College football preview Week 4

890041.png

College football preview Week 4

BIGGEST SURPRISE FROM LAST WEEKS GAMES
I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I am. Even though we're only three games in, Florida State is showing big things. Their 52-0 shutout of Wake Forest was nothing short of dominant. Dare I say, this could be the Seminole's year.

BIGGEST LETDOWN FROM LAST WEEKS GAMES
Where to begin. All three of our local ACC teams lost but I think I was most disappointed in Virginia Tech's 35-17 loss to Pittsburgh. The Hokies admitted they did not "come to play" and underestimated the Panthers. Quarterback Logan Thomas had arguably his worst performance in a Virginia Tech uniform.

Marylands defense has been pretty solid so far this season. Last weekend linebacker Darin Drakeford shined with a forced fumble, one sack and a season-high 8 tackles.

The Terps travel to Morgantown this weekend for a date with 8th-ranked West Virginia. The Mountaineers have plenty of weapons on offense including quarterback Geno Smith and Tavon Austin. Weve all heard stories about the West Virginia crowd (BYOB Bring Your Own Batteries) so head coach Randy Edsall has been trying to prepare his young squad for the noise and atmosphere. Unfortunately, I dont think it will be enough.
PREDICTION: WEST VIRGINIA
The Virginia Athletics Foundation received a large gift from former Wahoo Chris Long this week. Long, now with the St. Louis Rams, made a 300,000 contribution towards the building of the new George Welsh Indoor Practice Facility. It is the largest gift to VA football from an active professional athlete.

The Cavs visit Fort Worth on Saturday for a matchup with 17th-ranked TCU. Virginia struggled mightily last weekend in the running game and quarterback Michael Rocco has been under scrutiny by Wahoo fans but head coach Mike London insists Roccos teammates are behind him 100. Rocco will need his teammates support this weekend plus a lot of help from the offensive line because TCUs 4-2-5 defense is a handful.
PREDICTION: TCU

The Hokies will celebrate Military Appreciation Day on Saturday. The football team will raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project through the sale of camouflage VT hats and wristbands. The team will be wearing special camo helmets for the first time in school history.

Stop me if youve heard this before. The Hokies are coming off an embarrassing loss to previously winless ________... yeah, thats what I thought. Well, insert Pittsburghs name into the blank space for this year. Virginia Tech will have to bounce back this weekend against Bowling Green. Logan Thomas needs to forget last weekends performance and run out of the tunnel with a clean slate. The Hokies have faced adversity before and head coach Frank Beamer and his coaching staff always have them ready to go.
PREDICTION: VIRGINIA TECH

ACC GAME OF THE WEEK

Oh its going to be a good one.

10 Clemson at 4 Florida State.

Tajh Boyd (Hampton, Va (Phoebus)) vs. EJ Manuel (Virginia Beach, VA (Bayside)). Clemson has won six of the last nine meetings but the Seminoles look awfully good this year. In addition to the quarterbacks, keep your eye on Tigers WR Sammy Watkins and Seminoles RB Chris Thompson.
PREDICTION: FLORIDA STATE

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.