Maryland rallies past Wake Forest

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Maryland rallies past Wake Forest

By DAVID GINSBURG COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Freshman Stefon Diggs took a short pass 63 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Justus Pickett with 5:37 left, and Maryland opened the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of its schedule with a 19-14 win over Wake Forest on Saturday. The Terrapins (3-2, 1-0) snapped a two-game skid and surpassed their victory total from 2011, when they went 2-10 in coach Randy Edsall's first season. Maryland also matched its win total in the ACC of last season. Wake Forest (3-3, 1-3) led 14-13 when the Terrapins gained possession at their own 41 in the fourth. After a first-down sack, true freshman Perry Hills connected with Diggs on the right flat, and the fleet-footed wide receiver cut down the sideline behind several good blocks before being tackled at the 3. On third down, Pickett carried it in. Diggs' play made up for a fumbled punt that led to the Demon Deacons' second touchdown. He finished with five catches for 105 yards. Hills went 14 for 25 for 191 yards to help Maryland avenge a 31-10 defeat at Wake Forest last year. The Terrapins won despite committing three turnovers and being flagged for eight penalties. Demon Deacons quarterback Tanner Price was harassed most of the game by a Maryland defense that came in ranked eighth nationally in yardage allowed. Price went 13-of-38 passing for 170 yards and two scores. Terence Davis, subbing for injured star receiver Michael Campanaro, caught a 73-yard pass for Wake Forest on the third play of the game and finished with seven receptions for 130 yards. The Demon Deacons took a 14-13 lead with 7:06 left in the third quarter, moving 24 yards after Diggs fumbled a punt. On third down from the 7, Price threw a touchdown pass to Tommy Bohanon, the fullback's third score in two weeks. Maryland led 13-7 at halftime despite fumbling twice, throwing an interception, making only five first downs and being penalized six times for 45 yards. Diggs was the Terrapins leading rusher, gaining seven yards on one carry. Wake Forest had 196 yards in offense at the break, 116 of them on five catches by Davis. Following the opening kickoff, Davis took advantage of a miscommunication in the Maryland secondary to break free down the left sideline for a 73-yard score, the longest play by the Demon Deacons this season. Maryland then converted a fourth-and-1 from its own 49 in a drive that produced a 49-yard field goal by Brad Craddock. Minutes later, Lovell Jackson mishandled a Maryland punt after calling for a fair catch. Terrapin Cole Farrand recovered at the Wake Forest 35 to set up a 52-yard field goal. In the second quarter, a short punt gave Wake Forest the ball at the Maryland 38. Price fumbled a third-down snap at the 1, and on fourth down, Joshua Harris was stopped for no gain. Minutes later, Kevin Johnson picked off a Hills pass at the Maryland 40, but Jimmy Newman missed wide left on a 42-yard field goal try. He also missed from 44 late in the half. The Terrapins took the lead with 2:19 left in the second quarter. Hills directed a 75-yard march that included a 23-yard completion to Diggs and ended with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Dorsey.

Fuente ready to take Virginia Tech back to prominence

Fuente ready to take Virginia Tech back to prominence

Taking over for a legend is never easy, but that's the position Justin Fuente now finds himself at Virginia Tech.

Frank Beamer built the football program at Virginia Tech into a national power during his 29 seasons in Blacksburg. Fuente now takes over looking to preserve the Hokies' 23-year bowl streak and return to the team to the heights reached during Beamer's peak.

“I feel pressure to do a good job because Virginia Tech football means a lot to a tremendous amount of people," Beamer said. "It’s important."

RELATED: Hokie kicker nails 70-yard field goal

With that comes a lot of expectations. Fuente wouldn't have it any other way.

"It’s great to coach at a place with expectations," Fuente said at the ACC Football Kickoff. "There is a lot that comes with that and I understand that. That’s just the way it is. But it’s fun to coach at a place that means so much to so many people."

Fuente's task is made more difficult as Virginia Tech finds itself at a crossroad of sorts. After eight straight seasons of 10 or more wins, the Hokies have not won more than eight since 2011. Rather than competing for ACC Championships, Virginia Tech has had to battle just to reach bowl eligibility.

