NCAA

Week 12: Virginia Tech reaches bowl eligibility while Navy's Cotton Bowl hopes take a hit

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USA TODAY Sports

Week 12: Virginia Tech reaches bowl eligibility while Navy's Cotton Bowl hopes take a hit

Virginia Tech dominated Georgia Tech to reach bowl eligibility for the 27th straight season, Penn state rebounded from last week's loss to Minnesota and Navy got no luck against Notre Dame.

Here's a recap of the week's local college football action.

Penn State 34, Indiana 27

The Good

Penn State's pass attack was largely inconsistent, but quarterback Sean Clifford still accounted for three touchdowns for the Nittany Lions, one through the air and two on the ground. The ground game was the saving grace for Penn State which got more rushing yards (192) than passing (179).  Running back Journey Brown gained 100 yards on the dot on 21 carries with one touchdown.

The Bad

The strength of the Nittany Lions this season has been the defense but that is two shaky games in a row on that side of the ball. Penn State had not allowed a first-quarter touchdown heading into last week's game against Minnesota. In the last two games alone, the Lions have given up four.

Indiana was able to effectively move up and down the field and outgained Penn State 462 to 371.

Star receiver KJ Hammler left the game in the first quarter due to an injury he suffered on a kickoff return. He would not return. Cameras saw Hammler celebrating the win with Clifford in the endzone tunnel.

With the Ohio State game looming next week, Hammler will be key to Penn State's hopes of pulling off the upset. Head coach James Franklin told the media afterward that he was "hopeful" Hammler would be ready to play.

The Crazy

When a team lines up to punt and calls a timeout, warning bells start going off in the heads of the opposing coaches. If you're planning on faking a punt and you need to call a timeout to make sure everything is set, you should just scrap it altogether. It's not going to work.

Indiana was on their own 44-yard line with a fourth and one upcoming. They lined up to punt and took a timeout. They returned from the timeout and this happened:

It didn't help that Peyton Hendershot bobbled the direct snap, but even if he hadn't you can see Penn State was just waiting for that fake punt. Two players later, Brown ran the ball 35 yards to put Nittany Lions up 27-14.

Notre Dame 52, Navy 20

The Good

After getting obliterated in the first half, Navy rallied somewhat to make the score more respectable, scoring 17 points in the second half. Receiver Mychal Cooper caught three passes for 73 yards

The Bad

Malcolm Perry averaged 130.2 rushing yards entering Saturday's game, but was held to 117 on 25 carries by the Irish. Notre Dame forced three first-half fumbles from him.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book torched the Midshipmen's defense with five touchdown passes, four of which went to Chase Claypool. Navy was allowing 310.6 yards per game, but gave up 300 by halftime and 410 total.

This loss hurts Navy's chances for earning the Group of 5's bid to the Cotton Bowl this year a bit. While it does not hurt their chances of winning the AAC, this loss will likely knock the Midshipmen out of this week's College Football Playoff rankings.

The Crazy

Saturday's game was the first non-sell out at Notre Dame Stadium since Thanksgiving Day in 1973. That is a streak of 273 games snapped. That is disappointing considering it came in a rivalry game that has been played every single year since 1927.

Virginia Tech 45, Georgia Tech 0

The Good

The Hokies came into Saturday's game with a chance to earn bowl eligibility for the 27th consecutive season, the nation's longest bowl streak, and they left the outcome in no doubt.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker scored three total touchdowns as Virginia Tech improved to 5-0 in games he has started.

The Bad

Tayvion Robinson took a helmet-to-helmet hit in the second quarter from Georgia Tech safety Christian Campbell. Campbell was ejected from the game for targeting.

The Crazy

Down 31-0 at the half, Georgia Tech elected to go for the onside kick. It failed and Virginia Tech got the ball at the Yellow Jackets' 49. 

Georgia Tech dominated Virginia Tech 49-28 last season. It was a role reversal on Saturday as Bud Foster did a masterful job with the defense. The Yellow Jackets were outgained 299-48 in the first half and held to just 134 total offense for the game. This game marks the first time Georgia Tech has been shut out since Oct. 18, 1997.

Will Ivy League's fall sports decision affect college football?

Will Ivy League's fall sports decision affect college football?

As the days of summer continue to be checked off the calendar, college football finds itself facing a diminishing amount of days left to finalize its plans for seeing football on college campuses this fall, if at all. One conference might be ready to make the call, at least according to some of their coaches.
 
The Ivy League has announced its final decision regarding fall sports, college football most notably, will come sometime this week. According to The Athletic, multiple coaches have stated "that they expect Wednesday's announcement to be that the league is moving all fall sports, including football, to spring 2021."


 
Could college football be headed for a new home on our calendars? How would that happen and who would ultimately make that decision? 
 
The decision for the Ivy League to move fall sports to the spring would be the first declaration from a Division 1 conference of its kind and could set the tone for the other FBS schools. The Ivy League was the first to cancel its basketball conference tournament back on March 12, under scrutiny at the time, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was soon to be followed by the other conferences once the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak was universally understood.
 
Harvard has already announced it will allow only 40% of undergraduates on campus in the fall, and all teaching is set to be conducted remotely. 
 
Moving all college football to spring 2021 is one of many scenarios being examined by athletic directors, school presidents and conference commissioners. Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour has called spring football a "last resort," citing the proximity to the 2021 season. The realities of the varying concerns surrounding playing, including scheduling, are legitimate. 

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Multiple programs including Kansas, Kansas State and Houston, have already been forced to suspend voluntary workout because of COVID-19 spikes among athletes. Those cases combined with a recent spike in COVID-19 cases continues to cast a shadow over the likelihood of college football being played as normal this fall.
 
The only thing that remains constant throughout this entire ordeal has been the ever-present fluidity of the world we inhabit. Those able to retain the flexibility and skill to adjust and react to new and pertinent information will be best suited to get us closer to seeing our fall traditions once again, even if it means seeing them in the spring. 

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Former Penn State guard transferred after head coach Pat Chambers made 'noose' comment

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Former Penn State guard transferred after head coach Pat Chambers made 'noose' comment

During his freshman year as a member of the Penn State men’s basketball team, guard Rasir Bolton says he was subject to “subtle repercussions” after reporting an incident in which head coach Pat Chambers said he wanted to “loosen the noose that’s around your neck.”

Now playing for Iowa State, Bolton claims that he went to the school after Chambers made the comment but never received an apology from him. He added that his family didn’t hear back from Penn State’s Integrity Office for six months while in the meantime being provided with a psychologist who wanted to teach him “ways to deal with Coach Chambers’ personality type.”

“A noose; symbolic of lynching, defined as one of the most powerful symbols directed at African Americans invoking the history of lynching, slavery and racial terrorism,” Bolton wrote on Twitter. “Due to other interactions with Coach, I knew this was no slip of the tongue.”

Bolton, who's originally from Petersburg, Virginia, and attended Massanutten Academy for high school, played 32 games for the Nittany Lions in 2018-19, averaging 11.6 points per game with nine starts. However, he says teammates informed him he couldn’t be trusted because he wasn’t “all in” on the program.

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“I didn’t realize that word would hurt him, and I am truly, truly sorry for that,” Chambers told The Undefeated in a story published Monday.

Four days prior to the interaction with Bolton, Chambers was suspended one game for pushing freshman guard Myles Dread in the chest during a timeout. Penn State finished 14-18 that season before turning things around with a 21-10 record this year.

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