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.

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.

Kurt Benkert rescues Virginia against Central Michigan, 49-35

Kurt Benkert rescues Virginia against Central Michigan, 49-35

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Kurt Benkert threw five touchdown passes, the last three after Virginia had squandered all of a 28-0 lead, and the Cavaliers gave coach Bronco Mendenhall his 100th career victory, 49-35 over Central Michigan on Saturday.

Benkert hit Olamide Zaccheaus with a go-ahead 82-yard pass after the Cavaliers defense forced its first punt since the opening quarter. Virginia (1-3) forced another punt, and Benkert hit Albert Reid for a 5-yard touchdown, capping a 73-yard drive. Taquan Mizzell also scored twice for Virginia on runs of 4 and 53 yards.

"That's a happy group of young men in that locker room," Mendenhall said. "I'm certainly not saying we've arrived, but it's a nice start."

The Chippewas (3-1), seeking their first 4-0 start since 1985, scored on four of five possessions after going behind 28-0 less than 20 minutes into the game.

Cooper Rush for 402 yards and two touchdown passes to Corey Willis, including an 85-yarder, and Amari Coleman read a screen pass perfectly and scored on a 47-yard interception return.

Mendenhall, in his first year at Virginia, was 99-43 in 11 seasons at BYU before coming east.

THE TAKEAWAY

Central Michigan: The Chippewas are a confident team, and showed it even when trailing by three touchdowns in a loud stadium. They used timeouts when Virginia had the ball late in the second quarter to stop the clock, and cashed in with two touchdowns in the last 4 1/2 minutes of the half to get within 28-14.

Virginia: Rush picked apart the Virginia secondary, which lost cornerback Juan Thornhill on the first play of the game. The unit also lacks speed and played off the Central Michigan receivers for much of the day, allowing several long completions that produced third-down conversions. Kareem Gibson was a frequent target, but acquitted himself with a fourth-quarter interception to set up an insurance TD.

UP NEXT

Central Michigan: The Chippewas head into Mid-American Conference play at home against Western Michigan.

Virginia: The Cavaliers, losers of 17 in a row on the road, will try to end that skid as they open their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule at Duke.