For Fuente, he recognizes that fans do not just expect him to extend the bowl streak. His job is to return the Hokies to national prominence

"We’re taking over a program that is not where we want it to be," Fuente said. "When I say ‘we,’ I mean Hokie Nation. We want it to be back to where it was ... but we will get it there. I know that for a fact.”

MORE VIRGINIA TECH: Hokies driven to 'get the job done' during the offseason

Bronco Mendenhall is not interested in a 'honeymoon period' at UVa

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USA TODAY Sports

Bronco Mendenhall is not interested in a 'honeymoon period' at UVa

Going from BYU to a power conference like the ACC is quite the jump for Bronco Mendenhall, but so far the new Virginia head football coach has seemed right at home.

Mendenhall has been tasked with changing the culture at a Virginia program that has been to a bowl game only once since 2008. The difficulty of that task became apparent to Mendenhall immediately as he met the team.

"The team that was in front of me when I arrived at UVA, their eyes would not make contact," Mendenhall said at the ACC Football Kickoff. "Their heads were down. They looked right on the verge and acted right on the verge of despair. I remember changing what my message was to them, what I had prepared, when I saw that, working to inspire at that point."

RELATED: HOKIE KICKER NAILS 70-YARD FIELD GOAL

To do that, he is emphasizing will and determination rather than just football.  At practice, players do not get numbers because they have not yet earned that right. Mendenhall wants the team to build its confidence through hard work before worrying about X's and O's.

"We are a football program that bases will before skill," Mendenahll said. "We work from the inside out. Eventually we'll play good football. But we work on toughness and effort. We've made significant inroads in that regard. We think the football will catch up and catch up relatively quickly."

After watching their team finish with a losing record in seven of the last eight seasons, you can forgive Virginia fans for wondering just how quickly the football will catch up. Mendenhall's answer: pretty darn quickly.

Despite the talk of building up confidence and having to change the culture at Virginia, Mendenhall's ultimate message was clear. His expectations for the team remain high and the turnaround in Charlottesville will be swift.

"I would say at the University of Virginia, we're ahead of schedule in terms of the culture, with the execution to follow," Mendenhall said. "We'll be working hard this fall camp to make sure, for the players that earn the right to come into fall camp with their conditioning, that they're ready and fit. But we have some football work to do."

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Hokie QB loses cousin in Louisiana shooting

Former GW players come to coach Mike Lonergan's defense amid abuse allegations

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Former GW players come to coach Mike Lonergan's defense amid abuse allegations

George Washington head coach Mike Lonergan is facing serious allegations of verbal and emotional abuse from both a current and former Colonials basketball players, according to a lengthy report from the Washington Post.

But in the wake of the allegations, two of Lonergan's more prominent players have spoken out in defense of their head coach.

Patricio Garino, who will be in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics as a member of Argentina's basketball team, was rather outspoken in defense of his coach, while still implying that Lonergan was rough on his players.

"Anonymous" declarations of some GW players about our program," Garino wrote.

"Coach is very old school and he is gonna push you to the limits to reach your potential, even though we went at each other a few times I knew he did it because he knew I was able to perform better, and that's something that I appreciate now because it got me to where I am today. He built in me the work ethic necessary to play at the highest level, he taught me not to quit under any circumstance and he told me to persevere to reach my goals. I owe a lot of my success to Coach Lonergan and his coaching staff through four years, i truly would be close to playing in the Olympics if it wasn't for him.

Garino played for Lonergan from 2012 until 2016, and averaged a career-best 14.1 ppg this past season. Tough love works for some players, but the issue is that it hardly ever works acroiss the board. Some players do not respond well to it.  

But Garino was not alone in his defense.  Isaiah Armwood, a 6-9 forward who transferred to George Washington in 2012 after two seasons at Villanova, stood by his former head coach too.

There was also Mo Creek, a graduate transfer from Indiana who joined the Colonials in 2013. 

It's clear that Lonergan's methods were not for everyone, but there were those who believe it was for the better.