Porter injured in Hoyas opening win over Duquesne

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Porter injured in Hoyas opening win over Duquesne

Two nights after Georgetown's aircraft carrier game went the no contest route out because of wet conditions, the inexperienced Hoyas officially opened their regular season with a "sloppy," albeit winning performance against Duquesne.

Losing Otto Porter early on with a head injury complicated matters. So did Georgetown's half court offensive struggles and the Dukes feisty resolve.

As it turned out, the Hoyas survived without the heralded forward, downing Duquesne 61-55 victory in the opening round of the Legends Classic on Sunday night at the Verizon Center thanks to freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's splashy shooting debut and Greg Whittington's manly rebounding.

The scoreless Porter left the court wincing in pain with 11:55 remaining, never returning to the bench.

"He's being monitored. He got hit in the head and as a precaution we just said let's not put him back in. It was close," said a John Thompson IIII. The Georgetown coach was unable to report in this postgame press conference whether Porter had suffered a concussion.

The Hoyas (1-0) blew most of an 11-point lead inside the final four minutes before winning their eighth straight season-opener under the ninth-year coach.

Georgetown played Friday against Florida on the U.S.S. Bataan, but the outdoor contest was called at halftime due to a slippery surface, making the home game the actual season opener.

Smith-Rivera sank his first six attempts including four first half bombs from beyond arc and finished with 19 points, missing only his final shot of the game. Whittington grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, none more important than an offensive board snared after Jabril Trawick missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 28 seconds left and Georgetown up 56-53. Fouled by the Dukes, Whittington sank two free throws extending the lead to 58-53.

"I just went up to go get that rebound," Whittington said. "There was nothing to it. I just went up and got it."

Smith-Rivera made three of four free throws over the final 19 seconds to seal the ugly win.

"I think both teams were sloppy," Thompson said. "We definitely were sloppy at both ends of the court. It's early. It definitely felt like the season opener. We have a long way to go."

Mikael Hopkins finished with 13 points and his layup with 3:59 remaining put the Hoyas up 54-43. Over the next three minutes, Georgetown committed two of its 17 turnovers.

Duquesne (0-2) put together a 10-2 run before Whittington's board work and the final free throws iced the game. Sean Johnson led the Dukes with 21 points.

As for his rebounding ace, Thompson said, "I thought that Greg was very, very good today. He got 15 rebounds I believe and most of them are what I call "man rebounds." They aren't just the ones that just fell to him. He went and got them, up and over the rim."

The stocky 6-foot-3 Smith-Rivera, the top-rated among Georgetown's four freshman, entered four minutes into the game. Just 16 seconds later, his first official shot went up. Swish. Four more made 3-pointers in the half followed, though the final attempt was waved off, coming a split-second after the halftime buzzer.

"He can shoot, he can score, and he's a very good passer," Thompson said. "Just so happened tonight he was the recipient and our guys found him and he put the ball in the basket - but we needed that, there is no doubt about it."

The Indianapolis native tacked on another jumper in the first half. The Hoyas needed all of it; while Smith-Rivera went 5 of 5 in the half, his teammates finished 5 of 22. The ball movement was a touch better in the second half, but the Hoyas usual back door looks were non-existent until Nate Lubick hit a cutting Markel Starks for a layup and a 58-53 lead inside the final minute.

"I thought we were forcing too much," Thompson said. "We were hunting too much for our points instead of just making the ball move. That one possession we went through a whole series of things, stayed with it a little longer and we get a layup."

Other times in the closing minutes and throughout the game, the young Hoyas - six of the nine players that saw action are freshman or sophomores - proved impatient.

"We're coming down, it's under three minutes and we don't have a clear advantage and we're still trying to push it up," Thompson said. "I guess that's what this time of year is for, to figure it out."

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.