on the ground, including seven yards from Anthony McFarland who torched the Buckeyes for 298 yards last season.

And, again, just in case you forgot, Ohio State did all of this without its best player on the field.

The crazy

Already up 14-0 in the first quarter, Ohio State dialed up an onside kick which they ran to perfection.

It was a beautiful play made possible by flawless execution and some great scouting to notice that hole in Maryland’s coverage.

But it still never should have happened.

Yes, the Terps hung tough with Ohio State last year, but it was very clear in the first quarter that this year was going to be different and that the runaway freight train that is the Buckeyes was going to crush Maryland. There was no need to make that call in this game. They didn’t need to do it and now every team still on Ohio State’s schedule, including Penn State and Michigan, is going to be prepared for a play like that.

The Buckeyes won this game by 59 points. They didn’t need to show off a trick play.

This game was so ugly in fact that a Maryland commit actually decommitted during the game.

It should be noted that he did not say he decommitted because of the Ohio State game, that is just a conclusion many have jumped to because it happened while the game was being played and when Maryland was already losing big.

Minnesota 31, Penn State 26

The good

Penn State may have only put up 26 points on the board, but it was a good day for them overall offensively. A team known more for its defense put up 518 yards against the Golden Gophers with Sean Clifford throwing for 340 yards. Both K.J. Hammler and Pat Freiermuth hauled in seven catches each for over 100 yards.

The bad

Minnesota came into Saturday’s game undefeated, but many thought that was more of a product of their weak schedule than the quality of the team. And yet, it was Penn State’s defense that looked outmatched on Saturday against the top offense it has faced this season.

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan passed for 339 yards and three touchdowns, taking advantage of a Nittany Lions secondary that is clearly the weakness of the defense.

Still, both offenses were able to move the ball effectively. The real difference in the game was Clifford’s three interceptions. He threw one on the opening drive which Minnesota turned into a touchdown five plays later and which really set the tone for the game.

Minnesota forced another interception in the second quarter and the Golden Gophers again scored a touchdown on the resulting drive. The third interception Clifford threw on Penn State’s final drive to seal the loss.

Clifford had only thrown three interceptions this season prior to Saturday’s game,

The crazy

Penn State’s last possession was a comedy of errors. The Nittany Lions pulled to within five and forced a three-and-out from the Gophers to give themselves a chance. Hammler was run into by one of his own teammates on the punt and muffed it. Penn State recovered, but had lost 15 yards and started their drive at their own 28. Clifford connected with Jahan Dotson for 49 yards to get the ball down to Minnesota’s 11. A catch down to the 2-yard line was negated by an offensive pass interference call on Daniel George. Clifford missed George on a pass the next play and then threw the game-sealing interception the next play after that.

Virginia 33, Georgia Tech 28

The good

Tavares Kelly had only 10 receptions and three kickoff returns in the first eight games of the season, but he was a big factor in UVA’s win Saturday as he took over kickoff return duties. He returned five kickoffs for 129 yards including a 40-yard return that set up the Cavaliers’ last touchdown drive of the first half. Kelly also caught two passes for 46 yards.

In addition, it was a big game for receiver Terrell Jana who caught nine passes for 108 yards. Virginia desperately needed additional weapons to emerge later in the season to take some of the pressure off of quarterback Bryce Perkins.

The bad

Coming into this game, Georgia Tech ranked an abysmal 124th in the nation on pass offense averaging just 141 yards per game. Quarterback James Graham took advantage of an injury-depleted Virginia secondary with 15 completions on 22 attempts for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

The crazy

Georgia Tech finished the game with 372 total yards. Perkins himself accounted for 364 total yards for Virginia (258 passing, 106 rushing).

Virginia Tech 36, Wake Forest 17

The good

In his last game at Lane Stadium, the Hokies sent legendary defensive coordinator Bud Foster out a winner. Foster had a lot to do with the Hokies' upset win, limiting a Wake Forest team that ranked in the top 10 nationally in both total offense and passing offense to season lows in points (17) and total yards (310).

After a sluggish first-half in which Virginia Tech managed to put only six points on the board, the Hokies came alive in the second quarter, scoring 30 points while allowing only seven.

