Virginia Tech takes down UNCG


Virginia Tech takes down UNCG

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Jarell Eddie scored a career-high 28 points and Virginia Tech hit a season-high 14 3-pointers to hold off UNC Greensboro 96-87 on Monday night.

Erick Green added a career-best 26 points and Robert Brown had 10 for the Hokies (4-0), who had to fend off a late Spartans' rally to remain undefeated.

Trevis Simpson scored 25 points and Derrell Armstrong added 23 for UNC Greensboro (1-3), which rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to go ahead 77-73 with 6:07 remaining.

The Hokies shot 45.3 percent (24 of 53) from the field, including 14 of 22 on 3-pointers, and hit 34 of 42 from the free-throw line Monday. Virginia Tech ended with a 41-38 rebounding advantage against the Spartans.

Still, that nearly wasn't enough, as UNC Greensboro -- now 1-46 against Atlantic Coast Conference teams -- fought back from a 14-point deficit in the first half to briefly lead before Virginia Tech rallied for a 45-41 margin at the break. UNC Greensboro overcame another double-digit Virginia Tech lead in the second half to challenge late.

The Hokies were up 67-54 with 14 minutes left in the second half when UNC Greensboro began whittling away at their lead. The Spartans went on a 23-6 run, capped by a pair of Simpson layups, giving UNC Greensboro its final lead.

Virginia Tech, which has won all eight meetings against the Spartans, responded with a 10-0 run to regain command. Green scored six points during the run, which ended with Eddie's fifth 3-pointer and an 83-77 Hokies lead with 2:52 left.

Kelvin McNeil had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Korey Van Dusen added 10 points for UNC Greensboro.

The Spartans led early in the first half, going up 7-6 less than three minutes in, when Virginia Tech went on a 17-2 run. Will Johnson hit three of the Hokies' four 3-pointers during the run, and Cadarian Raines' dunk put them up 23-9 with 12:48 left.

Virginia Tech would go up by 14 points again later in the half, leading 30-16 on Green's steal-and-dunk with 9:16 remaining. But the Spartans responded with a 17-2 run, capped by Kayel Locke's layup with 4:25 left, to put UNC Greensboro up 33-32, its final lead of the half.

After tying things at 35-35, the Hokies pulled back into the lead on Marquis Rankin's layup with 3:40 left, and followed that with a Jarrell 3-pointer and a Joey van Zegeren layup to pull ahead 42-35 with 1:55 remaining.

The Spartans made one final run, getting an Armstrong 3-pointer, a David Williams free throw and a McNeil layup to cut Virginia Tech's lead to 42-41 with 27 seconds left. But Eddie hit his third 3-pointer of the half at the buzzer to put the Hokies up by four points at intermission.  

Worth accounts for 5 TDs as No. 24 Navy beats Memphis

USA Today Sports

Worth accounts for 5 TDs as No. 24 Navy beats Memphis

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Will Worth and No. 24 Navy played keep-away with Memphis while running the Tigers into the ground.

Worth rushed for a career-high 201 yards and three touchdowns, and the Midshipmen put on a dazzling display of ball control in a 42-28 victory Saturday.

In addition to operating the triple option in near-flawless fashion, Worth completed three of four passes for 85 yards and two scores.

"We take what we can get, and today, the quarterback run game was there," Worth said. "We could manage that and set up a couple of pass plays to be able to score through the air. It's just executing the game plan."

The last Navy player to reach the 200-yard mark on the ground was Keenan Reynolds in 2014.

Worth carried 31 times and orchestrated an attack that held the ball for nearly 40 minutes. That left high-scoring Memphis little time to counter-punch.

"It was kind of hard because we weren't doing a great job of getting off the field defensively," Tigers coach Mike Norvell said. "Offensively, it's hard to be in rhythm, it's hard to stay in rhythm."

The Midshipmen (5-1, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) gained a season-high 447 yards on the ground, averaging 6 yards per carry.

The victory put Navy in sole possession of first place in the AAC West and served as a suitable encore for its 46-40 upset of defending league champion Houston two weeks ago.

Navy's 14-game home winning streak is its longest at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since the facility opened in 1959.

Tony Pollard returned a kickoff 100 yards and Riley Ferguson completed 25 of 40 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis (5-2, 2-1). But the Tigers simply couldn't score enough to offset the damage inflicted by Navy's sensational running attack.

"They kind of got after us up front and we had a couple of assignment issues," Norvell said. "But I just thought they did a great job executing."

Worth's second touchdown run put Navy ahead 28-14 early in the third quarter. Memphis responded with a 9-yard TD pass from Furguson to Daniel Hurd.

As the clock wound down in the third quarter, Navy faced a fourth-and-4 at the Memphis 18. Norvell called a timeout, forcing the Midshipmen to deal with the possibility of a field goal try into a stiff wind. Instead, Navy sent its offense on the field and went up 35-21 on a touchdown pass from Worth to Tyler Carmona .

