Navy Midshipmen

Week 8: Virginia, Virginia Tech pick up key Coastal wins

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Week 8: Virginia, Virginia Tech pick up key Coastal wins

Virginia sits atop the Coastal Division standings after a win over Duke while Virginia Tech remains in the race after a six-overtime thriller over UNC. Maryland dropped another Big Ten game, Navy dominated South Florida and Penn State held on to edge Michigan in the Whiteout.

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

Navy 35, South Florida 3

The good

Navy’s defense completely dominated the Bulls forcing seven punts and one interception. This is the first time since 2013 the Midshipmen have not allowed a touchdown in a game. Navy now has a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2017 and sit one win away from becoming bowl eligible. That’s quite the turnaround for a team than won just three games last year.

The bad

The one thing that did not seem to go well for Navy on Saturday was the pass offense. That was something Ken Niumatalolo wanted to add to the offense this year. Quarterback Malcolm Perry attempted only three passes, one was incomplete and the other two were completed...to South Florida.

With three total turnovers on the day, Navy’s turnover margin for the season dropped to minus-3.

The ugly

Things always get ugly when one team knows what the other wants to do and still can’t stop it. South Florida loaded the box to stop the option and couldn’t. The Bulls even put 11 players in the box and still Navy continued to march up and down the field for a season-high 434 rushing yards.

Virginia Tech 43, North Carolina 41 (6OT)

The good

A Virginia Tech offense that was completely left for dead earlier in the season has really come alive. Quarterback Hendon Hooker who took over as the starter before the game against Miami was credited with the turnaround, but he suffered an injury late in the first half Saturday. Ryan Willis took over initially and completed all three of his pass attempts including one touchdown. Justin Fuente, however, wisely elected to replace Willis with third-string quarterback Quincy Patterson for the second half.

The offense seemingly comes alive with a dual-threat quarterback under center which Willis is not. WIth him in, this offense has a ceiling that likely could not have kept up with North Carolina.

The move paid off as Patterson threw for 54 yards, rushed for another 122 and scored two total touchdowns plus the game-clinching two-point conversion in overtime.

The win incredibly puts Virginia Tech right back in the thick of the ACC Coastal Division race and puts them two wins away from bowl eligibility with five games remaining.

The bad

Once again, the Hokies defense was torched giving up 491 yards, 41 points and forcing no turnovers. It’s a good thing the offense has started to figure things out because the defense has not been able to offer much help of late.

The ugly

You don’t get to six overtimes without some ugliness. Both teams managed 10 points in the first two overtimes, then Hokies kicker Brian Johnson missed a 41-yard field goal in triple overtime giving North Carolina the chance to win. Noah Ruggles, however, missed a 35-yard field goal forcing a fourth overtime.

Virginia Tech stuffed North Carolina for minus-two yards and blocked North Carolina’s field goal. With a chance to redeem himself, Johnson lined up for the 42-yard field goal and the win...and missed again.

Mercifully, the new college overtime rules take kicking out of the equation by the fifth overtime and give each team one play for a two-point conversation. Virginia Tech was stopped in fifth overtime, North Carolina failed in their next two attempts and Patterson finally ended the game in the sixth OT, running the ball in from three yards for the win.

Indiana 34, Maryland 28

The good

With no Anthony McFarland Jr. who was out with a high-ankle sprain, the Terps needed a big game from Javon Leake and he delivered with a career-high 158 yards and two touchdowns.

The bad

You never want to see a player get injured, but from a purely competitive standpoint, Maryland should have had an advantage when Indiana’s starting quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., was forced out of the game early in the second quarter with an injury. Yet, it still didn’t matter as Maryland’s defense was picked apart by backup Peyton Ramsey.

To be fair, Ramsey was the Hoosiers’ starter last season and lost his job to Penix. He decided to stick with Indiana and was ready when called upon Saturday, completing 20 out of 27 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown.

This marks the second straight week the Terps were beaten by a team playing its backup quarterback. For the game, Maryland gave up 520 total yards including 334 through the air.

The ugly

Despite their troubles on defense, the Terps still had an opportunity to win this game. With less than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the score 31-28, Maryland got the ball back deep in their own territory. In just one play, however, Leake had the ball stripped and it was recovered by Indiana. The Hoosiers tacked on a field goal, but Maryland got the ball back again with a chance to win, this time down by six. The offense managed to drive the ball to Indiana’s 42, but Tyrrell Pigrome overthrew his receiver for an interception to seal the game. That’s two turnovers late in the fourth quarter when Maryland still could have won the game.

Virginia 48, Duke 14

The good

A Duke offense that had scored 30 points or more in each of its last five games was held to just 14 by Virginia’s defense on Saturday. Only one of those touchdowns was against starters as the second came in the fourth quarter when the backups for both teams came into the game. The Blue Devils had just 166 total yards in those first three quarters.

The win puts the Cavaliers in first place in the Coastal Division at 3-1. Pitt, who Virginia beat to open the season, sits in second at 2-1.

