NCAA

Cincinnati stuns Virginia Tech on late TD

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Cincinnati stuns Virginia Tech on late TD

By Joseph White
AP Sports Writer

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Munchie Legaux hit Damon Julian for a 39-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds to play, and Cincinnati beat Virginia Tech 27-24 Saturday.

Trailing by four after a Hokies touchdown, the Bearcats (3-0) took over at their own 15 with 1:43 to play and moved downfield in nine plays for the score, capping a seesaw fourth quarter that brought to life a sleepy game.

Cincinnati dominated in every way but the scoreboard, piling on the yards all game, and managed to finally escape with the win. Legaux completed 19 of 42 passes for a career-high 376 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Kenbrell Thompkins also set career highs for Cincinnati with seven catches for 134 yards and a score.

Logan Thomas was 17 for 30 for 242 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the Hokies (3-2), who have lost two games to unranked Big East schools in one of the most trying Septembers in recent history under coach Frank Beamer. A 35-17 loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago knocked Virginia Tech out of the Top 25.

The game was played at the Washington Redskins stadium, with Cincinnati giving up a home game for a chance to play in the vicinity of the nation's capital. Still, the Bearcats fans were an overwhelming minority compared to the Hokies' faithful, who had to travel half the distance of their counterparts.

The teams combined for 21 points in the fourth quarter after putting up just 20 in the first three. Michael Holmes spun into the end zone from 3 yards out with 8:37 to play to put Virginia Tech ahead 17-13, but Ralph David Abernathy IV's 76-yard catch-and-run score put the Bearcats back in front less than a minute later.

The Hokies then responded with Corey Fuller's 56-yard touchdown catch with 1:49 remaining.

The Bearcats run a spread offense, but they had more success with conventional drop-back pass plays. They took a 13-7 lead midway through the third quarter when Legaux, with plenty of time to throw, hit Thompkins wide open over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown.

Virginia Tech was outgained 165 to 72 -- yet the Hokies had a just 7-6 lead to show for it. They didn't get a first down until Fuller's 15-yard reception with 5:17 to go in the half, and the offense struggled to capitalize even when linebacker Bruce Taylor shifted momentum with a couple of big plays.

Taylor stripped the ball from Travis Kelce for a fumble near midfield, but the Hokies ended up punting. On Cincinnati's next possession, Taylor tipped a pass that was intercepted by Kris Harley, giving Virginia Tech the ball at the Bearcats 13-yard line.

That set up the Hokies' only first-half touchdown, but it took four plays to accomplish, with Thomas scampering up the middle for a 5-yard scoring run on fourth-and-2 with 2:41 left in the half.

The day's blooper highlight was provided by Thompkins, who had an amusing pratfall when he tripped over the chains when they were brought out for a measurement after a fourth-and-1 run. Cincinnati got the first down, and the drive led to one of two first-half field goals by Tony Miliano.

Cincinnati had an even more unusual play in the first half -- a touchdown negated by a holding call on the quarterback. Legaux was whistled for giving Kyshoen Jarrett an extra shove while Abernathy was running 11 yards for a score on a double reserve. The drive ended when the Bearcats faked a field goal by throwing a pass to defensive tackle Silverberry Mouhon, who made only 16 yards on the fourth-and-18.

Hypocrisy of NCAA loud and clear with Maryland Football promotion

Hypocrisy of NCAA loud and clear with Maryland Football promotion

The NCAA is a dumb and monumentally stupid organization with rules that often don't make sense for the student-athletes they govern. One of those is paying, or more specifically not paying, athletes.

In an incredible twist of irony, Maryland will give one lucky regular student (that isn't an athlete) $10,000 for something an athlete (not a regular student) could potentially perform on the football field.

This is a highly specific play that will have to happen in order for one lucky student (again, not an athlete) to win the money, but the hypocrisy is incredible and this entire situation is so backward.

A student-athlete could score a touchdown (while not being paid) for the university and while scoring said touchdown will be helping make money for the university (money they will never see a dime from). The university will then turn around and give money to a student who did nothing to earn it, except decide to stay around in the second half for a game that is expected to be lightly attended, thanks to the achievement of a student-athlete who is incapable of receiving said money. 

That makes sense. Totally.

This comes on the heels of a report earlier this week that Division 1 coaches were "spooked" and against new rules that would allow students who met a minimum GPA to transfer and have immediate eligibility.

This is all totally fine.

Anyway, I can't believe someone didn't see the irony here and think "eh, we just had one of the biggest upsets of the weekend and should have a better way to capitalize on our momentum with something cool to entice people to stick around against Towson?"

I guess not.

MORE MARYLAND: TERPS KICKOFF YEAR WITH TEXAS-SIZED UPSET

 

Virginia Tech beats West Virginia 31-24 in electric showdown at FedEx Field

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USA Today Sports

Virginia Tech beats West Virginia 31-24 in electric showdown at FedEx Field

LANDOVER, Maryland -- Virginia Tech made FedEx Field feel like Lane Stadium Northeast and got to bring that Black Diamond Trophy back to Blacksburg for the first time in more than a decade.

Oh, and the Hokies' new quarterback looks like a keeper, too.

Josh Jackson passed for 235 yards, ran for 101 and accounted for two touchdowns in his first start for Virginia Tech, and the No. 21 Hokies made a last-second stand to beat No. 22 West Virginia 31-24 on Sunday night.

The 52nd meeting between the Appalachian region rivals was the first since 2005. It ended up being a classic. The Hokies rushed the field after their defense held the Mountaineers out of the end zone on two last plays from the 15, and their fans screamed along to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" to celebrate.

"This was a fantastic win," Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds said with a huge grin.

Jackson, the redshirt freshman who won a three-way competition for the job, was up and down with his passing, but showed off some nifty moves running in the opener for both teams.

"I felt calm," said Jackson, the son of former longtime Michigan assistant coach Fred Jackson.

Josh Jackson's 46-yard keeper up the middle -- which ended with him taking a hard low hit -- set up Travon McMillian's 3-yard touchdown run that put Virginia Tech up 31-24 with 6:30 left.

"I felt that one pretty good," Jackson said about the hit.

Jackson said he read a blitz on that play and the Mountaineers gave him all kinds of room inside.

"That was a bad, bad call by me," West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said.

West Virginia's new quarterback was just as impressive. Florida transfer Will Grier, who left Gainesville after being suspended by the NCAA for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2015, pass for 371 yards and three touchdowns.

He got one more chance to tie after usually reliable Virginia Tech kicker Joey Slye missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt with 1:55 left.

Grier slinged and scrambled West Virginia down to the Virginia Tech 15. Hokies coach Justin Fuente used a timeout before the last two plays because he was worried his defense was getting gassed chasing the shaggy-haired quarterback.

"You just want them to hold on for one more," Fuente said.

Grier's second-to-last pass into the end zone under pressure was a little behind David Sills and it went through the falling receiver's arms.

"I thought I had him," Grier said. "I got hit and I couldn't see. I thought he caught it. That's the one I'd like to have back to get it up more for him."

It was a tough ball to catch, but Sills wasn't hearing that.

"I just got to make that play," he said. "That's really all it comes down to."

Grier's last throw sailed high and away, but a couple of penalties on the West Virginia offensive line made it moot.