After Memphis again got within a touchdown, a 52-yard completion by Worth led to a 32-yard field goal try by Bennett Moehring. The kick clanged off the left upright with 5:40 to go.

But a fumble by Tigers wide receiver Roderick Proctor was recovered by Navy with 3:39 remaining, and Worth clinched it with a 1-yard plunge.

Worth, a 6-foot-1 senior, started the season as a second-string quarterback but was elevated to starting status after Tago Smith injured his right knee in the opener.

"Here's a kid who was a backup, kept his mouth quiet," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "Now he's doing great things."


Memphis forced 18 turnovers in its first six games, but the only one it got Saturday was when Worth hit the pylon trying to score a touchdown and lost control of the ball. The result was a touchback for the Tigers, whose lone turnover -- Proctor's fumble -- was far most costly.


Memphis: The Tigers came in as a slight favorite because their offense hadn't scored fewer than 24 points in any game. But the defense wasn't up for the challenge of Navy's running attack, and now Memphis needs help to get to the AAC title game.

Navy: The Midshipmen have proven they don't need Reynolds at quarterback to make the triple option sing. Navy's running game is tricky, shifty and just about unstoppable for teams not accustomed to chasing the quarterback, fullback and slotback all over the field.


Memphis: The Tigers host Tulsa next Saturday night at the Liberty Bowl.

Navy: The Midshipmen face AAC East Division co-leader South Florida (6-2, 3-1) on the road Friday night.

UVa falls to No. 22 North Carolina at home, 35-14

USA Today Sports

UVa falls to No. 22 North Carolina at home, 35-14

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- The last time Mitch Trubisky threw a pass in Virginia's Scott Stadium, two years ago, it was his only play of the game and he hit T.J. Thorpe with less than a minute to play to give North Carolina a victory.

He needed no such dramatics Saturday, throwing three touchdown passes as the No. 22 Tar Heels rode his accurate arm and a strong performance by their defense to a 35-14 victory, their seventh in a row in the series and ninth consecutive in true road games.

"The defense played lights out," Trubisky said after throwing for 310 yards. "They played a really great game. The second half we had a little bit better tempo and we were moving them. We converted some more third downs and we got some more rhythm."

Trubisky hit Bug Howard for 40 yards on a trick play, Thomas Jackson for 10 yards and Austin Proehl for 46 yards for touchdowns for the Tar Heels (6-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), and the trick play had everyone smiling at how well it worked. On the play, North Carolina set up in a wildcat formation, handed the ball off to wide receiver Ryan Switzer and he pitched it to Trubisky, who just had to make the throw.

"I've been waiting for them to call it," he said of the play, which has been in the game plan for a few weeks.

The Cavaliers (2-5, 1-2) got their first touchdown on a trick play, too. They lined up for a field goal, had the entire offensive line split out far to the left, and snapper Evan Butts threw the snap 30 yards to his left to Matt Johns, the holder now acting as the quarterback.

Johns quickly hit Butts for an 11-yard touchdown strike, but Virginia didn't score again until just 9:01 remained.

The Tar Heels led 14-7 at halftime and limited Virginia to 39 yards in the third quarter while opening a 28-7 lead.

"That's when we felt like we got control of the game," Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora said. "We hated giving up that 13-play drive (for Virginia's second touchdown), because at that point, we felt like if we could put the ball in the end zone again, then we could put it away."

Elijah Hood ran for 107 yards and a 4-yard touchdown, and T.J. Logan scored on a 4-yard run for UNC.

Virginia has lost two in a row, making the upbeat feeling of a two-game winning streak before that seem a distant memory.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall lifted quarterback Kurt Benkert in the fourth quarter, using backup Conner Brewer.

"I felt it was necessary with the pressure that was going on Benkert, starting from the second half of the Pitt game through this game, it was wise just to have his step back and have him see it from a different perspective and take a breath and regroup," Mendenhall said.


North Carolina: The Tar Heels moved back ahead of Virginia Tech in the Coastal Division race by virtue of having one more victory. The Hokies (3-1 in division), however, beat UNC three weeks ago, so they hold the tiebreaker, but either Virginia Tech or Pittsburgh (2-1 in division play) will fall off the pace in the loss column when they meet Thursday night at Heinz Field. The Tar Heels beat the Panthers 37-36 earlier this month on Trubisky's TD pass with 0:02 remaining.

Virginia: Virginia has now struggled to much offensively for three consecutive halves, including the second half against Pitt last week. The coaches also called several running plays on third-and-medium plays, curious because the Cavaliers could already be playing in nothing-to-lose mode if a bowl game remains their goal. They now need to win four of their last five to make their first bowl game since 2011.


If things go according to chalk, the Tar Heels should be favored in every game they have left and climb in the Top 25 .

They still have to face Georgia Tech at home, play at Duke, host The Citadel and finish at North Carolina State.


North Carolina returns home to face struggling Georgia Tech, which has lost the last two games in the series.

Virginia wraps up a three-game homestand at home against No. 7 Louisville and Heisman Trophy contender Lamar Jackson.