UVA shocks NC State with 33-6 win

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UVA shocks NC State with 33-6 win

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Phillip Sims ran for one touchdown and threw for another, and Virginia routed North Carolina State 33-6 on Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak.

Kevin Parks rushed for 115 yards and a late 31-yard touchdown for the Cavaliers (3-6, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Their defense more than doubled its season total for takeaways with five while holding N.C. State to 19 yards rushing, and their offense rolled up 446 total yards to lead Virginia to its first ACC win.

Sims was 8 of 10 for 115 yards with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Tim Smith and a 1-yard TD run that started the scoring for Virginia. Backup Michael Rocco added an 18-yard touchdown pass to Darius Jennings.

Mike Glennon finished 23 of 46 for a season-low 197 yards with four turnovers -- three interceptions and a fumble. The Wolfpack (5-4, 2-3) has 19 turnovers in their four losses.

Glennon's 2-yard touchdown pass to Mario Carter with 6:30 left helped N.C. State avoid its first home shutout since it lost 37-0 to Maryland in 2007.

A Virginia defense that entered with four takeaways all season was dominant all day with six sacks, three picks, two fumble recoveries and a safety which came when Will Hill wrapped up Glennon in the end zone as he intentionally spiked the ball into the turf. That made it 16-0 with 3:17 before the break.

Virginia extended its lead to 23-0 on its first possession of the second half, when Smith got behind Dontae Johnson and Sims found him in the end zone. Drew Jarrett kicked a 33-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth to make it 26-0. Parks then broke his long touchdown run with 4:28 left.

This one could have been even worse had Virginia not blown a golden opportunity moments before halftime.

Jake Snyder recovered Glennon's fumble at the Wolfpack 19 with 38 seconds left. Virginia lined up to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1, but receiver Jake McGee was called for a false start, and Ian Frye pushed a 22-yard field-goal attempt wide right.

The Cavaliers jumped on N.C. State early, scoring on their first offensive series and leading 14-0 after one quarter. That turned out to be a bad omen for a slow-starting N.C. State team that fell behind by multiple scores in the first quarters of each of its previous three losses.

Sims led the Cavaliers methodically downfield on their first drive and capped it by scoring on a rollout from 1 yard out less than 5 minutes in. It came two plays after he dropped a sure-thing touchdown pass from tailback Perry Jones in the end zone on a trick play, then crumpled to the grass in embarrassment.

Two series later, it was Rocco's turn to lead a scoring drive. He found a wide-open Jennings at the left pylon to give Virginia its first two-score lead since Sept. 29 against Louisiana Tech.  

College Football Playoff projections: Bring on the chaos

College Football Playoff projections: Bring on the chaos

College football fans have learned to expect the unexpected. The unpredictability of the sport is exactly why we love it. So, when looking at the first two years of the College Football Playoff, you can't help but feel like something is missing.

The playoff has been a bit too...clean.

Sure, there was the mini controversy of Ohio State jumping ahead of TCU in the final rankings in 2014, but everyone outside the state of Texas understood why that happened. While TCU and Baylor were getting participation trophies for being co-champs of the Big 12, the Buckeyes were rolling over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Other than that, the playoff has worked exceptionally well with little question as to who the top four teams in the nation have been the past two seasons. That cannot possibly continue.

SEE THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROJECTION HERE

The BCS system seemed to work well when it first began too, but then every nightmare scenario possible in a foolishly restrictive two-team system began to play out annually.

So what are the nightmare scenarios for the College Football Playoff? A non-power conference team or Notre Dame could go undefeated, a two-loss team could win its conference, an undefeated team could loss in the conference championship game, two teams in the same conference could establish themselves as the top teams in the nation. A team with an easy strength of schedule could finish the season as the only undefeated team, and those are just the ones we know about. There could be all sorts of whacky scenarios no one has even thought of that play out over the course of the season.

While a four-team playoff is certainly better than a two-team one, it is still restrictive to a point that could cause some real problems come December. So far, that hasn't happened.

College football is due for some chaos.

With that in mind here are my preseason College Football Playoff projections, featuring two teams from the same conference reaching the playoff for the first time.

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.

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