CFB Notes from the Newsroom: Week 2

CFB Notes from the Newsroom: Week 2

1.) BIGGEST SURPRISE (POSITIVE) FROM LAST WEEKS GAMES IN THE ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference finally had a positive opening weekend. The conference posted a 7-1 record against non-conference opponents in Week 1 including Clemsons big win over Auburn Saturday night in Atlanta. Week 2 features more big non-conference matchups so well see if the ACC can keep it going.

2.) BIGGEST LETDOWN (NEGATIVE) FROM LAST WEEKS GAMES IN THE ACC
There were plenty of games that were too close for comfort this weekend. Maryland just slipped by William & Mary 7-6 and Wake Forest beat Liberty by just a field goal 20-17. Both teams admit there is a lot to work on. Well find out Saturday afternoon what they improved on and if it was enough.

3.) BIGGEST CAA NEWS FROM LAST WEEKS GAMES
Oh boy. The Towson Tigers opened their season under the Thursday night spotlight against Kent State and well, it was definitely memorable. Expectations were high coming in for Rob Ambroses squad but they did not look like the defending CAA Champions in their 41-21 loss. But the big story of the night was not the score. It was Wrong Way Parker." Trying to describe it would not do it justice. If you havent seen it, its a must. If you have seen it, well Im sure youll want to see it again.

4.) MARYLAND TIDBIT OF THE WEEK
Head coach Randy Edsall admitted he and the coaches didnt do as good of a job handling quarterback Perry Hills. I wouldnt be surprised to see a more stripped-down version of the offense Saturday against Temple. Also, Edsall was vague when asked about the status of kicker Nick Ferrara. Well keep an eye on Thursdays injury report.

5.) VIRGINIA TIDBIT OF THE WEEK
For the second straight week, quarterback Michael Rocco has family ties to the opposing team. Roccos father, Frank Rocco, Jr., played quarterback at Penn State and was a member of the 1982 National Championship squad. Roccos grandfather, Frank Rocco, Sr., was a longtime member of the Penn State football staff.

6.) VIRGINIA TECH TIDBIT OF THE WEEK
Wide receiver DJ Coles suffered a knee injury in Monday nights win against Georgia Tech. Luckily for the Hokies, Coles should be able to play Saturday vs Austin Peay.

7.) CAA GAME OF THE WEEK AND PREDICTION
Oooh, its a good one. Old Dominion at Hampton. Just 15 miles separate these two schools. The Monarchs have a 2-0 series lead but you can never take Hampton for granted.
PREDICTION: OLD DOMINION

8.) ACC GAME OF THE WEEK AND PREDICTION
North Carolina at Wake Forest. The Tar Heels stomped on Elon (my alma mater) last weekend 62-0 while the Demon Deacons squeaked by Liberty 20-17. This will be the 105th meeting between the two teams. Carolina is banned from postseason play due to NCAA penalties so they play the role of spoiler in every game.
PREDICTION: NORTH CAROLINA

9.) QUICK BREAKDOWN OF AND PICK FOR UVA GAME
Virginia hosts Penn State this weekend in a nationally televised game. The Wahoos looked good last weekend against Richmond. Quarterback Michael Rocco was in control, running back Perry Jones was Superman and the defense was stellar. Penn State suffered a loss to Ohio at home. Head coach Bill OBrien is very familiar with the ACC having coached at Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke in the past. OBrien has a very tall task ahead with the Nittany Lions but he is the right man for the job. I think the Cavaliers are going to step up to the plate and improve their record to 2-0 this weekend.
PREDICTION: VIRGINIA

10.) QUICK BREAKDOWN OF AND PICK FOR VATECH GAME
The Hokies have a short week to get ready for Austin Peay. Dont laugh... Hokies fans havent forgotten the loss to James Madison two years ago just 5 days after their loss to Boise State. But this weekend Frank Beamers squad is coming off a huge win and you have to hope theyve learned their lesson from the past.
PREDICTION: VIRGINIA TECH

11.) QUICK BREAKDOWN AND PICK FOR UMD GAME
Maryland visits Temple this weekend with the nightmare of last seasons meeting still lingering. The Owls dominated the Terps 38-7 at Byrd Stadium. Brian Stewarts defense will have to find a way to stop (or at least slow down) Temple running back Matt Brown. Well see how quarterback Perry Hills deals with his first road game (albeit in his home state) and how Randy Edsall and Mike Locksley adjust the offense for him.
PREDICTION: TEMPLE

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.