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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College Football 2019 Week 7 What to Watch: Big games for the Big Ten

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College Football 2019 Week 7 What to Watch: Big games for the Big Ten

Maryland will look for a second straight Big Ten road win while Penn State hopes to put the clamp down on Iowa. Virginia hopes to put the Notre Dame loss behind them, Virginia Tech looks like they have finally found a quarterback and Navy is pulling for a key division win.

Here is a breakdown of all the local action.

No. 20 Virginia at Miami

When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Fla.
How to watch: ESPN

Just in terms of schedule, this one looks very favorable for Virginia. UVA is coming off its bye week while Miami has a short week after a devastating loss at home to Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes battled back from a 28-0 deficit to tie it at 35 only to lose on a late fourth-quarter drive. Now they take the field again six days later to face the Coastal Division front-runners.

Before the bye week, Virginia was handed its first loss of the season by Notre Dame. The Cavaliers could not establish anything on the ground at all offensively and quarterback Bryce Perkins was asked to do way too much with a whopping 43 pass attempts. Perkins is the star of Virginia's offense, but he needs more help than he has gotten of late.

Maryland at Purdue

When: 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.

With the starting quarterbacks for both Maryland and Purdue injured, both teams will look to their backups to get the job done and earn the conference victory. This is a position Terps quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome knows all too well.

Check out the full preview here.

Virginia Tech vs. Rhode Island

When: 4:00 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.
How to watch: ACCN

Quarterback Hendon Hooker started last week against Miami and provided the spark this offense so desperately needed. A matchup against a 1-4 FCS opponent in Rhode Island provides a good chance for the Hokies offense to really get rolling with its new starter.

No. 10 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
How to watch: ABC

Iowa was held to just three points last week by Michigan and they are playing an even tougher defense this week. Penn State boasts the second-best scoring defense (7.4 points per game) and fourth-best total defense (240.4 yards per game). The Nittany Lions offense also seems to be really hitting its stride with 94 points in the last two games.

But don't sleep on the Hawkeyes. While Penn State ranks fourth in total defense, Iowa is right behind them at fifth. This will be the biggest test of the season thus far James Franklin and Co.

Navy at Tulsa

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, Okla.
How to watch: ESPNU

Tulsa is coming off maybe the game of the season which resulted in a triple-overtime loss to SMU. Their reward is having to prepare for Navy's option attack. Navy showed its growth on offense from last year to now with last week's win over Air Force. The Falcons loaded the box against the Midshipmen in 2018 and Navy had no answer as they continually tried to run between the tackles to no avail. A much more versatile option attack was able to get the win and put the Midshipmen a win over Army away from claiming the Commander-in-Chief Trophy.

But we are a long way off from that. For now, Navy is looking to stay in the hunt for the American West Division. A loss to Tulsa would hand the Midshipmen their second division loss. It may still be early, but this is a must-win for Navy.

Game of the week: No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Texas

When: 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
How to watch: FOX

Lincoln Riley appears to have worked his quarterback magic again with Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts who has been absolutely tremendous for the Sooners through five games. In those five games, however, Oklahoma really has not been tested. That will change this week with the Red River Rivalry/Shootout/Showdown/Classic -- take your pick.

After years of false proclamations that the Longhorns were back, Tom Herman finally had Texas looking like Texas again in 2018. The Longhorns defeated Oklahoma in the regular season and finished the year with a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia.

An early-season loss to LSU has Texas looking like they are a tier below the true national contenders for now. That can change this week with a win over Hurts and the Sooners.

On NBC Sports Washington

Duke vs. Georgia Tech

When: 12:30 p.m.
Where: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, N.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

Other local teams

Richmond at Maine, 12 p.m. Saturday
Delaware State at Morgan State, 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Norfolk State at Howard, 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Samford at VMI, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Villanova at James Madison, 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Hampton at Gardner-Webb, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Fordham at Georgetown, 2 p.m. Saturday 
Old Dominion at Marshall, 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Albany at Towson, 4 p.m. Saturday