Louisiana Tech comes back, beats Virginia

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Louisiana Tech comes back, beats Virginia

By Hank Kurz Jr.
AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Colby Cameron threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and Louisiana Tech scored 34 unanswered points to rally from an early deficit and beat penalty-riddled Virginia 44-38 Saturday.

Ray Holley ran for two touchdowns for the Bulldogs (4-0), who trailed 24-10 midway through the second quarter. They then intercepted Michael Rocco three times and converted each one into a touchdown on their way to their eight consecutive road victory and 11th win in a row during the regular season.

The Cavaliers (2-3) came out seemingly intent on getting into a wide-open game, and flourished into the second quarter. Tailback Perry Jones threw a 36-yard touchdown pass, and Rocco made scoring throws of 73 yards to Khalek Shepherd and 2 yards to Paul Freedman until the Bulldogs' defense made some plays.

The first came with a big assist from Virginia wideout Dominique Terrell, who got hit in the hands by a pass from Rocco, couldn't pull it in and deflected it to Quinn Giles, who returned it to Virginia's 25.

The play came right after the Cavaliers put on a goal-line stand, denying the nation's No. 3 scoring team any points after a 94-yard kickoff return by D.J. Banks had set them up at the Virginia 3.

Two plays after Giles' interception, Holley ran it in from the 16 to make it 24-17.

A field goal by Matt Nelson, one of three for him in the game, made it 24-20 at halftime.

The Bulldogs took command in the third quarter, taking the opening kickoff and driving 73 yards in hurry-up mode to Holley's 11-yard scoring run. After an exchange of punts, Dave Clark intercepted Rocco and returned it to Virginia's 43, setting up a four-play drive capped by Cameron's 14-yard scoring run.

Two plays later, Rocco hit linebacker Chip Hester, who took it 32 yards for a touchdown.

The play gave the Bulldogs 31 unanswered points on the home field of a BCS-level school for the second week in a row. They did it in beating Illinois 52-24 of the Big Ten last week in Champaign, Ill.

Rocco, who threw for 265 yards in the first half, was replaced by Alabama transfer Phillip Sims. He threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee, and then a 23-yarder to Adrian Gamble with 2:08 to play, but after Virginia seemingly held and forced a likely punt, the Cavs sent their punt return team out on the field during a timeout, and when the Bulldogs sent their offense back out onto the field after a timeout, the Cavaliers were called for illegal substitution, giving a game-ending first down.

It was the Cavaliers' 16th penalty for 145 yards in the game.

Cameron finished 23 for 36 for 218 yards and a 3-yard first-quarter touchdown to R.P. Stuart. It was Cameron's 12th touchdown pass of the season, and he still has not thrown an interception.

Virginia's halftime lead came despite being penalized 10 times for 95 yards and giving up 10 points in the final 3:02.

The Cavaliers also tried a surprise onside kick after going ahead 14-3, but Louisiana Tech recovered, got a 15-yard personal foul penalty to set them up at Virginia's 39 and drove for a TD that made it 14-10.

Virginia Tech to hold four satellite camps

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech to hold four satellite camps

The hot topic around college football this offseason has been satellite camps and now the Hokies are getting into the mix. Head coach Justin Fuente announced on Tuesday that Virginia Tech will have four satellite camps over the summer, two will take place in key regions in Virginia while the other two will be out of state in Atlanta and New Jersey.

Of the two camps in Virginia, one will take place in the "757"—the Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach area—while the other will be in Northern Virginia. The 757 region is an incredibly fertile recruiting area that has caught the attention of southern powerhouses like Florida State. Northern Virginia is also a hotly contested area with competition from the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland, among others.

The ACC previously banned satellite camps and pushed for a ban by the NCAA. The NCAA did ban the practice altogther, briefly, but after a national outcry, the ban was overturned last month.

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For his part, Fuente is not a fan of these camps, but recognizes the necessity of holding them.

“There’s a lot of issues with camps right now that we’re all trying to vet through,” Fuente said via Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “In general, the whole traveling camp (idea) is not particularly good. It just opens up a lot of room for abuse. They’re not regulated at all. But I’m excited about being able to travel in our state.”

Going to Atlanta is an interesting move, but a necessary one if the Hokies hope to return to their former glory. Recruiting in the south opens Virginia Tech to more top-tier recruits. Obviously, it will be difficult to lure southern prospects away from the SEC powers, but being able to build a footprint in the SEC's backyard will greatly help Fuente's task of rebuilding the team into a conference contender.

The move to New Jersey also makes sense. The lack of a power program in the Northeast essentially makes the region up for grabs. Schools like Ohio State and Penn State have taken advantage of Rutgers' move to the Big Ten, but obviously the ACC maintains a presence throughout the east coast.

Virginia Tech's rather remote location makes holding these camps within the state important. The state was previously dominated by the Hokies in the glory days of the Frank Beamer era, but in-state recruiting has slipped in recent years. Holding Virginia camps will help Virginia Tech maintain its presence in the state.

“I think it’s certainly necessary in our state,” Fuente said. “We’re just going to dip our toe in the water of the other ones and see how that goes. I’m genuinely excited to do the ones here.”

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Virginia fires legendary lacrosse coach Dom Starsia

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(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Virginia fires legendary lacrosse coach Dom Starsia

Virginia is making a change in leadership at the head of its lacrosse program.

On Monday the university announced that Dom Starsia, the all-time winningest coach in Division I lacrosse history with 375 victories, is being removed from his head coaching position, with a national search for a replacement to follow.

 

“Dom Starsia is a Hall of Fame coach and I want to thank him for all he has done for Virginia men’s lacrosse, UVA athletics, the University of Virginia, and the Charlottesville community,” Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage said in a statement. “In addition to winning 73 percent of his games at UVA with multiple ACC and NCAA championships, Dom was committed to the development of student-athletes as his teams were cited for their sportsmanship and academic achievements. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with and learned from Dom."

Under his watch, the Cavaliers won the ACC regular season championship ten times, and led the program to four National Championships (1999, 2003, 2006 and 2011).

He took a program that had not made the NCAA Tournament in four consecutive seasons and had not won a national championship since 1972 and turned it into arguably the top program in college lacrosse. Virginia is not just a good program, nor is it just a great program. It is a blue-blood program, something that can only be ascribed to one of three or four programs.

But the firing of Starsia comes on the heels of a 7-8 record, the program's second in three years, capping a four year stretch in which the program lost at least five games a year, for a 34-27 record since the start to the 2013 season. Prior to 2013, Starsia's Virginia teams had lost five games in a season just five times since taking over as the head coach of the Cavaliers in 1993. Virginia has a 1-15 record in the ACC since 2013 and has dropped 12 consecutive conference games. 

It also ends two weeks of speculation for Starsia, the program and recruits. On May 17th, it was reported that the university would not be renewing Starsia's contract. Two days later on May 19, a report indicated a contract extension had been confirmed.

But now it is official: Virginia is in the market for a new lacrosse coach for the first time since 1992.

Frank Beamer seems to be really enjoying retirement

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USA TODAY Sports

Frank Beamer seems to be really enjoying retirement

Retirement doesn't seem to suit everyone, especially in sports. History is full of examples of players and coaches who get antsy soon after calling it quits. That doesn't seem to be the case with Frank Beamer.

Beamer stepped aside at the end of the 2015 season after a 44-year college coaching career that included 29 years as the head coach at Virginia Tech. After such a long and storied career, you could understand if Beamer struggled a bit to adjust to life outside of coaching, but he seems to be doing just fine.

Hey, when you lead a program to 22 bowl games, seven conference championships and one national championship game berth, you can enjoy retirement any way you want.

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