The bad

The win ended an eight-game losing streak to ranked opponents at Lane Stadium that stretched back to 2009. Lane Stadium used to be one of the hardest places in the nation to play and one of the most feared venues for opponents. To think it has been that long since the Hokies were able to beat a ranked team at home is staggering.

The crazy

When Virginia Tech was blown out by Duke to fall to  2-2 on the season, it felt like the season was spiraling out of control. Now, incredibly, Virginia Tech sits 6-3, one win away from bowl eligibility and in control of their own destiny in the ACC Coastal Division race. That is a remarkable turnaround.

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Maryland coach Mike Locksley: Locker room valuable lesson for race relations

Maryland coach Mike Locksley: Locker room valuable lesson for race relations

Over the last month, America has been having a long-overdue conversation about race, justice and equality in our society. At NBC Sports Washington, we wanted to further the dialogue by providing a forum for DMV-area sports figures who are thought leaders on these important issues.

NBC Sports Washington is launching the first part of an ongoing video series entitled Race in America this week. Natasha Cloud, Mike Locksley, and Ian Mahinmi joined Chis Miller for the first of these roundtable discussions to share their experiences, thoughts and how they’re using their platforms in this fight. To watch the full interview, click here.

The story has been told time and again of how coaches, particularly of young men and women, often become something similar to a parent of their players. With all the time spent around their teams, teaching, mentoring and educating their players, good coaches leave a lasting impression. And in turn, those players also mean a great deal to their coaches.

It was through this lens that Maryland football head coach Mike Locksley viewed the killing of a Black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer. With a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, and after persistently telling the officer he couldn’t breathe, Floyd cried out for his mother moments before losing consciousness. 

Locksley, also a Black man, could easily have seen himself as Floyd in that moment. But as someone who, in addition to the players on his team, has kids of his own and knows what it’s like to have lost a child, Locksley said he went into parent mode watching the video.

“I go into dad mode. I go into parent mode,” Locksley said on the Wednesday debut of NBC Sports Washington’s Race in America: A Candid Conversation. “To watch the video, I could easily see it be any one of my kids, any one of my players. Having lost a son two years ago to gun violence, obviously not at the hands of the police, but it doesn’t get easier.”

RACE IN AMERICA: WATCH THE FULL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION HERE

In 2017, when Locksley was a coach at the University of Alabama, his son, Meiko, was shot and killed at 25 years old in Columbia, Md.

“No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for me, it really, really -- being a part of that fraternity of parents that had to bury kids -- to see George in his death, to hear him call out, those things bring out the inner papa bear in me,” said Locksley, who has three other children. “And for all of our players, my own personal kids, my community, it was a tough pill to swallow, to watch the way it played out.”

Locksley joined Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud and Washington Wizards center Ian Mahinmi in the discussion with NBC Sports Washington host Chris Miller. The conversation was focused around racial injustices in America and how different figures in sports are using their platforms for change. 

Locksley said he’s using the moment to educate himself so that he can come up with programming to teach his players, who he wants to protect like his own. Respect between people was something he pointed to as a potential starting point.

“How ironic it is that he’s taking a knee on his neck. And you think about the game of football that I’m involved with, with Colin Kaepernick taking a knee,” Locksley said. “And the thing I talk to our players about was, you know the one word that comes to mind when you think of all the brutality that we face as Black men at the hands of police officers is, it’s respect. I grew up in the Police Boys and Girls club in D.C., and so my interaction with officer Willie Morton who ran the club I was a part of ... my wife is a former police officer in Montgomery County. So, not all cops are bad people, and not all Black people are thugs or criminals.”

Locksley said over the last several weeks, while protests have been taking place across the country, the Terrapins football team has had some really strong conversations within itself, and he thought it was important to take a step back and listen to what his players had to say. It’s been a moment of learning for coaches and players, but it’s also allowed the team to develop a unified voice. Locksley said if the world was more similar to a locker room, it would be in a much better place.

