CAA Scheduling 101 - William & Mary

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CAA Scheduling 101 - William & Mary

Improving on last season's total of six wins - four in CAA play - figures to be the most basic of goals for William & Mary men's basketball team. Even without leading scorer Quinn McDowell, lost to graduation, the Tribe appear poised for that and then some especially if rising sophomore Marcus Thornton builds on the promise flashed during his freshman campaign.

The explosive 6-foot-4 guard and former Bishop McNamara star averaged 11.1 points per game last season primarily in a reserve role. Thornton now joins a lineup with three returning starters and is part of a W&M roster that includes nine players with at least 16 games of experience from last season.

Pinpointing the foes that stand out as easy targets is another matter. The early part of the upcoming schedule includes road games against major conference programs like Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Purdue. The Tribe's most intriguing out of conference home date is against Miami (Oh.) out of the always formidable Mid-American conference while the only meeting against CAA favorite takes place at Kaplan Arena.

The rest of the schedule looks like this ( denotes CAA games)

Fri, Nov 09 Hampton
Mon, Nov 12 Liberty
Sat, Nov 17 at High Point
Wed, Nov 21 Miami OH
Fri, Nov 23 at Wake Forest
Wed, Nov 28 at Richmond
Sat, Dec 01 Old Dominion
Thu, Dec 06 Howard
Sat, Dec 08 at Radford
Sat, Dec 29 at Purdue
Wed, Jan 02 at Vanderbilt
Sat, Jan 05 George Mason
Wed, Jan 09 at Towson
Sat, Jan 12 Hofstra
Wed, Jan 16 at Georgia State
Sat, Jan 19 Drexel
Wed, Jan 23 Northeastern
Sat, Jan 26 Towson
Wed, Jan 30 Delaware
Sat, Feb 02 Hofstra
Wed, Feb 06 at James Madison
Mon, Feb 11 at Northeastern
Wed, Feb 13 UNC Wilmington
Sat, Feb 16 at Old Dominion
Mon, Feb 18 Georgia State
Sat, Feb 23 George Mason
Wed, Feb 27 at UNC Wilmington
Sat, Mar 02 James Madison

College Football Playoff projections: From contender to pretender in just four weeks

College Football Playoff projections: From contender to pretender in just four weeks

There were high hopes for LSU at the start of the season. With the collection of talent the Tigers boast on their roster, there was no reason to think they could not challenge Alabama for SEC supremacy.

Even my preseason College Football Playoff projections at the start of the season had LSU as one of the four teams to make the playoff.

SEE THE NEW COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROJECTION HERE

The Tigers' championship hopes took a hit with an opening loss to Wisconsin. Now just four games into their season, Les Miles been fired and their playoff aspirations appear to be completely dashed after a devastating loss Auburn.

With Alabama looking as dominant as ever and what was believed to be their main rival already looking down and out, who else can challenge the Tide for supremacy of the SEC? Who else joins the Alabama in the projected top four?

Find out here in this week's College Football Playoff projection.

Jerod Evans' 4 touchdowns carry Virginia Tech past East Carolina

Jerod Evans' 4 touchdowns carry Virginia Tech past East Carolina

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Jerod Evans said that he needed to clean up some things during Virginia Tech's upcoming off week.

The Hokies' fan base may be wondering what exactly that is. His play so far has been sparkling.

Evans, the Hokies' starting quarterback, threw three touchdown passes and rushed for one to lift Virginia Tech over East Carolina 54-17 on Saturday.

The Hokies (3-1) scored on their final five possessions of the first half, including all four of their second-quarter possessions, to overwhelm East Carolina (2-2) and snap a two-game losing streak to the Pirates.

Evans completed 13 of 20 passes for a career-best 282 yards and rushed for a career-best 97 more. He has thrown at least three touchdown passes in three of the Hokies' first four games and is completing 67 percent of his passes.

"I missed a couple of things here and there," Evans said. "I have a lot of things that I can get better at for sure."

Evans entered the game with an ACC-best 10 touchdown passes this season. Of more importance to Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente, he has thrown just one interception.

"I think he's pretty good," Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said of Evans. "He's been judicious with the ball and he's going to the right place most of the time. He's been pretty efficient."

Following a punt return for a touchdown by Greg Stroman and a touchdown run by Marshawn Williams that gave the Hokies a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Evans threw touchdown passes of 24 yards to Isaiah Ford, 13 yards to Travon McMillian and 55 yards to Cam Phillips. That final score gave the Hokies a 38-0 halftime lead.

ECU quarterback Philip Nelson had 362 yards passing and two touchdown tosses to Jimmy Williams. The Pirates had 443 yards of offense, but committed three special teams mistakes, fumbled once and were sacked six times.

"We studied the film well and they had a lot of keys when they were sliding the protection," said Ken Ekanem, who had two of the Hokies' six sacks. "We had a lot of indicators and we knew when someone was going to be left one-on-one. We look forward to one-on-one matchups and pride ourselves on winning those. We did a good job of that today."

THE TAKEAWAY

EAST CAROLINA: Coming off a 20-15 loss at South Carolina and playing its third consecutive game against a Power 5 opponent, the Pirates looked a step slow and out of sorts from the opening kick. They went three-and-out on five first-half possessions. The Pirates hope to regroup now that they have finished the non-conference portion of their schedule.

"That was clearly the best football team that we have played," ECU coach Scottie Montgomery said. "The most physical. The biggest. The fastest. The strongest. The smartest. I thought they competed well in their scheme. They played great emotional football. They leaned on their crowd. They played a complete football game -- as complete as it gets."

VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies dominated on special teams, scoring three touchdowns as a result of those units. Greg Stroman scored on an 87-yard punt return, and Cam Phillips blocked a punt that led to an Evans touchdown pass to Travon McMillian. A sack of ECU punter Worth Gregory in the fourth quarter led to a 1-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Brenden Motley.

UP NEXT

EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates open AAC play next Saturday with a home game against UCF. ECU blasted the Golden Knights 44-7 last season for their first win in Orlando since 2008.

VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies are off next week before taking on North Carolina on Oct. 8 and will be looking to avenge last year's 30-27 overtime loss. The Hokies have won nine of the 12 meetings with the Tar Heels since joining the ACC.