The bad

Virginia’s offense remains a one-man show with Bryce Perkins responsible for 152 of Virginia’s 153 yards (111 passing, 42 rushing) in the first half of the game. That cost UVA in its previous two losses and will cost them again this season if Virginia can't find its quarterback some help.

The ugly

The Cavaliers forced a whopping five turnovers from the Blue Devils on the day and turned those turnovers into 20 points. That’s how a seemingly evenly matched game turned into a 34-point blowout.

Penn State 28, Michigan 21

The good

Quarterback Sean Clifford accounted for all four of Penn State’s touchdowns with three passing touchdowns and one one-yard run. K.J. Hamler was his favorite target and he torched Michigan’s secondary with 108 yards on six catches and two touchdowns.

The bad 

The NittanyLion’s strength this season has been its defense while Michigan’s offense has struggled to find an identity. They seemed to find it Saturday as they tore through Penn State’s defense for 417 total yards.

The ugly

What is home-field advantage worth? A heck of a lot. The Whiteout flustered Michigan early on as the Wolverines had to call timeout before their very first snap on offense. The next drive ended when a false start on a third-and-long prevented any chance of Michigan getting the first down.

This loss drops Jim Harbaugh’s record against top-10 teams while at Michigan to 1-10.

College Football 2019 Week 8 What to Watch: A pivotal week for the Coastal

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College Football 2019 Week 8 What to Watch: A pivotal week for the Coastal

Virginia and Duke currently sit atop the Coastal Division and will play one another on Saturday. A win over North Carolina could vault Virginia Tech back into the discussion. Maryland looks to rebound against Indiana, Navy hosts USF and Penn State unleashes the Whiteout against Michigan.

Here is a breakdown of all the local action.

Navy vs. South Florida

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Md.
How to watch: CBSSN

How good has Navy's offense been this year? The Midshipmen are averaging 327.2 yards on the ground alone this season.  South Florida's offense is averaging 339.5 yards per game total.

Earlier in the season, it looked like the Bulls were on the brink of total collapse, but head coach Charlie Strong has rallied them in recent weeks and they are coming off a big win over BYU. Navy, meanwhile, is a legitimate contender in the AAC West division after a 45-17 blowout win over Tulsa.

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

It is make-or-break time for the Hokies with a pivotal matchup against the Tar Heels.

A blowout loss to Duke left Virginia Tech reeling, but a quarterback change steadied the ship as Hendon Hooker has led the Hokies to two straight wins including at Miami. The season can go in one of two directions at this point. A win over North Carolina will but them right back in the division hunt and only two wins away from extending the prized bowl streak. A loss and you can essentially kiss both the division and the bowl streak goodbye.

Maryland vs. Indiana

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Maryland Stadium, College Park, Md.
How to watch: BTN

Maryland was handed a humbling 40-14 loss lost week by a Purdue team without its starting quarterback or star receiver. This week, they hope to get back on track against Indiana, but it looks like they will be doing it without Josh Jackson.

Check out the full preview here.

Virginia vs. Duke

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.
How to watch: ACCN

After starting the season 4-0, Virginia has dropped two straight and now will have to navigate the rest of the season without star cornerback Bryce Hall.

This is a game between the first and second place teams in the Coastal Division. While this division offers nothing but chaos seemingly every season, a win on Saturday will put either team in the driver's seat of the division.

If Virginia wants to find success, it will have to find a way to move the ball on the ground. The Cavaliers have relied far too much on Bryce Perkins the past two weeks. As great as he is, he cannot be expected to drop back 40+ times per game and be the team's leading rusher. He needs some help on offense.

Game of the week: No. 7 Penn State vs. No. 16 Michigan

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pa.
How to watch: ABC

The college football world will be treated to one of the great scenes in sports on Saturday: the Whiteout.

Jim Harbaugh takes his 1-9 record against top-10 teams into Happy Valley as he tries to keep Michigan's Big Ten hopes alive.  Penn State's vaunted defense, however, will be waiting for him and for a Wolverine offense that still has yet to find its identity under the khakied coach.

On NBC Sports Washington

Boston College vs. NC State

When: 12:00 p.m.
Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

Virginia State vs. Bowie State

When: 2:00 p.m.
Where: Rogers Stadium, Petersburg, Va.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington Plus

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

Richmond vs. Yale

When: 6:00 p.m. Saturday
Where: Robins Stadium, Richmond, Va.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington Plus

Other local teams

Georgetown vs. Lafayette, 12 p.m. Saturday
Morgan State at South Carolina State, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
VMI at Mercer, 3:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
James Madison at William & Mary, 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Old Dominion at UAB, 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Towson vs. Bucknell, 4 p.m. Saturday
Norfolk State at Bethune-Cookman, 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Hampton at Campbell, 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Liberty vs. Maine, 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+

Week 7: Virginia, Maryland suffer reality checks

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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.

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