“If the world was part of one team, meaning we’re all the same, we’re all humans, we all deserve respect, we all deserve the right to be safe at the hands of police officers, just think how much better all this would be,” Locksley said. “And so my platform is to be able to educate my players and my family that what happened to George ... guy didn't show a lot of respect for him as a person, Black or white. And when you respect someone, you don’t treat them that way. We gotta get to where everybody has a mutual respect, whether you’re on one side of the aisle of politics or the other, you have to have respect for the person and their opinions. And you may not agree, agree to disagree, but as we know in our locker rooms, there’s a lot of agrees to disagree, but we all are fighting for the same cause and the same family, which takes away all the other things that usually come into play.”

To watch the full roundtable discussion with Mike Locksley, Washington Mystics star Natasha Cloud and Washington Wizards star Ian Mahinmi, click here.

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The 10 best college quarterbacks to play at DC, Maryland or Virginia schools

The 10 best college quarterbacks to play at DC, Maryland or Virginia schools

College football may not be as ingrained in the culture of the DMV as it is in the south or the midwest, but we still have had our fair share of elite talent and it all starts under center. Some of the biggest name quarterbacks in the sport's history have played at local schools. Here are the ten best.

10. Ricky Dobbs (Navy)

A rare dual-threat quarterback for Navy, Dobbs helped the Midshipmen earn back-to-back wins over Notre Dame. In his senior season, Dobbs threw for 1,527 yards and rushed for 967. He was a perfect 4-0 against Army.

9. Malcolm Perry (Navy)

Keenan Reynolds may boast the record for most rushing yards for a quarterback, but even he did not have a season like Perry's 2019 in which he rushed for 2,017 yards. Perry only really took over as the quarterback in his senior season which begs the question just how many yards he could have racked up for his career had he taken the starting job earlier?

8. Matt Schaub (Virginia)

When Schaub finished his college career, he had 23 school records with Virginia. He was named the 2002 ACC Player of the Year and still holds the ACC record for completion percentage with 67.0.

7. Boomer Esiason (Maryland)

Maryland was the only school to offer Esiason a scholarship and he certainly made the most of it. By the time he left for the NFL, he had set 17 school records.

RELATED ARTICLE: NAVAL ACADEMY TO REVISIT UNDER ARMOUR CONTRACT THIS WEEK

6. Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)

Taylor was supposed to redshirt his sophomore season in 2008, but when Virginia Tech lost its season opener to East Carolina, Taylor’s redshirt was pulled and he helped lead the Hokies to a 10-4 overall record and an ACC title. Virginia Tech won three conference titles in Taylor’s four years in Blacksburg and by the time he was done, he had school records in wins, passing yards and total offense. He accounted for 66 total touchdowns and earned ACC Player of the Year honors in 2010.

5. Shawn Moore (Virginia)

The only Virginia quarterback to have his number retired, Moore is the best quarterback in UVA history. His best season came in 1990 when he led the ACC in pass completion percentage (59.8), passing touchdowns (21) and total yards (2,568). He also led the nation in passing yards per attempt (9.4) and quarterback rating (160.7). Not surprisingly, he was named the ACC Player of the Year for 1990. He would finish fourth on the Heisman ballot for that year.

4. Jack Scarbath (Maryland)

Byrd Stadium is the house that Scarbath built. Literally, he was a construction worker and helped pour the cement for the Stadium in his freshman year. The Hall of Fame quarterback helped lead Maryland to a 10-0 record in 1951, his junior season, and an unclaimed national title. He was the runner-up for the Heisman the following season.

3. Keenan Reynolds (Navy)

Reynolds is in the record book for the most rushing touchdowns (88) and most rushing yards for a quarterback (4,559). Those are national records, not school ones. In his time with Navy, he led the Midshipmen to a 7-1 record against the other service academies, including four wins against Army.

2. Michael Vick (Virginia Tech)

To some, Vick’s legal history is enough to remove him from this list. From a pure talent perspective, however, few players in the history of college football were as dynamic. Vick helped lead the Hokies to their only national title berth and could have been one of the all-time greats of the sport had he not left for the NFL after his sophomore year. Think of all the highlights we have of just two years of Vick under center. Imagine what he could have done with four.

1. Roger Staubach (Navy)

Staubach is the only service academy quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy. He did it in 1963, passing for over 1,400 yards. He is one of only four players in history to win both a Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl MVP.

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