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

Justin Jackson, North Carolina too much for Virginia

Justin Jackson, North Carolina too much for Virginia

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Justin Jackson scored 20 points to help No. 10 North Carolina beat No. 14 Virginia 65-41 on Saturday night, keeping the Tar Heels alone in first in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Kennedy Meeks had all of his 13 points and seven rebounds after halftime for the Tar Heels (23-5, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). They shot 47 percent and led by double figures nearly all night against the ice-cold Cavaliers.

UNC led 34-22 at halftime, never let Virginia closer than nine then ran off 10 straight points to take a 25-point lead and send the Cavaliers to their first three-game skid in a single season in six years.

Marial Shayok scored 13 points to lead Virginia (18-8, 8-6), who went 10 minutes without a basket at one point during the second half and missed its first 17 3-pointers for the game as the Tar Heels turned it into a rout.

Virginia shot 28 percent for the game and finished at 2 for 20 from 3-point range to go with a season-low point output, with every missed shot becoming magnified as the Tar Heels stayed in attack mode.

It was also was the second-lowest point total by an opponent in UNC's Smith Center, just a basket better than Clemson's 39 points here in 1995.

UNC finished with a 44-26 rebounding advantage, with much of that edge coming after halftime behind Meeks.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers offered up a worst-case scenario Saturday night. If Virginia's defense can't rattle an opponent, the Cavaliers' limited offensive punch gives them little margin for error.

UNC: This was one of several tough games for UNC coming down the regular-season stretch. Winning this rematch of last year's ACC Tournament championship game by a lopsided margin has to be a boost to an already confident team.

UP NEXT

Virginia: The Cavaliers return home Monday night to host Miami.

UNC: The Tar Heels have another big home game, hosting No. 8 Louisville on Wednesday night.

George Mason rallies late but falls to Rhode Island, 77-74

George Mason rallies late but falls to Rhode Island, 77-74

BY TYLER BYRUM

FAIRFAX, VA – Coming down the final seconds of the game, Rhode Island was able to hold off a resilient George Mason squad after blowing an 18-point lead in the second half to win, 77-74.

Stanford Robinson scored a team-high 21 points off the bench in a homecoming affair for the Paul VI Catholic High School graduate. From behind the arc, Robinson was a perfect 3-for-3 and brought down two huge offensive rebounds late in the contest.

In the final minute though, it was Robinson who gave the Patriots hope as he missed two free throws with less than two seconds left in the game.

Grabbing his fifth rebound of the contest to go along with 22 points, Jalen Jenkins threw up a full-court heave that was just a foot wide of the basket. 

From the onset, Rhode Island (17-9, 9-5) had the size advantage but was going against the NCAA’s best rebounding guard, Marquise Moore. Bringing down 31 rebounds, 14 being offensive, the Rams scored 13 pivotal second chance points. Moore, though, would manage to record his 17th double-double of the season (19 points, 10 rebounds). 

This was Moore's fourth straight double-double, which is helping his case as one of the favorites for the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. 

E.C. Matthews was another one of the Rams to rack up the points in EagleBank Arena. With 18 points on 15 shots, Matthews kept the Rams alive after the team allowed the Patriots to go on a 21-3 run.

The Rams consistently shot over the Patriots with five players recording a three-point basket. In the first half, the team shot 54 percent from behind the arc and had rolled to a 39-26 lead at the break.

George Mason (18-9, 8-6) was able to climb back after an insurmountable 18-point deficit minutes into the second half. Highlighting the scoring run, Otis Livingston II (nine points and seven rebounds) was able to hit a fadaway to bring Mason within four and the crowd to their feet.

Throughout the contest, the Patriots drew 23 fouls and made 31 of their 36 free throw attempts. This kept numerous Rams in foul trouble and forced Dan Hurley to go deep into his bench and use 11 players.

“That was one that we needed desperately,” Hurley said “We’ve done a lot of soul searching; we’ve also dealt with a lot this year.”

The victory gives Rhode Island a much-needed win after falling to Fordham 53-43 earlier in the week. Moving up to third place in the Atlantic 10, the Rams now use the momentum from this game in order to climb back in the NCAA tournament bubble.

Falling in this game, George Mason now is on the outside looking in for one of the conference’s coveted double-byes in the conference tournament.