Terps, Cavs land players on All-ACC list

aboushi.png

Terps, Cavs land players on All-ACC list

In a down year for local college football, bright spots emerged when the Atlantic Coast Conference named two Virginia players and one Maryland player first-team all-conference.

Maryland senior defensive lineman Joe Vellano highlighted the Terps season, taking his second straight first team all-conference honors. Though Vellano battled injuries for much of the year, he still finished with 61 tackles, 14 for losses, and six sacks. Many considered Vellano the key cog to a Terps defense that played well for most of the season.

Virginia offensive tackle Oday Aboushi landed first-team all-conference along with linebacker Steve Greer. Aboushi took his second straight All-ACC first team honor. A dominant blocker who averaged more than 10 knockdown blocks per game, the Brooklyn native has already been named to the 2013 Senior Bowl.

Greer registered 122 tackles this season, second in the ACC, including a carrer high 19 tackles against Virginia Tech. Greer was named second team All-ACC last season.

No Virginia Tech players made first-team All-ACC, but three Hokies made second-team from the defensive side of the ball. Defensive end James Gayle, linebacker Jack Tyler, and cornerback Antone Exum all were recognized for their efforts as All-ACC second team.

Maryland freshman sensation Stefon Diggs landed on the honorable mention all-conference team. More honors could be in store for the freshman Diggs, who racked up almost 1,900 all-purpose yards in his first season of college play. 

Virginia Tech Hokies football schedule 2016: Dates, times and where to watch

Virginia Tech Hokies football schedule 2016: Dates, times and where to watch

The Virginia Tech Hokies will begin the 2016 football season at Lane Stadium on Saturday, one week before the Battle at Bristol against Tennessee.

Justin Fuente's first game as head coach will come against the Liberty Flames. Here are the details: 

Who: Liberty Flames vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

What: Week 1 of the 2016 College football season

When: 12:30 p.m., ET, Saturday, Sept. 3

Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.

TV Channel: ACC Network

Virginia Tech Hokies 2016 football schedule:

Game 1 on Sat., Sept. 3: vs. Liberty, 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network

Game 2 on Sat., Sept. 10: Battle at Bristol vs. Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway, 8 p.m. on ABC

Game 3 on Sat., Sept. 17: vs. Boston College, 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU

Game 4 on Sat., Sept. 24: vs. East Carolina, time TBA

Game 5 on Sat., Oct. 8: at North Carolina, time TBA

Game 6 on Sat., Oct. 15: at Syracuse, time TBA

Game 7 on Thu., Oct. 20: vs. Miami, 7 p.m. on ESPN

Game 8 on Thu., Oct. 27: at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. on ESPN

Game 9 on Sat., Nov. 5: at Duke, time TBA

Game 10 on Sat., Nov. 12: vs. Georgia Tech, time TBA

Game 11 on Sat., Nov. 19: at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. on NBC

Game 12 on Sat., Nov. 26: vs. Virginia, time TBA

RELATED: JUCO TRANSFER NAMED HOKIES' STARTING QB FOR OPENER

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

In his first game with the Virginia Tech Hokies, Jerod Evans will be leading the team as the starting quarterback, head coach Justin Fuente announced on Thursday. The quarterback competition started as a two-man race between Evans and fifth-year senior Brenden Motley before a late surge by true freshman Josh Jackson turned it into a three-way battle. In the end, however, the decision was no surprise.

Evans, a junior transfer, began his college career at Air Force in 2013. He transferred to Trinity Valley Community College where he developed into a dynamic talent. In 2015, Evans threw for 395.5 yards per game and 38 touchdowns in just eight games before a wrist injury ended his season.

RELATED: HOKIES REVEAL UNIFORMS FOR BATTLE AT BRISTOL

Rated as the No. 1 dual-threat JUCO quarterback in the country, Evans was recruited by Fuente while he was still at Memphis and chose to follow the head coach to Blacksburg.

New coaches are rarely afforded the opportunity of starting their own recruit in their first season at a new school. Given that and the high potential of Evans as a playmaker, it was ultimately no surprise to hear Fuente peg him as the starter.

The announcement came with one caveat, however. Evans was named the starter specifically for the opener against Liberty, but not beyond that. Granted, Evans would have to play pretty poorly to force Fuente into switching starters the week before the Battle at Bristol against Tennessee, but an opener against an FCS team should allow for Fuente to play multiple quarterbacks. If Motley outplays Evans, perhaps it could reignite the quarterback battle.

Even so, Thursday's announcement shows the starting job is now Evans to lose.

MORE VIRGINIA TECH: Virginia Tech themed race car revealed

Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

benkert.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

When Virginia opens the season on Sept. 3 against Richmond, they will have a new quarterback starting under center. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall named junior transfer Kurt Benkert the starting quarterback on Wednesday morning over seniors Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, according to multiple reports.

Benkert was expected to start for ECU just last season, but a knee injury in preseason forced him to miss the entire year. He is considered the most mobile of the three, which given Mendenhall's history with dual-threat quarterbacks, likely was a major factor in the head coach's decision.

RELATED: HOKIES REVEAL UNIFORMS FOR BATTLE AT BRISTOL

As a junior, Benkert was the only candidate with two years of eligibility remaining, a prospect hat reportedly "intrigued" Mendenhall. If Benkert is able to hold on to the position and start next season as well, it would represent a measure of stability Virginia has not known for quite some time.

What likely helped Benkert was the fact that his head coach at ECU, Ruffin McNeill, is now an assistant as UVa. By coming into a school with an offensive system Benkert was familiar with, it eliminated the learning curve most transfers go through with their new teams.

Benkert will replace Johns who was the team's starter last season and co-starter the season before. The fact that the competition was a three-man race at this point in the summer despite Johns' experience was a clear indication that his ability to win back the starting job was in clear jeopardy.

In addition, Mendenhall also announced Johns and Brewer were still competing for the backup role.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: What is the ceiling for Maryland football in 2016?